We regularlyÂ represent peopleÂ or businesses who are contacted by government agencies in connection withÂ a civil or criminalÂ investigation.
It’s anÂ increasingly common experience in our modern worldÂ as governments continueÂ to stretch their powers and resources; adopt and employ the latest technology; share information and cooperate across borders; blur the line between civil and criminal enforcement; and rely on criminal laws to control the way people and businesses behave.
You mayÂ not even know you’re mixed up in somethingÂ until you’re served with aÂ subpoena or search warrant orÂ until you’re contactedÂ byÂ a law-enforcement agent. Even afterward, you may not believe you’re a target, or you may not be sure.Â You mayÂ just feel anxious, afraid, or confused. You mayÂ wonder what it all means and what will happen next.
But please understand something: you need a lawyer. There is a criminal investigation underway or a civil investigation that may turn into aÂ criminal one if it hasn’t already. The government may see you as a target, a witness, or something in between, but you need a lawyer to represent you, and you should not deal with the government on your own.
So contact us. We will immediately step between you and the government, undertake our own investigation,Â and get to the bottom of it. Just because the government says something doesn’t make it so, and we take pride in pushing back on investigations and shutting them down or plucking our clientsÂ from the frayÂ as often—andÂ as quickly—as possible.
Here are some commonÂ tools in the government’s toolbox.
These include grand-jury subpoenas that are issued on behalf of a grand jury in aÂ county or district, but theyÂ also includeÂ civil investigative demands (CIDs) that are issued byÂ government agencies.
TheseÂ subpoenas order you to personally appear before a grand jury or government agencyÂ and give testimony under oath.
But you should consult a lawyer first, and you should not discuss the subject matter of the subpoenaÂ with anyoneÂ until you’ve done so. YourÂ testimony, no matter how harmless you think it, mayÂ implicateÂ youÂ in some theory of wrongdoing, and ifÂ so then itÂ can and willÂ be used against you to advance the government’s agenda. In some cases, youÂ may be able to testify without consequence. In others, you’ll need to invoke your constitutional rights to avoid being forcedÂ to testify. But in every case, you should consultÂ an experienced defense attorney to determine the best course of action.
These include grand-jury subpoenas, administrative-agency subpoenas, and civil investigative demands (CIDs) that require you to produce data, documents, or other things for the government to review. The subpoena will include an attachment that lists or describes the documents or things that you must produce.
For example, the governmentÂ can use theseÂ subpoenas to obtain records that identify the owner ofÂ an electronic device, including a cell phone,Â as well as records ofÂ the numbers you’ve called or sent messages to; the numbers that haveÂ called or messaged you; when those communications took place; and evenÂ where you wereÂ at the time.
AsÂ in the case of aÂ subpoena for testimony, youÂ should consult a lawyer before responding to a subpoena for documents or other things. You should neither ignore it norÂ attempt to respond toÂ it yourself becauseÂ youÂ may expose yourself to serious legal liability.
The government may also investigate a matter byÂ interviewing witnesses and getting statements from them or by tapping its vast network of confidential informants. Some informants provide information to work off their own legal problems while others do it in exchange for financial compensation. And you may never know it.
The government will often try to interview targets to get them toÂ incriminate themselves. That may seem likeÂ a first step ofÂ investigation, but it’s often the last. In one common scenario, the government will approachÂ and ask a series of questions that it already knows the answers to. If your words condemn youÂ then it will wrapÂ its investigation up withÂ your confession, and ifÂ they don’t then it willÂ use any inconsistencies as leverage against you.
That’s why you should never agree to such interviewsÂ without representation. The government has a license to lie to you, and it may bend or even break the rules to make a case. Save your words for your lawyer, and let him or her communicate anything you’d like to say. It’s the prudent way to protect yourself andÂ avoid misunderstandings.
These are court orders that authorizeÂ the government to search and seize you or your property orÂ to intercept and record your private communications or location in real time.Â To obtainÂ a search warrant, the government must demonstrate probable cause to believeÂ its search will yield evidence of a crime, and it must describe,Â in detail, the places it willÂ search and the things it will seize. To obtain a wiretap order, the government must also explainÂ why it can’t make do with the other,Â less intrusive tools of investigation as well asÂ how it will minimize its surveillance to what’s necessary.
As a former federal prosecutor,Â Mr. Dabiri has conducted government investigations,Â and he knows the playbook. So contactÂ us today.Â We’ll assess theÂ situationÂ and determineÂ how best toÂ proceed, and at each step ofÂ the way, we’ll stand between you and the governmentÂ to protect yourÂ interests and well-being.