Involved in a DOJ Investigation? Are You a DOJ Defendant, Witness, or Target? -- What You Need to Know
Are you participating in, or considering participating in a Department of Justice investigation? If so, then it is important to understand the process of the investigation and your potential role in it. There a number of different roles you can play in an investigation, and sometimes those roles may shift. Let’s take a look at the process of a DOJ investigation and the roles played by the DOJ defendant, witness, and target.
If the DOJ obtains or is provided with information about a federal crime, then the DOJ may begin an investigation. The individuals or company who are suspected of having committed the crime are referred to as the “target” or targets of the investigation.
A DOJ witness is a person who the DOJ questions about the circumstances surrounding the potential criminal activity -- this may be someone entirely innocent of the crime, or it may be someone who is connected to the activity but is cooperating with the DOJ. The DOJ may at some point in the investigation consider a witness to be innocent, but as evidence is uncovered that witness could become a target of the investigation. Likewise, the investigation may reveal a suspected target to be innocent.
If the DOJ becomes convinced by the available evidence that an individual or company has committed a crime, then that person or company may be offered a plea agreement. If the plea is accepted and presented to the court, then that person or company officially becomes a DOJ defendant.
If you are participating in a DOJ investigation, even as just a DOJ witness, you could be or end up becoming a target of the investigation. If you are a DOJ defendant or believe that you might become one, you may want to consider consulting an experienced attorney who to represent you in the DOJ investigation.
If you are involved in a DOJ or SEC investigation involving securities fraud or corporate crime, please feel free to call The Pickholz Law Offices today at 347-746-1222.