North Dakota Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Facing charges for any federal crime is an extremely serious matter, and many federal offenses carry the potential for crippling fines and long-term imprisonment. If you are under investigation or facing charges in Fargo, Bismarck, or elsewhere in North Dakota, you need to speak with a federal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
When you are being targeted by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office of Inspector General (OIG), U.S. Attorney’s Office, or any another federal authority, everything you say and do has consequences. No matter what you believe about the truth or falsity of the allegations against you, you need to act smartly in order to avoid enhancing your risk of an indictment, conviction, and prison sentence in federal district court. Once you are in the government’s crosshairs, the agents and prosecutors who are after you will not stop until either (i) the court renders a decision, or (ii) you convince them that they have a significant chance of losing if they take your case to trial.
At Oberheiden, P.C., we bring centuries of federal experience and a proven record of success to defending clients in federal criminal matters. Our federal defense team represents clients in North Dakota and nationwide, and we have secured favorable results for our clients at every stage of the criminal justice process. Whether you are a politician accused of public corruption, a business owner accused of fraud, a high-net-worth individual accused of tax evasion, or anyone else accused of any other federal offense, we can help you, and we encourage you to contact our North Dakota federal criminal defense lawyers immediately at 888-680-1745 for a free and confidential consultation.
Federal Defense Attorneys for All Charges in North Dakota
By exclusively focusing our practice on federal defense, we have gained a nationwide reputation for defending clients in extremely high-stakes federal matters. We have handled thousands of investigations and hundreds of trials involving allegations such as:
- Bank Fraud
- Drug Crimes
- Healthcare Fraud
- Insurance Fraud
- Intellectual Property Theft
- Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud
- Money Laundering
- Mortgage Fraud
- Public Corruption and Bribery
- Securities Fraud
- Tax Evasion
- Theft of Government Property
Regardless of the allegations against you, prompt action is the key to a successful outcome, and our attorneys can begin working on your case immediately once you engage our firm to represent you.
Understanding the Three Stages of Federal Criminal Prosecution
Federal criminal prosecutions generally follow a three-stage process: (i) investigation, (ii) grand jury, and (iii) trial. Each stage calls for a different defense strategy; and, at Oberheiden, P.C., we are highly-experienced in representing clients at all three stages of the process.
1. Federal Investigation
There are various factors that can trigger a federal investigation. From whistleblowers and confidential informants (CIs) to automated review of government billing records and random tax audits, if you are being targeted by federal authorities, there could be any of a number of reasons why. If you engage our firm while your investigation is ongoing (which you should do if it is not too late), we will promptly intervene in the investigation to determine:
- Why are you under investigation?
- What are the allegations against you?
- What federal agencies are involved?
- How close are federal prosecutors to seeking an indictment?
2. Grand Jury Subpoena
In order to file charges in federal district court, prosecutors from the DOJ or the U.S. Attorney’s Office must first obtain a grand jury indictment. An indictment establishes “probable cause” to pursue charges – a standard that is much lower than the criminal trial standard of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Due to this fact (and the fact that targets of federal investigations are not entitled to legal representation in front of the grand jury), it is absolutely essential to be fully prepared when you appear in court to testify in front of the grand jury.
3. Criminal Trial
Following an indictment, the next formal stage of the federal criminal prosecution process is trial. However, prior to trial, our attorneys will be working diligently to try to secure a favorable outcome without the need to take your case to court. If possible, we will seek to have your indictment dismissed or negotiate a favorable plea deal that keeps you out of prison; and, if necessary, we will be fully-prepared to fight for your freedom in the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota.
What to Do After a Federal Arrest in North Dakota: Dos and Don’ts
When you are facing the prospect of a federal conviction, taking appropriate steps and avoiding critical mistakes are equally important. Here are some tips for protecting yourself from the federal criminal defense attorneys at Oberheiden, P.C.:
DO: Speak with a Federal Defense Attorney Immediately
Whether you have just discovered that you are the target of a federal investigation, you have been served with a grand jury subpoena, or you are awaiting trial on federal criminal charges, you need to seek legal representation immediately. With everything that is at stake, and with federal prosecutors working relentlessly to convict you, you need to hire a defense team that is capable of turning the tables in your favor.
DON’T: Give a Statement or Answer Any Questions
During a federal investigation or a custodial interrogation, it is critical not to say anything that could be used against you. The best way to do this is to not say anything at all. Unless specifically advised otherwise by your attorneys, do not give any statements or answer any questions from federal agents, and do not talk to anyone else about the government’s investigation.
DO: Protect Your Constitutional Rights
As the target of a federal investigation or a defendant in federal court, you have important and unalienable constitutional rights. You should assert your privilege against self-incrimination and your right to legal counsel; and, if you believe that federal agents have conducted an unlawful search or seizure, you should discuss this with your defense team promptly.
DON’T: Cooperate with Federal Agents in Any Way
Many people mistakenly believe that it is in their best interests to cooperate during a federal investigation. They believe that if they cooperate, federal agents will cut them some slack, or federal prosecutors offer them a better deal. But, the reality is that any information you volunteer is going to be used against you; and, if you cooperate, you will most likely be putting yourself at greater risk for criminal prosecution.
