How Do You Know You're Under Federal Investigation? | Michigan Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers (2023)

If you commit an offense that violates federal law, rather than having Michigan police involved, a federal agency will handle the investigation, before potentially turning the case over to a U.S. attorney. If you know that you are under investigation, you can begin taking steps to defend your freedom, beginning with hiring an experienced defense lawyer. But how do you know when you are under federal investigation? Some potential indicators are outlined below, but if you want to know for sure whether or not you are under investigation, work with a federal defense attorney who has experience defending clients in the early stages of criminal cases. The Grabel & Associates team is available 24/7 to begin working with you or your loved one, so contact us now by phone or online to get started.

(Video) What Are Your Rights When You're Facing a Federal Criminal Investigation?

Have You Been Questioned by a Federal Agent?

If you have been questioned, or a loved one has been questioned, it is already a good idea to contact a lawyer. Even if you are unsure if you are the suspect of an investigation or just otherwise involved in the investigation, it is critical to have a lawyer on your side protecting you. With potential jail time, fines, and more on the line, it is crucial that you take action right away to defend your rights and your freedom, and the Grabel & Associates team is available 24/7 for clients statewide so that you don’t have to wait to get an experienced attorney on your side.

(Video) Under Federal Investigation? Here's 4 Tell-Tale Signs

Call our toll free hotline at 1-800-342-7896 or contact us online right away. We can provide you with more information about federal defense and even provide you with a free initial case consultation as soon as you get in touch. Don’t wait and risk going into an investigation without a lawyer, contact our firm right away.

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Is A Federal Agency Investigating Me?

Usually, you will find out you are under investigation when agents come to your door, or otherwise approach you to ask you questions about a case you are suspected in. You may also hear from others that agents are asking questions about you. Agents may tell you that you are the subject of their investigation, or may simply ask questions without letting you know how you are connected to the case. Either way, it is important that you get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible if you have been questioned in connection with a federal case.

(Video) Three things to know about Federal Charges

If agents come with a warrant, it is much more certain that you are the subject of the investigation. To learn more about combatting a warrant and the other tactics agencies like the FBI or DEA could use against you, contact our federal defense lawyers now. We know how to handle federal investigations and charges, and can help you take the steps necessary to defend your rights throughout every stage of your case.

(Video) How do I know if I am being investigated for federal charges?

Federal Target Letters and Federal Charges in Michigan

In some cases it will be very evident that you are the subject of an investigation, because at a certain point, you may receive a letter stating that you are the target of a federal investigation. These target letters often will ask you to come in and meet with investigators or a member of the U.S. attorney’s office. You should never respond to a target letter without first securing a legal representative who can guide you through what to say and do to help your case. Our lawyers will do whatever it takes to protect your best interests and are available now to start working with you.

(Video) What Happens in a Federal Criminal Case?

Our Approach to MI Federal Investigations

At Grabel & Associates, we know how crucial it is to have competent legal representation in complex federal cases. There are few criminal defense lawyers who can represent you in a federal case, and even fewer with a proven track record. Our licensed federal attorneys understand federal law and know the strategies that work in cases involving fraud, white-collar offenses, drug crime, conspiracy, and more. As soon as you get in touch with our team, we will begin walking through the next steps you need to take if you want to get the results you want in your case. Contact us now to learn more.

(Video) What NOT to Do If You Are Under Federal Criminal Investigation

Contact Grabel & Associates for Federal Investigation Defense

To speak with a member of our qualified team, call 1-800-342-7896 toll free now. We are available 24/7, and can also be reached online if you are not near a phone. Why wait, with so much potentially on the line. Contact our federal pre-file defense lawyers right away.

(Video) Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys


How do you know if you are under FBI investigation? ›

Is A Federal Agency Investigating Me? Usually, you will find out you are under investigation when agents come to your door, or otherwise approach you to ask you questions about a case you are suspected in. You may also hear from others that agents are asking questions about you.

How do you know if the feds are building a case on you? ›

One of the most common signs that you are under federal investigation is if agents from the FBI, IRS, or another federal agency show up at your door unexpectedly. They may come to ask you questions about a case they are working on or serve you with a search warrant.

What is the process for a federal investigation? ›

Collecting Evidence in Federal Investigations

Possible witnesses will be interviewed. Surveillance will be conducted. Documentation will be analyzed. Federal investigators will use any means possible to collect evidence they believe will prove you committed a crime.

How long does federal investigations take? ›

A Federal investigation can last upwards of 5 years due to most Federal Statute of Limitations prohibiting the Government from charging or indicting someone after that time period. Typically, Federal investigations take no longer than one – two (1-2) years.

What are 4 things that the FBI investigates? ›

The FBI, the lead agency for enforcing civil rights law, aggressively investigates hate crime, color of law abuses by public officials, human trafficking and involuntary servitude, and freedom of access to clinic entrances violations.

How does a case turn federal? ›

Any crime that occurs when crossing state lines can warrant federal charges. For example, traveling with drugs from Texas to New Mexico, or kidnapping a child and driving out of the state. Additionally, even if the defendant doesn't physically cross state borders, any crime that does can still be a federal offense.

