Meet Indiana federal attorney Nick Oberheiden. Nick is one of the few attorneys nationwide who focuses his practice on federal government investigations and litigation only. Nick has represented clients in hundreds of federal cases, including some of the country’s high-profile FBI probes.
If you are looking for an experienced federal attorney to provide you with true knowledge of federal law in Indiana, you should consider a free and confidential consultation with Nick Oberheiden right now. You can reach Nick every day of the week, including on weekends, by dialing 866-Hire-Nick.
Because so much is at stake in federal cases, you should carefully select and choose your trusted attorney. Federal prosecutors in Indiana are highly trained and have plenty of investigative resources. The quality of advice and experience of your attorney can make a significant difference in any federal case. Compared to state offenses, like drunk driving or assault, federal cases are rare and represent only a small percentage of criminal investigations. It is for that reason that very few lawyers actually have detailed federal experience.
However, just like you would not choose a dentist to conduct knee replacement on you, your attorney cannot be less experienced or less knowledgeable than the prosecutor running the case– and experiment with your faith. By contrast, your lawyer must be in control of the case to make sure the government is not winning over you.
Important Information about Federal Criminal Cases in Northern Indiana
The Northern District of Indiana is one of over 90 federal districts spread throughout the 50 U.S. states. Each state, including Indiana, hosts state and federal court houses. For example, divorces and smaller criminal cases (like DUIs and theft) are typically handled by state court judges. By contrast, presidentially appointed, lifetime federal judges adjudicate federal offenses at one the four federal court houses in North Indiana: Hammond, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, and South Bend, Indiana. Here are some of the questions clients from Northern Indiana ask attorney Nick Oberheiden:
Should I Talk to Law Enforcement?
It is never advisable to speak with law enforcement without being first prepared by competent counsel— regardless of your status in the investigation. Even though you may (rightfully) think you have nothing to hide towards the investigators, you don’t know if the government takes the same position. More so, statements made to law-enforcement cannot be undone and will be held against you. Further, if you withhold information or are not absolutely truthful, federal prosecutors have the option to indict you under 18 U.S.C. 1001, which makes it a felony to withhold or misrepresent information to a federal agent. If you are approached by a federal agent, call federal defense attorney Nick Oberheiden at 866-Hire-Nick right away so that he can find out for you first what this interview request is about and whether or not he will make you available. There is no constitutional obligation to volunteer information to the FBI or other federal law-enforcement agencies.
What Is the Job of the Grand Jury?
Purpose of the grand jury in federal cases is to decide against whom him to bring federal felony charges. Under the U.S. Constitution, prosecutors must leave the decision of an indictment to a pool of 16 to 23 grand jurors, who, over a course of several months, evaluate presented evidence as a basis of their charging decision.
How Do I Know My Lawyer Is Qualified?
The selection of a qualified federal lawyer is one of the most difficult (and most important) decisions you will ever make if you are finding yourself in the middle of a federal case. While many lawyers claim to have federal experience, potential clients are often at a loss when it comes to believing a lawyer, trusting the lawyer, and verifying the lawyer’s actual experience. The following questions may help to identify potential candidates to help you with your important case. (1) First, ask the lawyer how many federal cases similar to yours the lawyer has personally handled. Make sure that number is in the hundreds. (2) Second, of those hundreds of cases similar to yours handled, how many resulted in no criminal prosecution? Make sure that number represents the vast majority. (3) Third, ask the lawyer who will handle your case. Just because you speak to the partner lawyer now does not necessarily mean he or she will actually handle your matter personally. Make sure it is the lawyer you are talking to and not a junior lawyer that will be defending your future.
What Are Common Federal Offenses?
Federal prosecutors in Indiana are tasked to investigate and prosecute violations of federal law. Among the most common federal charges in the Northern District of Indiana (with federal court houses in Hammond, Lafayette, South Bend, and Fort Wayne) are health care fraud, computer offenses, and violations of the Controlled Substances Act.
What Is Federal Health Care Fraud?
Health care fraud is a generic term that includes various forms of Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, and unlawful distributions of narcotics as some of the key enforcement areas in Indiana under 18 U.S.C. 1347 and 21 U.S.C. 841. Additionally, billing violations under the False Claims Act and illegal payment schemes in exchange for referrals (“kickbacks”) are heavily investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Hammond, Indiana.
What Is a Federal Conspiracy?
