When you face federal charges, whether you've been notified of a federal investigation or the feds have come knocking on your door, there are some things that you need to know. Dealing with federal authorities requires a delicate approach because federal charges are far more serious than state or local ones. Here are some things that you should keep in mind in case you find yourself answering the door to federal authorities.
You Need An Attorney
Federal criminal charges can bring some major consequences, and navigating those charges is no easy feat. Everything that you say to the authorities from the time you open the door will be recorded and used against you in court.
That's why it is so important that you not say anything after you answer the door. Exercise your right to silence and your right to an attorney. Don't answer any questions or even make any statements until you have a federal criminal defense attorney present to assist you.
Your Communication Will Be Monitored
Any communication you have while you are in federal custody is going to be monitored. Your phone calls will typically be recorded. In fact, if you're facing federal charges, there's a good chance that your private phone lines, and those of your family and other contacts, have probably been monitored and recorded for some time in the process of evidence gathering.
Federal Court Is A Different Environment
Even if you've had experience with local courts, you cannot expect the federal court process to be similar. Federal courts have their own sentencing guidelines, settlement processes, negotiation expectations, and more.
It's important that you talk with an attorney who is familiar with the federal court system. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the expectations of this system and you can go into the court process prepared.
You Need To Be Honest
When it comes to interrogation, settlement negotiations, and even the court hearing, honesty is essential. Lying in court can lead to federal perjury charges as well as obstruction of justice. Both can bring a serious sentence and will follow you for the rest of your life.
Talk with your attorney about any information that you're worried could be problematic. The sooner you address it with your attorney, the sooner you can the legal guidance and expertise to ensure that you handle those questions properly.
Federal charges are a serious concern and should be taken as seriously as they are. You can talk with a federal criminal attorney for more information about the potential charges and your defense options.