What to Do When Facing a Search Warrant

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Illionois defense attorney, Illinois federal crimes lawyer, Illinois criminal defense lawyerUnder the Fourth Amendment, investigators must have a search warrant in order to search your home. When a judge gives them this warrant, you have no choice but to allow them into your home to search within the provisions of the warrant. The things that you do and do not do during a search can have a significant impact on your case. The very first thing you should do is get a lawyer. A federal criminal attorney will ensure your rights are upheld and help you prepare for anything that might come next.

What a Search Warrant Means

Many people do not know what a search warrant means. Does it mean an arrest will follow? What are the investigators looking for?

If investigators are searching your home, they likely suspect you, or someone in your home, of a federal crime. If they needed information on someone else, they usually issue a subpoena to get the information from you.

During a search, investigators can take anything they find that is listed in the search warrant as evidence. You typically will not be told when you will get it back. However, the government is supposed to return your belongings as soon as they are deemed no longer necessary for the case.

Sometimes, this means you will not get the items back until the case is over. When it comes to electronics such as computers and cell phones, sometimes the prosecutor will copy the hard drives and then return them to you.

What Will Happen Next

After investigators search a home, people often imagine the worst and think they will be arrested soon after. This is not usually the case. Federal crimes have long statute of limitations, meaning that prosecutors have a long time to charge you. They will use as much of this time as possible in order to build a strong case against you.

To protect yourself as much as possible, it is advised you do not speak to the federal investigators while they are conducting the search. Even if they ask you direct questions about any potential crime or your activities, it is best to direct them to your attorney. The more you say during a search, the more that can be used against you in the future.

It is also important to not speak to anyone about the case. Federal investigators are known for having people wear wiretaps in order to get those they suspect of a crime to implicate themselves. The only person you should speak to about the case is an attorney.

Call the Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer that Can Help

If you have been served with a search warrant, or you think you might be under federal investigation, it is important you do not face it alone. A skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer will ensure your rights are upheld and help you throughout the entire process. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, we know how to build a solid defense against federal criminal charges and help you retain your freedom. Call us today at 312-629-0669 for your free consultation so we can begin reviewing your case.


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