What You Should and Shouldn’t Do When Under Federal Investigation Part 2

We’ll wrap up our two-part article by discussing what you shouldn’t do when under a federal investigation, how to handle an encounter with an officer, and why it’s important to retain legal counsel. Read part one for the beginning of the article.

What Not to Do

You may be ready to prove your innocence but it isn’t wise to speak or write to anyone during a federal investigation. Anyone you communicate with can be subpoenaed to testify against you in court. Beyond this, don’t do the following:

Don’t Destroy Evidence

It’s a crime to destroy any investigation-related evidence. In this day and age, it’s fairly easy for investigators to retrieve electronic evidence even if it was deleted or modified. If you want to avoid obstruction of justice charges do not tamper with evidence.

Don’t Lie

No matter what, when questioned, tell the truth. If during the course of a criminal investigation you’re accused of making false statements or representations to a federal agent, police officer, judge, or jury, you can be prosecuted and sent to prison and fined. To avoid any misinterpretation and to protect yourself, you can request to have your interview recorded.

How to Handle an Encounter With Law Enforcement

Our American criminal justice system is adversarial in nature, therefore, it’s important to interact with law enforcement properly. You aren’t required to answer questions, but you must ensure that you’re polite when reiterating your right to decline to answer their questions or consent to a search. If the agent is aggressive and forces their way, refrain from physically challenging them. Again, state your rights, and allow your attorney to challenge their behavior in court. You aren’t under any obligation to return calls or meet them upon their request. Even if you’ve been read your Miranda Rights, don’t speak with them unless you’ve consulted a criminal defense attorney in Tampa.

Why You Should Retain a Lawyer

It’s beneficial to retain a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa for several reasons including lessening your chances of being arrested and formally charged or having your charges reduced. Additionally, a lawyer can help to minimize evidence against you during a trial and can ensure that, if they have a warrant, you can turn yourself in instead of having law enforcement bombard your home or work to arrest you.

For a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm at (813) 712-8736 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Case Results

Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon Dismissed

The Defendant was charged with Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon after his estranged wife claimed that he tried to ram her vehicle with his. After providing sufficient evidence to the State contradicting the wife’s
Show More

State Dropped Sex Offense

The Defendant was arrested and charged with Lewd and Lascivious Battery on a minor under 16 after impregnating his 14 years old girlfriend. After negotiations with the State by showing the State the evidence of
Show More


The Client was charged with felony Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon for pointing a firearm at another citizen. After working with the State, the Client was allowed to enter into a pre-trial diversion program
Show More