Virginia Federal Criminal Cases
If you are facing federal criminal charges in Virginia, it is in your best interests to seek out a Virginia federal criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Federal criminal charges are very serious and can have a lasting impact on both your personal and professional lives. Do not wait to see how things play out — take action immediately and start crafting your defense.
Indictments in Virginia Federal Criminal Cases
There are certain cases in Virginia where the government is conducting an investigation on a federal criminal and they are doing it in secret. If they build enough evidence against the person to indict, they are going to go ahead and indict you and the first time you find out about it is after you have already been indicted. They do that in cases where there is an ongoing investigation, perhaps to keep sources confidential and not to tip off the targets of the investigation that the investigation is ongoing.
Conversely, you can be arrested before you are indicted and that also happens very frequently. That typically happens in cases where there is an isolated crime, which perhaps does not require a whole lot of advance investigation on the part of the government. They may feel as though they have a solid case and can go ahead and place that person under arrest. The person then goes into the system and has a preliminary hearing in magistrate court before the government can indict them.
Getting Charged for Actions Outside the U.S.
It is absolutely possible to be charged with a crime in the U.S. for something that happened outside of the U.S. There are many things a person can do that affect the United States or affect people in the United States even if they, as the defendant or the target of the investigation, never set foot in the U.S. The most common example is financial crimes or fraud conducted through the internet. Most people are familiar with scam e-mails they get claiming they won some kind of prize or requesting them to send money to Ghana in order to claim an inheritance. All things like that can certainly be charged in the U.S. if they are targeting U.S. citizens or people who live in the U.S., even if the target of the investigation is nowhere near the United States.
Important First Steps to Take in Virginia Federal Cases
If you find out you are the target of a federal investigation, the first thing that you need to do is contact a Virginia federal criminal attorney who is familiar with federal investigations. There are many ways in which charges can be deflected before they are actually filed, with the proper representation. A lot of times people get what is called the target letter indicating they are being investigated, and if they want to have a conversation with the government about the investigation before any indictment, they can do so.
The first thing the person needs to do when they get that letter is to contact a Virginia federal criminal attorney. Very little good comes from contacting the government on your own. If they are coming for you they mean business. Someone voluntarily contacting the government while in a situation where the government is already against them is likely to only cause harm.