DO: Start Working on Your Defense Immediately
If you are being targeted for federal prosecution, you need to begin working on your defense immediately. The longer you wait, the more time federal prosecutors will have to build their case uninterrupted, and the less opportunities you may have to favorably resolve your case without going in front of a jury in federal district court.
DON’T: Ruin Your Chances of Asserting a Successful Defense
Federal criminal cases are extraordinarily complex, and the system is in many ways set up to favor the prosecution. In order to protect yourself, you need to avoid mistakes that could make it more difficult (or prevent you) from asserting a successful defense. Our North Dakota federal criminal defense attorneys can explain everything you need to know, and we can help you make smart decisions while we fight to protect you against a conviction at trial.
5 Reasons to Choose Oberheiden, P.C. in North Dakota
One of the most important decisions you will make during your federal case is your choice of legal representation. Here are five reasons why clients in North Dakota and nationwide trust our federal criminal defense team:
1. Nationwide Reputation
We have a nationwide reputation borne out of thousands of successful outcomes and our attorneys’ consistent presence in the media. We have successfully defended clients in federal jurisdictions across the country, and our attorneys have appeared on radio and television programs in all 50 states.
2. We Focus 100% on Federal Cases
Unlike other defense firms, we focus 100% on federal cases. Fending off a federal investigation is very different from defending against petty theft or DUI charges in state court, and our attorneys focus all of their time on complex and high-stakes cases at the federal level.
3. More than 1,000 Investigations and Many Trials Handled
Together, our attorneys have centuries of combined legal experience, and they have handled more than 1,000 investigations and many trials.
4. Our Team Includes Several Former Federal Prosecutors
Several of our attorneys worked as trial attorneys and prosecutors for the DOJ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office prior to entering private practice.
5. Your Initial Consultation is Free and Confidential
Before you pay anything, you will have the opportunity to speak with one of our senior criminal defense lawyers one-on-one about your case. This attorney will answer your questions, discuss your next steps, and provide an initial assessment of the potential outcomes of your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Criminal Defense in North Dakota
What is white-collar crime?
White collar crime is the umbrella term used to refer to a broad range of financial crimes. The government tends to most often bring these charges against executives, politicians, entrepreneurs and other professionals. White collar crime includes corporate fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, extortion, investment fraud and many other offenses. It is commonly, and wrongfully, believed that a conviction for a white collar crime is taken less seriously than those for “street crimes.” In fact, those convicted of these offenses are usually incarcerated and suffer many other serious and potentially lifelong consequences. White collar crimes are typically very complex, and require a seasoned North Dakota federal criminal defense attorney to protect your liberty.
What should I do if the FBI shows up at my house?
FBI agents may visit your home or business for one of two reasons. They either believe that you are involved in the commission of a federal crime or that you have information necessary for their investigation. If FBI agents have enough evidence to obtain a warrant, they will do so, at which point you must allow them into your home. However, absent a warrant you are free to decline to invite them into your home and should not do so. Warrant or not, do not speak with FBI agents about their investigation, even if they tell you that not speaking to them could “look bad.” You have a right to speak with a North Dakota federal criminal defense attorney before responding to officers—if you choose to respond at all.
What should I do if I receive a subpoena?
If you receive a subpoena, it could mean that you are under investigation by the federal government. However, it could also mean that you possess certain knowledge or evidence that federal prosecutors want to use in an investigation involving someone else. However, in either case, it is important to speak with a North Dakota federal criminal defense lawyer before responding to a subpoena.
What is a grand jury?
A grand jury is a group of 16 to 23 people, chosen at random, to hear a federal prosecutor’s case before charges have formally been filed. The role of the grand jury is to listen to the prosecutor’s evidence and determine if there is enough evidence to bring a case against the subject of their investigation. While the idea of a grand jury is to limit unfettered discretion on the part of the executive branch, in reality, many grand jury proceedings are more of a formality than anything else. This is grand jury proceedings are secretive, meaning the subject does not have the opportunity to present a defense or explain the situation; the only evidence the grand jury hears is from the prosecution. If you’ve been indicted for a federal crime, reach out to a knowledgeable North Dakota federal criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss the case and learn more about how to effectively defend against the charges.
When should I consult with a federal defense attorney?
The best time to contact a North Dakota federal criminal defense attorney is immediately after you learn that you are under investigation for a crime. The federal system is much different than the state criminal justice system in that prosecutors typically fully prepare their case before filing charges. Therefore, by the time you learn that the Department of Justice plans on charging you with a crime, they are well ahead of you in terms of preparation. Contacting an accredited North Dakota federal criminal defense attorney as early on in the process as possible will ensure that your rights are protected.
Will my case go to trial?
There are a few ways to resolve federal criminal cases without the need for a trial. For example, you may be able to challenge the admissibility of evidence seized by federal law enforcement agents. You can also attempt to work out a pre-trial negotiated plea agreement to avoid a trial, however, this will require you plead guilty to at least some of the crimes you’ve been charged with. It is difficult to determine the likelihood of avoiding a trial without first consulting with a North Dakota federal criminal defense attorney.
Speak with a Senior Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden, P.C.
To schedule your free initial consultation with one of our senior federal criminal defense lawyers, please call 888-680-1745 or contact us online. Our attorneys are available by phone 24/7, so contact us now to start building your defense today.
Available to serve Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot, West Fargo and other surrounding cities,
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