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If you’re being investigated by the government, then you know that there are things that you should do in order to cooperate so that you aren’t charged with any further crimes. However, there are also a few things that you should keep in mind that you shouldn’t do if you’re under a federal investigation so that you don’t spend more time in prison or receive other charges. Keep in mind that a federal investigation is a bit different than one that you might go through with a state or city official.
When you learn that you’re under investigation by the federal government, you should avoid talking to anyone aside from your attorney. Even if you’re talking to your family members or your best friends, you don’t need to mention anything about the investigation. The things that you discuss with the investigators should be kept between yourself and the officers. However, you should consider talking to an attorney so that you have someone in your corner who can advise you as to what could happen in court and how to proceed with your trial. Your attorney can listen to the evidence that has been submitted against you and listen to your side of the story to determine the best way to proceed with the case, such as accepting a plea deal or fighting with defenses against the prosecution. An obstruction of justice charge could be knocking on your doorstep if you do talk to other people. You could also try to get others to change pieces of information in order to suit your trial, which could result in charges as well. This is sometimes done when people are trying to find witnesses and want to persuade them to remember facts a certain way instead of the real way in which they occurred. If you talk to someone about your investigation, then the person could be subpoenaed to go to court. Officers can also talk to those you talk to and discover that you’ve tried to change the details about the investigation.
Another thing that you shouldn’t do if you’re under a federal investigation is to destroy documents about your case. You will likely be given documents from the investigators about your charges. These should be given to your attorney to keep in a file as they can help in your case when you go to court. If there are any documents that you already have pertaining to your case, you should try to keep them in a file as well. These details can sometimes be beneficial for your case when you go to court, especially if they offer an alibi for the charges that you have received or if there is information pertaining to someone else possibly committing the crime instead of you. If you have documents that present evidence against you, then you should keep these as well, giving them to your attorney so that you can plan a defense that is in your benefit. If you do destroy anything that could be considered as evidence, then you could be charged with obstruction of justice. This means that you could spend more time in prison or be subject to higher fines.
Electronic devices including computers and phones often have details on them that federal investigators can easily find. Sometimes, it’s this information that can lead to your charges or the reason as to why you’re under an investigation. If you try to destroy the electronic evidence against you, don’t think that you’re in the clear as federal officials can easily track down these details. The only way that you would be able to destroy this kind of evidence would be to destroy the hard drive of the device. However, if investigators have already discovered information, then they likely have their own copies and don’t care about the hard drive of your device. You should also avoid altering the information on your files as this could result in just as many issues as deleting documents.
Keep in mind that you should avoid talking to people. However, if you talk to someone, it should only be your attorney. If you do let something slip about the details of your charges, then you need to tell the truth about all aspects in the event that they are asked to testify in the case.