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What Should You Do If You Get a Target Letter?

By Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney on July 1, 2022

A target letter is a formal document sent to a person or entity that has been the subject of a federal investigation. Target letters are typically sent by the US Department of Justice or one of its agencies, but can also be sent by other federal law enforcement agencies and even state or local prosecutors.

The purpose of a target letter is to inform someone that they are being investigated for criminal activity (or may soon be). The letter itself doesn’t necessarily indicate guilt—it simply alerts you that an investigation is taking place and gives you information about how to proceed if you choose to retain an attorney.

The Difference Between a Target and a Subject

A target is a person who is suspected of committing a crime and is the focus of a criminal investigation. A subject, on the other hand, is someone who has been identified by law enforcement as being connected to a crime that has already occurred.

While the terms are often used interchangeably in unofficial situations (e.g., media reporting), they have very different meanings. The distinction between a target and a subject can be important for both defendants and prosecutors because it impacts how evidence can be gathered against them.

The First Thing You Should Do if You Get a Target Letter

If you’ve been accused of a federal crime, the first thing you should do is contact an experienced federal crimes defense lawyer. Federal criminal charges are extremely serious and carry heavy penalties, including prison time and fines. Your future could be at stake.

Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460 so that we can provide you with a strong defense, which will be crucial when facing federal charges. Our experienced attorneys help you protect your rights and defend yourself against prosecution.

You should never make an effort to justify your participation in a possibly unlawful activity to federal agents or investigators. More often than not, what you say will be used against you, hurting your defense rather than strengthening it.

Steps To Take After Receiving a Target Letter

If you receive a target letter from the US federal government, you can take several steps to protect yourself and your assets.

  • Contact a defense attorney experienced with federal law.
  • Do not change any of your current financial behavior until after speaking with an attorney.
  • Keep all correspondence with the government, including the target letter itself and any other written communications between you, your defense attorney, and the government.

Have Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP on Your Side

If you have received a target letter, the best way to protect yourself is by having an experienced defense attorney review your case so you can protect your rights and defend yourself against prosecution.

Do not hesitate to contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460 if you need help determining how best to proceed or to protect your assets.

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Posted in: Criminal Defense