How serious is a federal case? ›

Federal crimes are taken very seriously by law enforcement and the federal court and often result in severe penalties. If you've been charged with a federal crime, it's essential that you contact an experienced federal criminal attorney who can represent you.

Can the Feds see your messages? ›

It depends on rulings made by state and federal courts. Only Ohio, Florida, and the First Circuit Court (which includes Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island) have decisively ruled that police need to get a warrant before reading your text messages.

What should you not do when under federal investigation? ›

With that in mind, here are five things you should not do if you're under federal investigation.
  • Fail to Hire a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer. ...
  • Fail to Enforce Your Rights. ...
  • Lie to a Federal Investigator or Prosecutor. ...
  • Discuss Your Case Online or with Friends. ...
  • Destroy Evidence.
Aug 20, 2019

What are the 5 investigative process? ›

These include collection, analysis, theory development and validation, suspect identification and forming reasonable grounds, and taking action to arrest, search, and lay charges.

What are the 5 steps of investigation process? ›

Here are the five steps.
  • Define a Question to Investigate. As scientists conduct their research, they make observations and collect data. ...
  • 2. Make Predictions. Based on their research and observations, scientists will often come up with a hypothesis. ...
  • Gather Data. ...
  • Analyze the Data. ...
  • Draw Conclusions.

What is the success rate of federal cases? ›

Currently federal prosecutors tout above a 95% conviction rate. This is primarily due to the fact that most cases never make it to trial.

Why would an investigation take so long? ›

An investigation will continue until authorities have gathered enough evidence to proceed forward with the case or decide that there isn't enough evidence on which to proceed. This might involve waiting for the turnaround of forensic evidence or locating and interviewing witnesses, victims, or additional suspects.

Are federal investigations public? ›

Such information is protected from public disclosure, in accordance with current law and Department of Justice and FBI policy. This policy preserves the integrity of the investigation and the privacy of individuals involved in the investigation prior to any public charging for violations of the law.

How long can the FBI investigate you? ›

Statute of Limitations in Federal Crime Cases

So if you have still not been charged after the time set by the statute of limitations, the investigation is effectively over. For most federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years.

What determines FBI Most Wanted? ›

A committee decides which of the field offices' nominees are most dangerous to society, and whose cases would benefit the most from added publicity.

What kind of crimes does the FBI investigate? ›

The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime/drugs, white-collar crime, violent crimes and major offenders, and applicant matters.

Do federal agents contact you by phone? ›

U.S. government agencies (such as USCIS, the IRS, FBI, etc.) will not call you and ask for money, or threaten to arrest you.

Why would the feds pick up a case? ›

Federal law enforcement agencies will investigate a crime only if there is reason to believe that the crime violated federal law. Second: The nature of the federal offense may determine which agency undertakes the investigation.

What are three example cases that would probably be heard in federal court? ›

More specifically, federal courts hear criminal, civil, and bankruptcy cases.

How much money is considered a federal offense? ›

if you ask how much stolen money is regarded as a federal offense; it's crucial to understand how much money and property are involved in federal crimes. This means that penalties and jail sentences are feasible for any sum of at least $1000, regardless of whether it is real estate, public records, or other assets.

What percent of federal cases go to trial? ›

Only 2% of federal criminal defendants go to trial, and most who do are found guilty.

What is the most common federal crime? ›

Cases involving drugs, immigration, firearms, and fraud, theft, or embezzlement accounted for 83.1% of all cases reported to the Commission. Drug offenses overtook immigration offenses as the most common federal crime in fiscal year 2021, accounting for 31.3% of the total caseload.

What are the most serious federal crimes? ›

Treason is considered the most serious criminal offense that a person can commit against the federal government. People are guilty of treason if they: levy war against the U.S., or. give aid or comfort to an enemy of the U.S.

What cases Cannot be heard in federal court? ›

Federal courts typically only hear certain types of cases that involve the following issues:
  • Interpretation of aspects of the US Constitution.
  • Federal criminal cases.
  • Military legal issues not handled in the military justice system.
  • Violations of securities laws.
  • Intellectual property law, including copyrights and patents.

Can the Feds tap your phone without you knowing? ›

The government can only use a wiretap in certain cases, some of which include those involving terrorism crimes, drug dealing, counterfeiting, misuse of passports, and aircraft parts fraud. The prosecutor with the Department of Justice has to file a request with a federal judge before they can tap your phones.

Can feds see deleted messages? ›

If you simply delete a text, they are still available. And there are common forensics tools used by both law enforcement and civil investigators to recover them.

Can police read your texts without you knowing? ›

In fact, in most states in America, a police officer is allowed to read over your texts and peruse other personal information on your phone whenever they want. The Fourth Amendment privacy rights and protections do not apply here. Right now, police officers can apprehend you for small crimes.

