Houston Federal Investigations Lawyer
While federal investigations bear some resemblance to state-level criminal investigations, they can be far more complex. They typically involve multiple federal agencies and target crimes that may have been committed by multiple individuals acting in tandem. Federal investigations may be conducted for a variety of potential crimes, including fraud, insider-trading violations, public corruption and perjury.
Federal investigations unfold differently than state-level investigations. Whereas “normal” criminal investigations typically begin with the arrest and arraignment of the suspect, federal investigations may proceed for months before any suspects are named or charged. This can create an atmosphere of confusion and tension. As such, an individual who is concerned that he may become a target of an ongoing federal investigation should contact an experienced Houston federal investigations lawyer.
Possible Penalties for Federal Investigations in Houston
Federal investigations often produce charges that carry potentially serious penalties. Depending upon the amount of money involved, the various types of fraud that come under the purview of federal authorities may be charged as felonies under federal law. These crimes may carry fines of $10,000 or more and federal prison terms of several years. Federal investigations that involve money laundering, drug conspiracy or drug distribution charges may carry fines of up to $250,000 and prison terms of two to 20 years.
In addition, federal investigations can produce charges that are only tangentially related to the crime under investigation. For instance, a federal investigation witness who gives false or misleading statements during an interview with a federal official may be charged with perjury. To prevent such complications, any individual who becomes involved in a federal investigation should contact a Houston federal investigations attorney.
Defenses for Targets of Federal Investigations in Houston
Every federal investigation involves three main types of persons of interest. These individuals may have been involved in the circumstances surrounding the potential crime being investigated and are important to the ongoing investigation.
- Witnesses are “bystanders” who may have material knowledge of the crime or its perpetrators. They may be interviewed by federal officials and testify before a grand jury.
- Subjects may have committed criminal acts or engaged in wrongdoing. More investigation is needed to determine whether they should be charged with a crime.
- Targets are considered the likely perpetrators of the crime that led to the investigation. Once enough evidence has been collected, they will be charged in court.
Since these three roles are fluid, an individual who is involved in any aspect of a federal investigation should retain a qualified criminal defense lawyer. One poorly-worded statement may be enough to turn a witness into a subject or target.
Call a Federal Investigations Attorney in Houston
Houston attorney Gary Miller has devoted his career to the law. He is a former chief prosecutor in Harris County and is therefore an expert on criminal law. Mr. Miller’s extensive experience makes him a formidable representative for clients who are involved in federal investigations. He will fight hard to make sure that your constitutional rights are protected during a federal investigation.
To learn more about the ramifications of federal investigations, please reach out to the Miller Law Group, PLLC today at 713-866-6233 and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced defense attorney.