Many federal cases are charged as a conspiracy, which means that the government is trying to tie multiple defendants into one single case. Importantly, it is not required that the different defendants know each other, have actively worked together, or formally agreed to conduct an illegal scheme. All the government needs to prove is that each conspirator contributed something to the group’s success or attempted success. For example, in a federal health care fraud conspiracy involving kickbacks, the government would only need to show that a physician received remuneration from the marketer to be incentivized to refer to a particular pharmacy. The conspiracy between marketer, doctor, and pharmacy owner in this example would not require any communications between the doctor and the pharmacy. In this example, the marketer would connect the physician and the pharmacy to form the conspiracy. The same rationale would apply between different levels of participants in, for example, a drug distribution conspiracy.
How to Turn a Criminal Case into a Civil Case?
Criminal investigations can turn into civil cases. However, in order to do so, an experienced federal attorney needs to be involved early, long before charging decisions are being made and long before the investigation is set to take a criminal path. Once the case is indicted, the chances to convert this criminal indictment into a civil liability shrink dramatically. If, however, an attorney is engaged, ideally long before the government refers the investigation to a grand jury, there sometimes is a chance in some cases to craft-fully persuade government officials to convert the case into a civil case. Nick Oberheiden has a substantial track record of avoiding criminal prosecutions in federal cases. Speak with him today at 866-Hire-Nick.
Will the Government Share Its Evidence?
Unfortunately, you are not entitled to see any evidence prior to an indictment. However, in the interest of cooperation and dialogue, many prosecutors will share some of the discovery and evidence with defense counsel during an investigation. Once a case is indicted, the government must disclose all available information, whether such information and documents are helpful or detrimental to the government’s claims.
What Doctors Need to Know about DEA Search Warrants in Indiana
DEA search warrants have become widespread tools against pharmacies and business owners in the health care industry in the context of opioid investigations. In Indiana and across the country, the DEA declared to stop the national opioid crisis by way of criminally prosecuting those that prescribe and fill controlled substances. Search warrants require “probable cause,” which means that a federal magistrate judge in Hammond, Fort Wayne, South Bend, or Lafayette must be convinced that there is a likelihood of finding evidence of a crime at the location to be searched and seized. Because search warrants often mark the last step before criminal indictment, you should immediately visit with experienced federal attorneys if your business or your home is being raided by law-enforcement.
Does the FBI Wiretap Phones During an Investigation in Indiana?
Depending on the specifics of your case, it is very rare for the federal government to wiretap your phone or to install surveillance techniques. For one, federal law is clear that any such intrusive measure, outside of a limited scope of emergencies, requires the approval of a judge since each wiretap constitutes an intrusion of your constitutional right to privacy. For another, as a matter of practicality, federal surveillance is typically limited to cases in which public safety is at issue. Examples would include allegations of terrorism, national security, and organized crime.
Q. What Should I Avoid During a Criminal Case?
Loose lips sink ships. Even though the chances for your phone to be intercepted are small, if you are under investigation (or have reason to believe that you are), you should refrain from texting or emailing or verbally discussing your case with anyone except for your trusted attorney. In fact, you should always write and speak as if the government is listening in or reading your messages. Too many cases are made easy for the government because a defendant or potential defendant made reckless statements in texts or emails or got caught discussing matters with people who turned out to be government witnesses.
When Should I Call an Attorney?
You should immediately consult with an attorney if you have the slightest indication that you are part of a federal case. The longer you wait, the more time you grant the government to build a negative perception of you and the harder it is for a defense lawyer to undo things and clarify the facts at the end of the case. Call 866-Hire-Nick today to get a free and confidential consultation from Nick Oberheiden.
Call 866-Hire-Nick Today to Get a Free Consultation
One of the few PhD attorneys in the country, Nick offers clients a highly academic but nonetheless practical approach to solving complex problems for his federal clients.
Nick has personally handled hundreds federal cases, argued and defended clients against government agencies across the United States and briefed multiple appeals in various U.S. Courts of Appeals. His practice focuses on government investigations and litigation proceedings relating to federal law.
Nick’s recent representations include the successful defense of a doctor accused of kickbacks, a physician under investigation for Controlled Substances Act violations, a physician facing a life sentence for allegedly causing the death of a patient, cases involving computers, as well as a number of high-profile representations in bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and public corruption charges. In every single one of these sample cases, Nick avoided an indictment. Contact him today!