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Chicago federal criminal defense lawyerCriminal offenses can be prosecuted at either the state or federal level depending on a number of factors, including the nature of the alleged crime, where the offense allegedly took place, and how the alleged crime was supposedly committed. Most crimes are handled by local police departments and county prosecutors, and the charges for such offenses are filed in the circuit court of the county in which they occurred. Circuit courts are part of the state court system.

Sometimes, however, an offense is charged as a federal crime. In such a case, the investigation is usually supervised by one or more federal agencies, and a United States Attorney files the charge in United States District Court. A federal offense is an extremely serious matter, and it is important to contact a qualified federal crimes defense attorney as soon you realize that federal charges are even remotely possible. The question, of course, is: How do you know when charges are becoming possible?

Federal Investigations Are Rarely Spontaneous

When a person is arrested for a state-level crime, he or she is often taken into custody by a local or municipal police officer on the scene. In the case of retail theft, for example, the officer may have been called by the manager of the store from which the person allegedly stole merchandise. Similarly, a drunk driving arrest is usually made subsequent to a traffic stop initiated by an officer who witnessed a person driving erratically. Local and city police departments do conduct focused investigations, but the bulk of their work involves responding to calls as they happen.

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerPharmacists help people every day, providing the necessary medication that helps patients with their illnesses and injuries. Few pharmacists expect to receive a target letter or a federal subpoena and when they do, it is easy to imagine the worst-case scenarios. While pharmacists are often the target of prescription drug fraud investigations, it is important not to panic. There are defenses available for these cases and ways you can protect yourself.

Becoming Involved in the Government’s Investigation

Once you learn that you are under federal investigation, it is easy to want to wait it out, hope for the best, and see what happens. This is a big mistake. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are overzealous in their investigations and they cannot go unchecked. A lawyer can ensure that the investigation is being conducted in accordance with the law and that you do not provide more to the investigators than you are legally obligated to.

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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?

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Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerIf you are under federal investigation, you will want to speak to an attorney right away. Having an attorney by your side can prevent you from saying something that will incriminate yourself, and can ensure your rights are protected throughout the entire process.

The problem is that many people do not realize they are under investigation until they receive a federal indictment. At that point, the prosecution has already been hard at work building a case against you, and you haven’t had a chance yet to create a defense. To help with this issue, there are some telltale signs that you’re under federal investigation. If you notice any of them, it is best to call a lawyer as soon as possible.

Someone Tells You

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