Anytime law enforcement agents want to talk to you, it is important to understand your rights as a citizen. No one is required to talk to any law enforcement agent. The better course is to hire counsel and have your attorney deal directly with these agents. Anything you say can be used against you even without you having been read the Miranda warnings if you are not in custody. To avoid later issues, advise them that you desire to speak with a lawyer before any “conversation” or questioning. Never lie or “smudge the truth”, this is a separate Federal offense. It is best to say nothing other than "I want a lawyer".
You must retain counsel immediately, this is known as a target letter and it is telling you the Federal Government is about to charge you with a federal crime.
Absolutely it matters, Federal cases are not remotely like a state criminal case. You need a lawyer who is fully experienced in dealing with the Federal government and its prosecutors. The average state court lawyer is not equipped to handle the complexity which exists in a Federal prosecution. Federal criminal defense is much like a specialty in that it requires a detailed knowledge of the Federal statutes, rules and practices. The time frames in Federal court are different than state court and the stakes are generally much higher. Your lawyer should be able to explain in detail the overall process and how Federal proceedings specifically will be conducted. If your lawyer cannot do this off the top of his head, find one who can.
Most lawyers will give some type of free initial consultation. But remember that both a lawyer’s time and knowledge are the commodities which are for sale, so the conference will likely be just long enough to get a feel for the issues and answer some specific questions. This can usually be done fairly quickly if the lawyer is experienced in this field and knows what to ask. Once retained more detail conversations will be held as the case progresses.
You should contact a competent lawyer immediately. One mistake is waiting to see what happens. Often there are actions which may be taken by the lawyer which will affect what happens, including the preclusion of charges being filed or affect those which are filed. There is no advantage to waiting and indeed, waiting can be detrimental because it may lead to having to correct problems which could have been prevented earlier.
I have more than 36 years experience in both state and Federal criminal defense work.
Yes, I have a broad range of experience with all types of Federal criminal cases including for example, general criminal prosecutions both violent and non violent under Title 18, drug cases under Title 21 and firearms cases under Titles 18 and 26. Also immigration prosecutions under Title 8 of the United States Code.
Your case will be referred to a U.S. Probation Officer for the creation of a Presentence Investigation Report. This is a document on which the Court will rely, in part, to calculate a sentence. Your lawyer should also prepare a sentencing memorandum for the court to considerate. You will have the opportunity to review and note objections to the Presentence Report that you and your lawyer should discuss.
Yes, I have been retained to be local counsel for out of jurisdiction lawyers in Federal cases and have been likewise retained to be co-counsel for lawyers not experienced in Federal matters.
My Federal criminal practice is not limited to Oklahoma. I have been admitted to practice on a case by case basis in other Federal jurisdictions including the Central District of California based in Los Angeles and others. I am also admitted to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
My office telephone is 405.232.2953 and my email is CampbellLawOffice@ionet.net. Or click on the contact page here. I am always ready and able to assist in Federal prosecutions.