In reality, if you, your company, or your professional activity is now under investigation or potentially soon to be scrutinized, you should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. The defense counsel will improve your prospects of obtaining a favorable pre-trial – or perhaps pre-charge – resolution. Heath Hyde represents healthcare providers in federal investigations on a regular basis, including those involving:
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Homeland Security Department (DHS)
- Labor Department (DOL)
- United States Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
- United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Strike Force on Medicare Fraud
- Inspector General’s Office (OIG)
- Task Force on Prescription Interdiction and Litigation (PIL)
- United States Attorney’s Office
- Postal Inspection Service of the United States (USPIS)
At Heath Hyde, our first aim when defending clients in federal investigations is to get the inquiry to finish without charges being filed. As a result, any practical implications are minimized, and our client is protected against civil or criminal punishment. If a complete avoidance of charges is not possible, we focus on keeping our clients’ investigations civil so that federal jail time is avoided.
Start Building Your Defense Today
Heath Hyde is a client-centered federal criminal defense practice, and we are intent on obtaining favorable resolutions for the local residents we represent in federal criminal matters. Because time is of the essence in criminal cases, we encourage you to reach out to our firm as soon as possible after your arrest or after you have been made aware of pending investigations or audits. Hire a criminal defense lawyer at Heath Hyde today.
Allow our criminal defense attorneys in Dallas and Sulphur Springs to review your case, explain the charges and penalties you may face, and discuss your defense.
Why You Should Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?
For a variety of reasons, the federal criminal justice system is big, powerful, and dangerous. To make matters even more complicated, federal charges are frequently investigated and prosecuted in different ways than state cases.
No one wishes for themselves or their loved ones to be charged with a crime. While crime shows are enjoyable, being pursued by a federal investigator, a detail-oriented federal agent, or a well-organized prosecutor is not. When a police officer slams the cuffs on, the arrestee tells a loved one to ‘call my lawyer,’ as seen on television. The reality is quite different.
Typically, television shows focus on street criminal situations with fast arrests and minimal notice that people would be charged. Most federal cases, on the other hand, are investigated and prosecuted differently. This raises a question for federally prosecuted individuals. When should someone engage a federal criminal defense lawyer?
Short answer: As soon as you become aware that the feds are investigating you. Consider the following scenario: if a general practitioner discovers a worrying lump in a patient’s lung, should the patient wait to see a specialist? Hire a criminal defense lawyer is your first priority on the list.
Criminal Investigations at the Federal Level
To begin, it’s crucial to understand that most federal crimes are the result of lengthy pre-arrest investigations. Federal criminal cases are divided into two categories: reactive and investigative.
What are Reactive Federal Cases, and how do they work?
Reactive cases are ones that constitute an imminent public threat and necessitate the quickest feasible arrest. These offenses are analogous to state-level offenses. For example, bank robbery, which is a criminal violation under 18 USC 2113, entails aggressive activity, necessitating the quick arrest and detention of perpetrators by law authorities. While not every bank heist is solved promptly, the goal of law enforcement is to apprehend robbers as soon as feasible.
When a bank is robbed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is usually dispatched as soon as possible. Bank personnel are interviewed and surveillance material is evaluated after agents arrive, typically in collaboration with local police officers. The agents will usually make an arrest as soon as they have the opportunity. In such a time-sensitive circumstance, the last thing agents want is for suspects to be aware that the FBI is looking into them.
What are Federal Investigation Cases?
Unlike reactive crimes such as bank robbery, most federal offenses are investigated thoroughly. A person who falsely bills Medicaid for work that was never completed, for example, could be charged with Medicaid Fraud under 18 USC 1035. These cases will be researched with a lot lesser emphasis on speed and a much higher emphasis on detail than a reactive case. Investigations of this nature can take a year or more. Furthermore, unlike in reactive cases, the federal government frequently informs suspects that they are being investigated.
Consider the following scenario. Consider the case of a person accused of Embezzlement of a Financial Institution under 18 USC 656 or Possession of Child Pornography under 18 USC 2252A or 2260. Either of these violations is an extremely serious federal criminal that will very certainly be investigated thoroughly. Once a suspect has been identified, agents would frequently call on the suspect’s door to inquire about him or her before making an arrest. Agents may also execute search warrants for computer files or any other evidence. It’s possible that an arrest won’t happen right away.
However, just because the target isn’t detained straight away doesn’t mean a lawyer shouldn’t be contacted as soon as possible. Hire a criminal defense lawyer at Heath Hyde today. Here are three times when you should be aware that the federal government is preparing a criminal case against you.
