Federal drug cases typically involve a long-term investigation. Many times, the federal government uses undercover agents, law enforcement officers, or an informant. When investigating the case, they may use wiretaps or video surveillance. They frequently spend months pulling the case together in gathering evidence against the person that they are targeting. The government usually puts significant resources behind it and collect a lot of evidence in support of their prosecution.
Read below to learn more about investigating Maryland federal drug crimes. And if you believe you are under investigation, reach out to an accomplished drug lawyer.
There are multiple agencies involved in investigating Maryland federal drug cases. The lawyers are from the Department of Justice, which might typically be the US Attorney’s Office. The law enforcement agencies involved are usually the FBI or sometimes the DEA. Every now and then, the ATF or Secret Service may be involved.
The most common mistake individuals make during the course of the federal investigation is making statements to federal officials before they retain counsel. In some drug investigations, the FBI might come in executing a search warrant on a house or place of business. While they are there, they will ask the target questions and frequently the targeted individual will give answers to those questions. Those answers will be used against them down the road in court.
If a person is approached by the FBI, they should tell them they want to have an attorney present. They should not make any kind of statement unless they have a chance to talk to their attorney.
Federal prosecutors and judges treat federal drug cases like other cases. They take them seriously and they pursue them fairly aggressively. The sentence the judge has imposed can be lengthy. If a person is in federal court, they need to expect an aggressive prosecution and potentially a stiff sentence if convicted. Therefore, it is crucial for a person under investigation to seek the services of a seasoned lawyer as soon as possible.
To develop a defense strategy, lawyers will first talk with the defendant and try to get an understanding of what that happened, their perspective on what the investigation is about to gather, and talk to all the potential witnesses in support of the defendant’s position. Then the next step is usually to get discovery from the government. Discovery is when law enforcement turns over information that they have gathered in their investigation and tend to use at trial.
They have to sit through that evidence and figure out if there are defenses that can be developed that are viable and could actually win if they go to trial. If there are opportunities to file motions to suppress either the evidence because it was seized illegally or statements because they were taken illegally, that might also help to build a defense case as well.
Call a lawyer about building a defense and investigating Maryland federal drug crimes.