How do you deal with being investigated? ›

Steps to Take When You're Being Investigated
  1. Collect Information. Workers can't hope to protect themselves during an investigation if they don't know what allegations they face. ...
  2. Avoid Criminal Charges. Getting fired from a job you enjoy and value is always devastating. ...
  3. Don't Sign Any Documents.

Is it a federal offense to lie to a federal officer? ›

Section 1001 – Lying to Federal Agents. It is a crime to lie to federal agents at any time. It doesn't matter if you have been sworn in under oath, and it doesn't matter if you've been read your Miranda rights. It doesn't matter if your lie actually had a detrimental effect on the investigation.

What are the 6 basic investigative questions? ›

These six, one-word questions are an excellent way to help you evaluate an information source:
  • Who? Who wrote/created this information, and who are they in terms of this information and in this context? ...
  • What? What is the source? ...
  • When? When was this information gathered, posted, or published? ...
  • Where? ...
  • Why? ...
  • How?
Feb 23, 2023

What is the first step in the investigative process? ›


In the event of an incident, immediate action to be taken may include making the area safe, preserving the scene and notifying relevant parties. The investigation begins even at this early stage, by collecting perishable evidence, e.g. CCTV tapes, samples.

What is the golden hour in crime investigation? ›

The golden hour is the term used for the period immediately after an offence has been committed, when material is readily available in high volumes to the police.

How does the FBI contact you? ›

An official FBI special agent will never provide you with a badge number or telephone number to attempt to verify their identity without additional verification. Instead, they will direct you to the official FBI website to locate the local field office's telephone number and encourage you to make a call.

What does it mean when FBI is investigating you? ›

If a crime is brought to the attention of federal authorities, whether by a victim of the crime or a witness to it (e.g., a bank robbery), a federal law enforcement agency will undertake an investigation to determine whether a federal offense was committed and, if so, who committed it.

How long does the FBI background investigation take? ›

Most background checks can be completed between three days to one week. FBI checks usually take around 30 days. Although some instant background checks are available, these rely on databases that can be incomplete or inaccurate. Instant criminal records databases, in particular, often contain many errors.

Can FBI agents tell you they are in the FBI? ›

Can you tell people you're in the FBI? No cop or agent is required to tell anyone what they do for a living unless it is required in the course of their official duties.

How does the FBI tap your phone? ›

If a federal agency like the FBI or DEA wants to tap a phone it has to apply for a wiretap. A wiretap is a term that explains what the agency intends to do. Before wireless communications, agents would physical cut into a wire or “tap” the wire that carried a conversation from one phone to another.

What kind of crime does the FBI investigate? ›

The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence, cyber crime, public corruption, civil rights, organized crime/drugs, white-collar crime, violent crimes and major offenders, and applicant matters.

What rights does a suspect have during an investigation? ›

You have the right to be informed of the offence that you are suspected of having committed (whether you are in arrest or not), including where and when it is thought it was committed, why it is suspected that you committed the offence and why it was believed to be necessary to arrest and detain you.

Are FBI investigations public record? ›

Can I obtain detailed information about a current FBI investigation that I see in the news? No. Such information is protected from public disclosure, in accordance with current law and Department of Justice and FBI policy.

What does it mean for a person to be on federal hold? ›

A federal hold is when the federal government has an interest in a person, potentially to bring charges against them. If a federal hold is in place when a person wants to post bond on a state case, that would not be a good idea.

What does FBI look at when applying? ›

This important process includes a credit check, a criminal record assessment, and medical and drug testing. The FBI may also interview your neighbors, family, friends, and former coworkers to assess your character and to determine whether you're ready for the job and eligible for top-secret security clearance.

What can cause you to fail a FBI background check? ›

There are plenty of reasons a person may not pass a background check, including criminal history, education discrepancies, poor credit history, damaged driving record, false employment history, and a failed drug test.

How thorough is an FBI background check? ›

The FBI background check will include a comprehensive criminal record check against the FBI's national database, which will include arrest and conviction history, as well as traffic violations and even parking tickets.

Can the FBI look at your phone? ›

Short answer, no. The only reason the FBI would ever “watch” your phone would be during a wire tap which includes a long legal process to get approved, sufficient evidence that illegal activity is occurring, and everyone involved must follow strict rules and guidelines as to what they can and cannot listen to.

Can FBI agents see me through my camera? ›

No. FBI Agents follow the law just like any other law enforcement agency and no law enforcement agency would be tapping into your computer camera.

Do FBI agents look at your search history? ›

They only look into your internet history if you have public information out there. The public info will be investigated - such as your Facebook, etc. Yet, they do not review your internet history unless there is some form of internet crime that allows for them to review your actual history.


1. What Happens in a Federal Criminal Case?
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2. What NOT to Do If You Are Under Federal Criminal Investigation
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3. Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
4. What to Do when Facing Federal Criminal Charges - Federal Criminal Lawyer
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5. Federal Criminal Cases - 4 Things You Need To Know
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6. What Not to Do If You Are Involved in a Federal Criminal Investigation KaiserDillon PLLC
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