1) Federal Agents Want to Talk to You: Knock and Talk
Don’t be startled if federal officials knock on your house and ask to speak with you, or if they leave a card with a phone number on it. If you phone or answer the door, they may explain they’re merely trying to ‘clarify certain things’ or ‘remove you as a suspect.’ Assuming that agents are working for your benefit would be a terrible and costly mistake.
Actually, they are skilled at questioning people and frequently have their minds made up that a crime has occurred long before the interview. Remember that law enforcement officers are allowed to lie to you, and they know exactly what to say to make it appear that speaking with them is the best option. Avoid the temptation and speak with an attorney first.
Tax evasion, also known as an Attempt to Evade or Defeat Taxes under 26 USC 7201, is another example of a classic investigative case. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents are virtually always involved in these cases. Many of these agents are CPAs, and all of the IRS-CI (IRS-Criminal Investigation) members have undergone intensive training to question suspected tax fraudsters and evaluate tax and business data.
2) The Subpoena to a Federal Grand Jury
Agents can also issue a grand jury subpoena to anyone suspected of being involved in or knowing about a crime. Subpoenas of this nature are required. Even though compliance with a subpoena is required, a person is still allowed to decline to answer questions under the 5th Amendment. A lawyer may also be able to restrict your exposure or persuade a prosecutor that your evidence is not required.
3) The Target Letter from the Federal Government
A Target Letter is a letter sent by an Assistant United States Attorney to a person informing them that they are likely to be prosecuted in the near future. Such letters are frequently attached to targets who the government has no objection to allowing to remain free until their case is concluded. While such letters are not court orders, failing to comply with them can lead to the filing of a criminal complaint, which can lead to an arrest. If you receive a target letter, hire a criminal defense lawyer at Heath Hyde right once. We have an experienced federal criminal defense attorney to assist you.
4) The Federal Arrest That Was Postponed
A person is occasionally stopped, evidence is seized, and the person is not arrested at the time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but it is rarely because the government is unwilling to file a case. Federal agents may enable state agencies to make an arrest first and then prove relevant activity or take over the case(s) once the local agency has completed its investigation. Call a federal criminal defense attorney if you’ve been arrested for something that could be a federal felony.
The Federal Courts’ Primary Purpose
Aside from the fact that most federal charges are proactive rather than reactive, federal prosecutions are geared to target businesses rather than single individuals. As a result, individual criminal acts go unpunished until the broader criminal business is brought down. Multiple defendants, Title III wiretaps, multiple searches, traffic stops, and pole-camera (pole cam) monitoring are common in drug distribution prosecutions under 21 USC 841 and 846, for example.
Similarly, if a DEA agent coordinates a planned traffic stop of a suspected drug dealer, local police officers may pull him over for a traffic infringement and then attempt to build probable cause to search him. Even if the automobile contains narcotics or a huge sum of money thought to be drug proceeds, the police may merely seize the drugs and/or money and release the driver. The officer doesn’t want the driver to think the DEA is looking into his supply, and maybe his supplier’s source. Furthermore, the funds may be susceptible to confiscation under 18 USC 981.
What Should I Do If I Find Out I’m Being Investigated by the FBI?
As a result of the investigative approach and the enterprise targeting model, people who are being prosecuted frequently believe the federal government is investigating illegal conduct. Warning indicators must not be overlooked. A lawyer should be informed as soon as an agent knocks on a business’ door or visits an individual at his home. It’s not a good idea to think you can talk your way out of problems. It’s a good idea to hire a criminal defense lawyer ASAP.
If a person receives a target letter or a grand jury subpoena, the same applies. Waiting for legal help just puts such people in a scenario where they are confronted by trained agents and prosecutors without the benefit of legal counsel. Also, if a person is pulled over but not arrested despite the fact that narcotics or huge sums of money are seized, that individual should contact a counsel right once.
While this axiom may seem self-evident, it is a common occurrence for people who are approached by law enforcement, receive subpoenas, or are subjected to a large-scale seizure to be lulled into believing that the situation will go away. Finally, federal targets should not wait to seek legal counsel until they have been detained. When should you seek a criminal defense attorney? As soon as someone suspects the government is watching them.
Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Most federal offenses involve lengthy pre-arrest investigations. Hire a criminal defense lawyer at Heath Hyde today.
We care about your freedom, your family, your future, and your life. That’s why we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to do your homework when you hire a criminal defense lawyer. There is no substitute for decades of jury trial experience.
If you want an ultra-experienced 1st chair lawyer that has tried over 350 State & Federal Jury Trials with a 90% success rate? Serving in 1st chair in over 100 murder cases, extensive medicare fraud experience having tried the largest case ever in the U. S. for healthcare fraud, Heath Hyde is the man you want when your life, freedom, and assets are on the line.