Tampa Target Letters Lawyer
Target letters; what are they, what do they do, and, most importantly, what should you do when you get one? Below, you will find important information about target letters and learn how your response is critical to any federal case against you. For more information, or if you have received a target letter from the U.S. Attorney in Tampa or the Middle District of Florida, call attorney Bryant Scriven at Scriven Law, P.A., for immediate assistance.
What Is a Target Letter?
A target letter is a letter that originates from the United States Attorney’s Office. Every federal district has a U.S. Attorney who serves as the chief federal law enforcement officer for the district. The Middle District of Florida spans the state and has offices from Fort Myers to Jacksonville, including an office in Tampa. Attorneys who work in the United States Attorney’s Office are known as Assistant United States Attorneys or AUSAs.
A target letter serves to put you on notice that you have become the target of a grand jury investigation. The letter is usually brief and short on details, but it likely will inform you that the Department of Justice is preparing a case against you and might soon go to the grand jury to seek an indictment. The letter may or may not give some detail about the crime under investigation. At best, you might be informed of the federal agency that is investigating you, be it the FBI, IRS or some other federal agency with law enforcement powers.
The target letter will also request some action on your part. Typically, the letter will ask you to do one of three things:
- Call the AUSA at the phone number provided
- Come to the federal building and meet with the AUSA in person
- Give testimony to the Grand Jury
What Should I Do if I Get a Target Letter?
If you think getting a target letter sounds scary, you are right. The letter may seem threatening, but don’t dismiss it as just an empty threat. In other words, don’t ignore the letter, but don’t try to resolve the matter on your own, either. The tone of the letter or the language used might give the impression that you could clear up the matter and prevent an indictment with a quick phone call or brief meeting, but that’s not normally the purpose of the target letter. The federal government is already building a case against you, and the request for a phone call, meeting or grand jury testimony is an attempt to get more information from you to help the government build its case.
Rather than ignoring the letter or responding on your own, call an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as you receive the letter. Your attorney can do some investigating of his own and find out more information ahead of any phone call, meeting or grand jury appearance, so that you don’t go in blind and get caught off-guard. Except for a grand jury appearance, your lawyer can even make the call or attend the meeting with you or for you. While your attorney can’t go into the grand jury with you, you are permitted to step outside of the room to confer with counsel before answering specific questions. The target letter will likely inform you of your right to legal counsel and may even encourage you to get an attorney and have them contact the AUSA on your behalf.
The federal government spends a long time building its case before going to the grand jury for an indictment. During that period, a savvy defense attorney can also be working to keep the U.S. Attorney from seeking an indictment, influence what charges get filed, or start preparing a defense to get your case dismissed, suppress evidence or secure a not guilty verdict at trial. Call on an experienced and successful federal criminal defense attorney as soon as you receive a target letter or otherwise learn you are under investigation. When you make calling a lawyer your number one priority, you put yourself in the best position for a positive outcome in your case.
Scriven Law, P.A., Is Your Solution to Federal Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions in Tampa
If you have received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa asking you to call, come in or speak to the grand jury, call Scriven Law, P.A., for strategic advice and immediate assistance to protect your rights and help you resolve the matter successfully. Call anytime at 813-226-8522.