When facing a federal investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ), you cannot afford to take chances. The nationally recognized defense attorneys and former federal prosecutors at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP have a 92 percent success rate in helping clients avoid criminal charges.
You just found out that you are under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). What do you do now? Facing a federal investigation is an extremely serious matter, and to protect yourself as much as possible, you need a team of experienced defense attorneys on your side. With the potential for severe civil penalties and even criminal fines and jail time, DOJ investigations often have severe consequences.
In this article, our criminal defense attorneys provide an overview of the steps you need to take, starting right now, to protect yourself in a DOJ investigation. Continue reading to learn more, and then contact us to schedule your free case review today. You do not have time to waste.
About the Department of Justice (DOJ)
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is the law enforcement arm of the federal government. Comprised of numerous agencies – including the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – the DOJ plays a role in virtually all federal investigations and prosecutions. Attorneys from the DOJ also participate in various law enforcement efforts around the country, such as the elite Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) task force, which is focused on combating Medicare fraud and other forms of healthcare fraud.
Headquartered in Washington D.C., the Department of Justice has offices around the country. At Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, we provide nationwide representation for individuals and companies facing DOJ investigations involving all types of federal offenses.
Seven Key Steps to Take When Facing a Department of Justice Investigation
Whether you are being investigated for a criminal offense, government contract fraud, or defrauding a federal government benefit program, you need to be proactive about your defense. Here are seven key steps that you should take to protect yourself during your DOJ investigation:
1. Seek Legal Representation Now.
Too often, people make the mistake of waiting until they get charged to hire an attorney. This is a critical error that can prove extremely costly for your defense. If you are under investigation by the Department of Justice, now is the time to seek legal representation. If you choose the right attorney, he or she will be able to open a dialogue with the DOJ’s attorneys and build a defense strategy designed to help you avoid facing charges altogether.
2. Understand the Allegations Against You.
In order to build a solid defense, you need to know the allegations against you. What are you being accused of? What evidence does the government have against you? What is the source (or what are the sources) of its information? The more information you have, the better you can defend yourself. Your attorney should be able to work with the attorneys at the Department of Justice to gain a clear understanding of the allegations against you.
3. Understand Whether Your Case is Civil or Criminal.
In addition to understanding the Department of Justice’s allegations, you also need to understand whether your case is civil or criminal in nature. Hopefully, it is still early enough in the process that the DOJ’s attorneys have not yet made up their mind to pursue criminal charges. When we take on representation of a client in a DOJ investigation, one of the first things we do is make contact with the assigned government attorney so that we can find out the nature of the investigation. If at all possible, you want to keep your case civil so that you will not face the possibility of federal imprisonment.
4. Avoid Speaking with Anyone about the Case Other than Your Defense Team.
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself is to keep quiet about the investigation. Do not discuss the case with friends, neighbors, coworkers, family members – anyone other than a member of your defense team. The Department of Justice is extremely thorough in its investigations, and you do not want to inadvertently disclose information that could end up being used against you.
5. Start Preparing for Your Defense.
When you sit down with us for your free case review, we will walk you everything you need to do to begin preparing for your defense. But, there are some things you can get started on now. For example, if you are under investigation for something like healthcare fraud or government contract fraud, you should go ahead and begin collecting the relevant records in your possession relating to the DOJ’s allegations.
6. Understand the Defenses You May Have Available.
While you certainly do not need to learn all of the complexities of the federal laws and Constitutional principles that apply to your case (this is your attorney’s job), it can be helpful to gain at least a general understanding of the defenses you may have available. If you know what to look for, you may be able to provide additional information to your attorney to bolster your overall defense strategy. Again, when you meet with us, we will help you explore your potential defenses and provide you with recommendations for collecting any information we might be able to use to help you avoid civil or criminal charges.
7. Learn What to Expect Over the Weeks and Months to Come.
In addition to learning about potential defenses, it will also be worthwhile for you to gain a general understanding of what you can expect in the weeks and months to come. Facing a Department of Justice investigation is a unique, challenging, and stressful process, and knowing what to expect can help you plan ahead. To learn more about the process if your investigation leads to criminal charges, read: Charged with a Federal Crime? What You Need to Know.
Choose Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP for Your DOJ Investigation
In a Department of Justice investigation, your choice of legal representation matters. Some defense lawyers only handle state crimes, and some defense lawyers who handle federal investigations do not have the government experience you need to effectively negotiate with the DOJ. At Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, our defense team is comprised of experienced defense attorneys and former federal prosecutors who maintain contacts within the Department of Justice, and who can quickly get answers to the most pressing issues in your case.
- Dr. Nick Oberheiden, Principal Partner – Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the founder of Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP. He has extensive experience in investigations involving the Department of Justice and other federal agencies, and has a proven track record of securing favorable outcomes for his clients. Dr. Oberheiden regularly represents clients in DOJ investigations involving allegations of healthcare fraud, securities fraud, drug crimes, and other serious federal offenses.
- Lynette Byrd, Senior Counsel – As a former Assistant United States Attorney, Lynette Byrd has years of experience working in law. She focuses her practice on criminal and civil litigation, Medicare and insurance audits, and general advice and counseling within the realm of healthcare law. Clients of Attorney Byrd have great respect for her ability to merge her profound law understanding with her superb litigation skills.
Take Action Now with Our “Emergency Defense Package”
If you are facing a Department of Justice investigation, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting started on your defense as soon as possible. To help you take action immediately, our senior attorneys have developed an “Emergency Defense Package” that is designed to arm you with the information and resources you will need to help us build your defense strategy quickly and effectively. Our Emergency Defense Package provides you with:
- General Protocols: What to Do
- Instructions for Management: How to Deal with Agents
- Instructions for Management: How to Deal with Employees
- Instructions for Employees
- Document Retention Forms
- Compliance Examination Instructions
- Important Contact Information
To get your copy of our Emergency Defense Package, contact us and schedule a free defense evaluation today.
Put Experience On Your Side – Contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP Today
The Department of Justice is actively building its case against you. The longer you wait, the more you will be at a disadvantage. To get started on your defense and to have a member of our defense team make contact with the DOJ on your behalf, contact us to schedule your free defense evaluation. Call us 24/7 at (888) 356-4634 or tell us about your investigation online and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
This information has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. This information may constitute attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Reading of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. Prior results do not guarantee similar future outcomes. Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP is a Texas LLP with headquarters in Dallas. Mr. Oberheiden limits his practice to federal law.