What Should You Do If You Receive A "Target Letter" From The Government?
I just received a “Target Letter” from the Government, what do I do?
Often the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) will issue “Target Letters” to participants in activity that they have decided is a conspiracy to violate the law. Often it is wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, bribery, or some sort of conspiracy to violate the law.
The purpose of that Target Letter is to get your attention and to invite you to voluntarily talk to the FBI or DOJ.
If the DOJ has decided you are a “Target,” then you need to carefully evaluate the dangers of talking to them without first retaining an attorney.
If you do decide to meet with the DOJ, they will likely want to tape your interview and anything you say during that interview “can and will be used against you in a court of law.” You may have “the right to remain silent” but, if you meet with the Government without an attorney, you will not likely have “the ability to remain silent.”
People who think that they can “talk their way out of the situation” often do not recognize the gravity of their problem until it is too late in a federal criminal investigation.
When the DOJ gets a search warrant to seize evidence or even to request a grand jury subpoena, they already have to have substantial, detailed information about the illegal activity under scrutiny. In short, they have a good idea about what happened, who did it, and why.
The safer way to proceed is to meet with an attorney before you make a decision about talking to the DOJ under a Target Letter situation. Find an attorney who is experienced in the area under investigation and explain the situation to him first. Then, the two of you can make a decision about how to proceed with your new “Target Status.”
An attorney might be able to negotiate certain protections for your statement that could avoid the situation where your statement to the DOJ is the best evidence they have against you at a trial.
To discuss your case with the Dillon Law Group, call our office at 404.713.3283. We are glad to discuss your situation to see if we can be of assistance.