If you are being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, you do not have time to waste. Read this article to learn more about what you can do to help protect yourself, starting immediately, and then contact The Criminal Defense Firm to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our team of experienced defense attorneys.
As the target of a federal investigation involving the U.S. Secret Service, you could be on the brink of a life-changing set of circumstances. U.S. Secret Service investigations can lead to civil and criminal charges; and, in either case, the potential penalties can easily change the course of the rest of your life. At this point, you cannot afford to stand idly by, and you also cannot afford to try to deal with the investigation without the help of an experienced team of federal defense attorneys.
At the The Criminal Defense Firm, we regularly defend clients in U.S. Secret Service investigations. This includes investigations involving allegations of counterfeiting, theft from federal institutions, computer fraud, and a wide range of other offenses. We know what is at stake, and we rely upon decades of private and government experience to help our clients fight to avoid civil and criminal charges.
About the U.S. Secret Service
With its headquarters in Washington D.C., the U.S. Secret Service has more than 150 field offices located throughout the United States and internationally. The U.S. Secret Service is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security; and, while it is perhaps most well-known for protecting the President and other officials, it is also responsible for investigating and assisting in the prosecution of federal financial crimes including crimes committed against the government. This includes:
- Computer fraud
- Counterfeiting of U.S. currency
- Credit card fraud
- Crimes against federally insured financial institutions
- Forgery of U.S. Treasury checks and bonds
- Identify theft
- Telecommunications fraud
- Theft of U.S. Treasury checks and bonds
10 Steps to Take if You Are Under Investigation by the U.S. Secret Service
If you are being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, you need to quickly develop and execute a coordinated defense strategy designed to protect your rights and prevent the investigation from leading to civil or criminal charges. Remember, while you may have just learned about the U.S. Secret Service’s investigation, the agents and prosecutors involved may already be months into building a case against you. In order to take back control of your situation, here are 10 steps that you should take as soon as possible:
1. Exercise Your Right to Legal Representation.
You have the right to be represented by an attorney, and it is critical that you exercise this right during your U.S. Secret Service investigation. An experienced federal defense attorney will be able to help you understand things like when you are (and aren’t) required to disclose information, and will be able to effectively negotiate with prosecutors in order to protect you as much as possible.
2. Choose an Experienced Legal Defense Team.
When you are facing any type of federal investigation, your choice of legal representation matters. A U.S. Secret Service investigation is no exception. In order to build the strongest possible defense, you will want to hire a law firm with a team of attorneys who have decades of experience both defending clients in federal investigations and prosecuting federal crimes on behalf of the U.S. government.
3. Avoid Talking About the Investigation.
While your investigation is pending, you do not want to discuss anything relating to the investigation with anyone except a member of your defense team. U.S. Secret Service agents know how to find incriminating information, and there is a very good chance that they will be talking to your colleagues, family members, and friends in order to try to uncover information that can be used against you.
4. Understand the Allegations Against You.
In order to build a sound defense strategy, you need to know what you are defending against. The U.S. Secret Service investigates a wide range of federal offenses, and you need to find out why you are being targeted in a federal investigation. At The Criminal Defense Firm, when we take on a new client, one of the first things that we do is establish a dialogue with the U.S. Secret Service in order to clarify the specific allegations underlying the agency’s investigation.
5. Understand Whether the U.S. Secret Service’s Investigation is Civil or Criminal.
Just as important as understanding the allegations is understanding whether they are civil or criminal in nature. Why? Because the nature of the investigation has a significant impact on the penalties that you can face if your case goes to trial. In a civil case, the penalties are financial (fines, treble damages, restitution, etc.). In a criminal case, in addition to financial penalties, prison time will also be on the table.
6. Understand the Possible Penalties if Your Case Goes to Trial.
In both civil and criminal cases, the specific penalties that you are facing will be dependent upon the specific offense of which you are accused. However, in civil cases, the financial penalties can easily climb into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, and many of the offenses that fall within the U.S. Secret Service’s jurisdiction can carry years, if not decades, behind bars. Your legal team should be able to tell you exactly what penalties you are facing so that you can better understand what is at risk in your investigation.
7. Learn What to Expect During Your Investigation.
To avoid making common mistakes, it is important to be prepared for each stage of the government’s investigation. By knowing what to expect, you can better prepare yourself to respond appropriately (again, with the help of your attorneys). For an overview of what to expect during your U.S. Secret Service investigation, we encourage you to read:
8. Learn What to Expect if Your Investigation Leads to Civil or Criminal Charges.
As federal defense attorneys, our goal is always to help our clients avoid facing civil or criminal charges. However, if you come to us too late in the investigation, or if the facts simply are not in your favor, there is a possibility that you may end up getting charged. To learn what happens when a U.S. Secret Service investigation leads to federal charges, read these articles from the attorneys at The Criminal Defense Firm:
- What to Do First When Charged with a Federal Crime
- Charged with a Federal Crime? What You Need to Know
9. Learn What You Can Do to Aid in Your Defense.
While your legal defense team will take the lead in building your case strategy and communicating with the U.S. Secret Service, there are still a number of things that you will need to do in order to aid in your defense. To help you, our attorneys have developed an “Emergency Defense Package” that includes resources to help you make smart decisions during your federal investigation. Our Emergency Defense Package includes:
- 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
10. Schedule a Free, Confidential Consultation.
To meet our legal team and receive your copy of our Emergency Defense Package, we invite you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation. We are happy to answer your questions as we guide you through the process of understanding your situation and starting to develop a defense strategy that is custom-tailored to your unique personal circumstances.
Meet the Attorneys of The Criminal Defense Firm
The Criminal Defense Firm is a team of skilled defense attorneys and former federal prosecutors who have decades of experience on both sides of U.S. Secret Service investigations. When you choose us to represent you, your legal team will include:
- Dr. Nick Oberheiden, Principal Partner Dr. Nick Oberheiden is the founder of The Criminal Defense Firm He has extensive experience in investigations involving the U.S. Secret Service and other federal agencies, and has a proven track record of helping his clients avoid facing civil and criminal charges.
- 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 the healthcare law. Clients of Attorney Byrd have great respect for her ability to merge her profound law understanding with her superb litigation skills.
Speak with the Defense Attorneys of The Criminal Defense Firm
To schedule a free consultation with our defense team, please call our offices at 866-603-4540 or submit our online form. Our experienced defense attorneys and former federal prosecutors are ready and available to assist you with your U.S. Secret Service investigation.
Dr. Nick Oberheiden is a national litigation and trial criminal defense attorney who practices exclusively in the area of federal law.