You’d perhaps be justified in not knowing the ins and outs of government investigations. Most don’t think they’ll be on the receiving end of one. Many even assume that it couldn’t happen to them. The reality is that there are a variety of offenses or activities that could lead to an investigation. You might not be aware of an investigation even while it’s being carried out. Let’s take a look at what government investigations are, what you can be investigated for, and how to protect yourself.
What is a Government Investigation?
It might seem like a simple question, but there’s a lot more to it than you might expect. Besides criminal investigations, the government can also carry out civil investigations. In civil cases, this will typically be related to tax matters. In cases like these, you’ll typically be under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS.
The distinction between civil and criminal investigations is that a finding against you in a civil case will result in penalties that amount to loss of assets. In a criminal investigation, a finding against you would result in prison time or probation, or loss of freedom.
It’s important to remember that there are many agencies at play, and the nature of your investigation will depend on the particulars of your case. With that said, here are a few activities that could result in a government investigation:
- Consumer rights violations
- Insurance fraud
- Tax fraud
- Narcotics trafficking
- Medicaid fraud
- Loan sharking
- Other assorted tax crimes
Will I Be Able to Tell I’m Involved in Government Investigations?
Not necessarily. While there are certain times when you might be tipped off or even times when an agency might alert you, it’s more likely that you won’t know you’re being investigated. The important thing is that if you even suspect you’re under investigation, you should consult with an attorney immediately. You’re much better off retaining counsel and having the situation amount to nothing than getting blindsided by an advanced investigation.
Along with this, an experienced attorney or firm will be able to look into your affairs and see whether you’re at risk of liability. Especially in tax matters, it literally pays to have an attorney on board who can ensure you’re on the level.
Will I Get Arrested?
Again, an arrest is not necessarily going to be the outcome. Many don’t know this, but the majority of government investigations are not criminal, at least at first. It could happen that in the course of looking into a case, though, things will move in that direction.
One of the most important things to remember is that these things follow a set procedure. In the early stages of an investigation, this will all closely resemble standard police work. Authorities and investigators will conduct interviews where appropriate, collect evidence, and build their case in any way they can. In such a situation, you might be tipped off to a potential investigation should one of your associates be interviewed. You could also hear from a firm you work with, letting you know that evidence has been collected. No matter what the particular situation looks like for you, there might be things that clue you in to the fact that you’re being investigated.
Again, at the first hint that you might be under investigation, you should enlist the help of an experienced and skilled attorney right away.
What to Do During a Government Investigation
Along with hiring an attorney, one of the best things you can do for yourself would be to not speak with investigators at all. Some amount of cooperation is required of you, but you can and should only do this under the advice of your lawyer.
Investigators have years of experience at getting information out of those they’re looking into. This could come in the form of threats and intimidation, but it could also be what seems like a simple phone call or polite visit. Everything you say to an investigator can and will be used against you, so your best bet is to speak with a lawyer before saying a word to investigators.
Choosing a Qualified Attorney
This is where things can get a bit tricky. With the large number of review sites that are out there, it can be difficult to know that the attorney or firm you’ve chosen is as qualified as they claim. Many of the review sites are reputable, but some are not, and attorneys prey on this by buying fake reviews.
So how can you be sure that the attorney you’ve chosen is legitimate? It’s best to look at their Google reviews, their overall experience, and their track record. Google reviews are a trustworthy source and will give you a more realistic idea of performance than some other sites that are out there.
Along with reviews, look at how long the firm has been in operation. Dig into some of their past cases and results, especially in the area of your investigation. The sad reality is that not all firms are equal, and your choice of firm could be the difference between a dropped investigation and jail time.
How Norman Spencer Law Group Can Help
The dedicated and skilled attorneys at the Norman Spencer Law Group have literal decades of combined experience in government investigations. We have what it takes to make sure that you get the results you both need and deserve. We’ve represented people from all walks of life, and there really is no case that’s too big or small for us, too complex or direct. We have a proven track record of success at both the state and federal level.
Along with that, we have plenty of experience dealing with prosecutors, Attorneys General, and a variety of other government agencies. So if you’re facing legal trouble, please don’t delay. Get in touch with our team today, and we will get you on your way to where you want and need to be.