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
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:
- 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:
- Asset forfeiture
- Bank fraud
- Bank robbery
- Child pornography
- Corporate fraud
- Delivery of a controlled substance
- Drug conspiracy
- Environmental crimes
- Health care fraud
- Identity theft
- Illegal alien smuggling
- Insurance fraud
- 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.