The Federal Criminal Investigation Process

federal criminal investigation processThanks to movies and television, most people have an automatic idea that comes to mind when they hear terms such as federal prosecution, federal crime or federal investigation. These images range from courtroom sketches of defendants in front of the judge, federal agents carrying boxes out of a business, and, of course, the infamous “perp walk.”

While none of this is necessarily inaccurate, it is important to understand that these images are part of a much larger process. The entire process starts with an initial investigation. Understanding more about a federal criminal investigation can help a person understand what to expect if they are facing this situation.

The Investigation

In any federal criminal case, the first step is a thorough investigation. This is designed to gather and provide U.S. Attorneys with the evidence necessary to prove the crime in question.

These investigations are handled by a number well-known agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; however, they may also be handled by lesser known entities, such as Homeland Security Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service.

Gathering Evidence

The majority of federal investigations require a private home or other privately owned property to be searched to secure evidence. As a result, federal agents have to take the proper steps to make sure they don’t violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits illegal searches and seizures. This means that the agency handling the case will have to secure a search warrant first.

To acquire a search warrant, the investigating agency has to be supported by probable cause that is secured from a federal judge who is “neutral and detached.” If there is a failure by the federal law enforcement to take this important step, it will likely result in the evidence being gathered during the investigation being suppressed, or, declared inadmissible when the case goes to court.

Prosecuting the Case

After the investigation and evidence gathering process are complete, all of the evidence gathered is given to the federal prosecutor. This is who is going to examine everything presented and determine if the government should present the case to a federal grand jury.

If you are currently under investigation for a federal crime, it is in your best interest to consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as you can. They can outline your options and help to protect your rights. Selecting the right criminal defense lawyer in Miami is an important decision so make sure to take your time and find someone who is capable of handling the situation.

To learn more about criminal defense, or to discuss your situation, contact The Hansen Law Firm in Miami.

Author: M. G. Hansen

Marcia Giordano Hansen has been practicing law for almost 20 years. During this time, she has worked for the government at the Miami Dade Public Defender’s office representing indigent clients accused for state criminal offense; for an insurance defense firm wherein she represented doctors sued for medical malpractice and entities sued for negligence; and for a private white collar criminal defense firm practicing white collar crime defending individuals accused of social security fraud, Medicare fraud, drug trafficking and other federal crimes. Her wide range of knowledge in these different areas of law, coupled with the teachings of some of the most well respected legal minds in the country gives her a unique skill set which has benefited all of her clients resulting in victory and success in each case she has handled. Mrs. Hansen, in her own practice, has handled criminal defense cases, personal injury cases and real estate disputes. She speaks Spanish, French and is proficient in Italian which enables her to represent clients from all over the world. She is dedicated to the growth and success of Hansen & Taylor and prides herself in giving VIP treatment to each and every client. Marcia lives in Coral Gables with her husband and daughter. She is an avid sports fan, an animal lover and political junkie. She is also a supporter and member of the Board of Executive Relations for the Special Olympics of Miami, an organization dedicated to the well being of children and adults with disabilities.

What Past Clients Say

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I was referred to Mrs. Hansen by another lawyer with different expertise. From the very moment we first met and spoke about my case Marcia was a doll. Very knowledgeable in her field and good at explaining things in layman’s terms for those unfamiliar with legal jargon. I highly recommend her for any criminal cases. She was great at negotiating a plea deal for me and I’m satisfied with the outcome of this case. I’m very pleased with my decision to hire her as my representation.

Previous Client 5 September 27, 2016


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