Just as one leery Clearwater criminal defense attorney will look over his shoulder wondering if that police cruiser with the flashing lights is after him or (crossing my fingers) someone else, anyone who is the target of an aggressive law enforcement investigation will live in dread until the ordeal is over. Once that cruiser passes, I’ll keep typing.
|Cupid Creates Target Letter|
Unlike being stopped for speeding, Federal and state investigators have no obligation to immediately notify someone that he or she is a target of an investigation. The more complex the alleged misconduct the more likely it will be that an investigation will be initiated without the knowledge of the target. As more evidence is accumulated the target may be confronted with information about the alleged crime or with an opportunity to make a statement of admission or denial of criminal conduct.
Law enforcement officers either have sufficient evidence to make an arrest or they don’t. So why provide them with more evidence? Even a denial may help an investigation if the denial comes with an explanation that is implausible or factual incoherent.
Sometimes officers may threaten to make an arrest if there is no cooperation, which is the best signal they could give that they haven’t arrested you only because they want more evidence. The objective of a target must be to keep in mind that the process of an investigation is controlled by law enforcement.
One client recently told me that she confessed to a Grand Theft charge in Tampa Bay only to ‘get out of the room’ after a long, intense interrogation in front of the people who employed her. One of the Detectives seeing her breaking point approaching kept saying louder and louder, “You want it to end? Then confess.” And in an instant against her better judgement she confessed to the crime making it much more difficult to help her get the case dismissed or reduced.
Federal investigators in Tampa Bay, Florida may generously notify a person that a possible arrest is imminent or grand jury testimony sought by sending what is known as The Target Letter. A Target Letter cajoles the recipient to find a lawyer and begin negotiations to diffuse the possibility of a pending Federal Grand Jury indictment.
Because there is little to be gained by speaking to investigators, if you do decide to speak with them make sure you have a Tampa Bay criminal lawyer with you to defend your interests and help you avoid arrest.