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Federal Investigations

Northwest Indiana Federal Investigation Attorney

Federal criminal investigations should not be taken lightly, it means the government believes you committed a federal crime, and has begun interviewing witnesses, gathering documents, and maybe even recording your conversations.  It can take years for the government to present its evidence to a grand jury for indictment.  Even if the government eventually decides not to file charges and terminates its investigation, trying to live your life under a cloud of suspicion until that happens is burdensome and stressful.  You need a federal government investigations attorney to guide you through your federal investigation.

If you suspect you’re under federal investigation, Stracci Law Group should be your first call. We serve Crown Point, Gary, Portage, and other cities and towns throughout Northwest Indiana.

Am I Under Federal Investigation?

Many people don’t realize they can be under investigation for some time without even knowing they are being investigated.  Grand jury proceedings are secret and grand juries can indict you with a federal crime without notifying you or even giving you a chance to speak in your defense.

The first hint that a federal investigation is in progress often comes in the form of agent contact, in person with you while at home or work, by telephone, or when family members, friends, and co-workers notify you that an agent stopped by to ask them questions about you.  Agents are well-trained and are often able to solicit damaging statements from you or those you know by using sophisticated and well-practiced forms of interrogation.

These federal agencies include:

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
  • The United States Secret Service (USSS)
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • The Postal Inspection Service (USPS)
  • The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

As soon as you realize that you might be under federal investigation, you need to contact a federal government investigations attorney.

What is My Investigation Status - Target, Witness, or Subject?  

The federal government will assign you one of three possible statuses: subject, target, or witness. Even if you know you are under federal investigation, you may have no idea which status the government has assigned to you. Following are descriptions.


If you are a subject, the government suspects you of criminal activity but is not certain.  The government is in the process of gathering information to decide whether to indict you with a federal crime.


If you are a target, the federal government believes it has substantial evidence linking you to the commission of a federal crime.  It will begin by presenting evidence against you to a federal grand jury while continuing to search for even more evidence.  The government may even send you a “target letter'' to inform you that you are the target of a federal grand jury investigation.


If you are a witness, the government either suspects you played a small role in the commission of a federal crime and wants you to testify or cooperate against those it deems most culpable, or the government doesn’t suspect you were involved in any criminal activity, but thinks you might have some sort of information that a grand jury might find useful in deciding whether to issue an indictment against someone else.

Grand Jury Subpoenas

The federal government charges people with crimes by presenting evidence to a grand jury and asking its members to issue an indictment. If you witnessed, know something about, or actually took part in a federal crime, you may receive a federal grand jury subpoena that requires you to testify in front of the grand jury, provide documents, or both.

The federal system is complicated. Mistakes, poor decisions, and even choices that seemed right at the time can turn into federal crimes like perjury, false statements, or obstruction of justice.

If you are ever served with a federal grand jury subpoena, either for documents or testimony, you need to seek guidance from a federal government investigations attorney to ensure you do not implicate yourself in criminal activity, inadvertently violate the law, or otherwise supply the government with a motive to indict you. 

Search Warrants

Federal judges or magistrates have the power to issue search and seizure warrants for your person, home, place of business, other properties, computer, cell phone, and even your DNA for evidence of a crime.  Search warrants are court orders based on a finding of probable cause to believe that (1) a crime has been committed and (2) evidence of that crime can be found in the place to be searched.

One of the most invasive intrusions any government can make is entry into the home where you sleep at night and raise your children.  When executing a search warrant on a private residence, federal agents must “knock and announce” their identity, authority, and purpose, and demand to enter before entering the home.  When federal agents have reasonable grounds to believe their physical safety is at stake by knocking and announcing, they seek a “no knock” search warrant that allows them to enter by battering ram or other force without first announcing their presence.  Either way, agents will come with a list of items to search for and questions to ask you and your family while you are still surprised, confused, and disoriented.

What Should I Do If I Am Under Federal Investigation?

The most important things to do if you discover you are under investigation by having federal agents show up with a warrant to search your home, business, or person are:

  • Remain silent. This is by far the most important advice.
  • Call your attorney.  If your attorney is in court or otherwise unavailable, explain what is going on so you can immediately be directed to another attorney in the law firm,
  • Request a written list of all items that the agents seized during the search.

Stracci Law Will Relentlessly Defend You Against a Federal Investigation.

Once you learn that the federal government is investigating you, do not hesitate to hire a federal criminal defense lawyer experienced in federal criminal investigations like the team at  Stracci Law Group. Stracci Law Group will notify federal authorities that it has been hired to represent you and that all further inquiries must be redirected to their law office.  Stracci Law Group takes all steps needed to prove your innocence, from fully investigating the allegations to gathering exculpatory evidence, and all the way to fighting it out in court. We will take good care of you, it’s what we do. Contact us today.

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Our Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Team Behind You

Paul G. Stracci, the leader of our team, defended a murder case only 10 months out of law school and won a complete acquittal. He has since developed a powerful reputation as a devastatingly effective criminal trial attorney.

The Team Behind You

Alison L. Benjamin began her legal career years ago as a state court prosecutor. She is known to be a thoughtful and passionate litigator, and now focuses her practice on representing clients charged with federal crimes. Her tenacity makes her well-suited to resolve the complexities that arise in defending clients charged with federal crimes.

The Team Behind You

Maryam Afshar-Stewart, a former prosecutor, has risen rapidly as a criminal defense attorney thanks to her remarkable work ethic and undying commitment to the cause of justice for her clients.

The Team Behind You

Michael Woods is an experienced criminal trial attorney who has handled thousands of cases ranging from simple traffic tickets to complex homicides. A deputy prosecuting attorney for nearly 10 years, Michael knows what makes a case weak or strong, and can give clients an honest and realistic evaluation of their case.


"If you got legal issues I highly recommend this company. They got me out of a jam! With all charges dropped. And reasonably priced."
Cliftin Branch, Criminal Case
"I can actually say that Paul is a GREAT LAWYER!! Takes care of business. He got a very big felony dismissed that was hovering over my life for a couple of years and stopped me from doing many things freely, He also got a Dui Dismissed as well as a few other things! My record is now clean. Thank you Paul Stracci!"
Timmy ShellToe, Criminal Case
"I just want to reach out again to thank you. I’m so incredibly grateful for all your help and hard work. We both are!! My entire family is. I could never say thank you enough. In my head, I knew that he was innocent and never intended for any of this to happen. That he was only defending himself but the fact that they charged him and put him in jail was so terrifying. From the very first time I talked to you over the phone and then came in and met you both, I knew God helped me pick the right attorneys. My son was in the very best hands he could be in. Thank you for also putting up with my constant emailing, I couldn’t help myself. I wanted you to have all of the information I had. I will forever be grateful and I will also definitely be telling anyone I know that needs an attorney to come to your firm. I will tell everyone how amazing you gentlemen are for the rest of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!"
Timmy ShellToe, Criminal Case
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What is a federal conspiracy charge?

The federal government frequently files federal criminal conspiracy charges. Conspiracy occurs when two or more people agree to commit a federal crime and at least one of them takes a step to make the agreement a reality. For example, if you agree with someone else to commit the federal crime of carjacking and either one of you obtain a firearm to make the commission of that crime possible, both of you can be charged with conspiracy to commit carjacking.

Should I Talk to Federal Law Enforcement?

NO. At least, not without an attorney standing by your side, and even then with strict limitations. Federal agents and task force officers are well-trained in getting people to say things that can be misconstrued and used against them later in court. It doesn’t matter if you believe in your heart that you did nothing wrong. Do not speak with any federal agent, task force officer, or any state or local law enforcement officer without first consulting an attorney.