Dallas Federal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Peter Barrett can Fight for You

Federal criminal law differs substantially from Texas state law. At the office of Peter Barrett, we always start by determining whether you are considered a target of an investigation or merely a collateral witness. The answer to this question is usually not known until the case agent in charge of the investigation has spoken to you. For this reason, we often seek a proffer letter from the United States Attorney’s Office before determining whether or not it would be in a client’s best interest to cooperate with the federal government. This letter typically states that anything truthfully said by a suspect or defendant may not be used against him or her and is a useful way to protect your rights.

Anyone can imagine the alarming nature of being contacted by a federal agent charged with investigating criminal conduct on behalf of the most powerful government in the world. Such contacts are frequently made in person and unannounced. Of course, with the exception of a grand jury subpoena, citizens are typically under no obligation to speak to federal agents and/or prosecutors in response to substantive questioning. This general rule, however, has been tempered by recent caselaw which holds that silence in the face of non-custodial interrogation may be taken as an inference of guilt.

The first determination is whether someone is a target or merely a collateral witness. The answer to this question is often not known even to the investigator at the time of an initial questioning. Furthermore, a collateral witness may nonetheless become a target of a federal investigation at a later point. For these reasons, there are virtually no circumstances where someone would benefit by speaking to the government without first consulting competent counsel. Therefore, when faced with government interrogation, it is advisable to specifically articulate that, “I would like to have my attorney present before I speak with you.”

Defendants are often questioned during the course of the execution of a search warrant.

Things to Remember:

  • You are under no obligation to speak with the government and you should respectfully request to speak with an attorney before answering questions.
  • Lying to a federal agent is, in itself, a criminal offense.
  • In cases where no advance notice of a search is provided by the government, there is no obligation to remain on site or submit to substantive interviews.
  • Subjects should never alter or destroy evidence or otherwise obstruct the government’s investigation, as such conduct would also constitute separate criminal acts.

The other area of interaction between federal prosecutors and the public is within the realm of search warrants and grand jury investigation. Frequently, federal investigators will attempt to speak with witnesses/employees in the course of delivering a grand jury subpoena. Anyone served with such a subpoena should consult a lawyer immediately. A subpoena will list the Assistant United States Attorney responsible for the investigation, which will provide a point of contact for the lawyer.

There are three types of subpoenas:

  • Testimonial
  • Duces tecum (calling for production of documents),
  • Or both

A federal subpoena is cumbersome to respond to and extremely intimidating in how broadly worded they typically are. Your lawyer might be able to narrow the scope and direction so that compliance is much more targeted.

Under federal law, sentences are determined largely by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. This means that the starting point for determining a sentence is calculated by the level of the alleged offense. Criminal history is also taken into account to determine sentences in federal cases. Peter Barrett has vast experience in the favorable application of the United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines. This knowledge can sometimes make the difference in determining whether or not someone is sentenced to federal prison.

If you have been contacted by a federal law enforcement agency, or if you believe that you are under investigation, be sure to contact our office to speak with our Dallas federal crime attorney.

Federal Cases Our Firm Handles

Not every firm is capable of properly taking on a federal criminal case. These cases tend to be complex, large in scope, and require a comprehensive, incisive grasp of federal statutes. Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Peter Barrett is well-versed in federal criminal cases and can bring assured navigation of your defense. Peter concentrates heavily on white collar crimes and drug conspiracy cases but also handles other federal crimes including the following:

Just some of the cases we are ready to handle include:

  • Arson
  • Asset forfeiture
  • Bank fraud
  • Bank robbery
  • Child pornography
  • Corporate fraud
  • Counterfeiting
  • Delivery of a controlled substance
  • Drug conspiracy
  • Embezzlement
  • Environmental crimes
  • Health care fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Illegal alien smuggling
  • Insurance fraud
  • Kidnapping
  • Money laundering
  • Mortgage fraud
  • Organized criminal activity
  • RICO violations
  • Securities fraud
  • Tax offenses
  • Weapons charges
  • Wire fraud

Peter Barrett has worked extensively with various federal agencies including:

  • The United States Department of Justice
  • The Department of Homeland Security
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • The Secret Service
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission
  • The Internal Revenue Service
  • The United States Postal Service
  • The Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms

Peter Barrett is a highly experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Dallas who has represented numerous persons under investigation or charged with violations of federal law. With over 20 years of experience, he knows the unique situations that may lead to a conviction, and can help if you’ve been accused or arrested of federal offense.

Call (214) 307-8667 to schedule a free initial consultation.