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Federal Drug Pre-Arrest Investigations in DC

It is common for the government to conduct an extensive investigation before indicting or arresting someone in a federal drug case. It is standard practice for federal law enforcement to do an extensive investigation before a person is arrested.

The length of time the federal government investigates before an arrest in drug cases depends on the type of drug case. Usually, the larger investigations involving more people are long-term and could sometimes take years.

If a person learns the government is investigating them or their company for drug-related charges, the first step they should take is to call a DC Federal Drug lawyer.

Pre-Trial Investigations

Usually, the FBI or DEA conducts drug investigations for the federal government. Sometimes, the ATF is involved as well. Sometimes, those agencies partner with local law enforcements.

The tools and tactics they use are extensive and run the gamut from wiretaps, pen registers that collect the phone numbers that called from a particular phone, recorded phone conversations, physical surveillance, or GPS monitors on vehicles. Documents are reviewed which could include bank records, emails, receipts, and interviews with witnesses, including attempted interviews with the target of the investigation.

The government is likely able to access the person under investigation’s emails, phone records, banking records, work records, and records of employment. They may try to access and seize the individual’s telephone, laptop, or other computers. The government might try to place a tap on their phone, listen to their phone calls, and/or they try to put a GPS locator on their car.

When the government gets access to certain information; the question is whether it can be suppressed. In other words, keep it from coming out in court or from otherwise being used.

What To Do if Agents Arrive at Your Residence

If agents come to the door and want to look around, the first question is, do they have a search warrant? If they have a search warrant then let them in, be very polite about it, and do not interfere with what they are doing.

If the police search your home and it is early in the morning, you should contact a lawyer, not say anything to the police, and do not interfere with what they are doing. Also, do not attempt to alter or destroy anything at the home. If they want to speak to you, the answer is a very polite no. Declining to answer any questions will not hurt you and answering their questions cannot help you.

Trying to show law enforcement that you have nothing to hide is the wrong attitude. If law enforcement is at your house trying to question you, they already believe you are guilty. There is nothing that you can say to make them think that you are not guilty.

The fact that you are innocent of any charge has no bearing on what happens in an interview with law enforcement agents. They are going to try to get you to confess your purported crime and they are going to twist your words. If the interview is not recorded, they may misinterpret what you said by accident or deliberately. The best thing to do is to just be silent.

If the police do not have an arrest warrant, there is no reason for you to go to a police station to answer questions. If the police do have an arrest warrant, there is no reason for you to answer questions, although you need to go with them to the police station.

If you are in jail, there is not much you can do while the police are searching your home. Call your lawyer and tell the lawyer what is going on and let the lawyer can handle the situation.

When to Contact a Lawyer

As soon as a person suspects they are under investigation, they should contact an attorney, because there is no possible way to handle this situation on their own. The next step is to make sure to not talk to anybody about the allegation.

Look for an attorney who is hard-working because the success of any case is a direct result of the amount of time invested to litigate it. Find someone who is creative and has a lot of experience dealing with federal drug cases.

A lawyer who is experienced in dealing with these types of case definitely helps in all aspects of the representation. It is also important to be represented by someone that the defendant can trust. It is important to try to establish that relationship when finding a lawyer that they feel they can communicate with and who can communicate with them.