“You’re really in a jam now, Doc. It’s the hot seat for sure!” is just a line from a seventy-year-old Bugs Bunny cartoon. But it’s the most natural feeling when a person opens the envelope on a Federal subpoena with their name on it.
It’s a very serious matter to face a judge and prosecutors in a Federal court. Even if you are not the defendant in a Federal criminal trial, persons who have been called up as witnesses suddenly find themselves sailing through a legal minefield. The rules of evidence and the latitude of action U.S. attorneys have available to them is quite different and broader than that of state courts. U.S. attorneys have far greater resources at their command to pursue a prosecution. Just answering questions entail a series of dangerous pitfalls that could put a witness into prison for lying to Federal prosecutors. The issues involved in a Federal criminal case are exceedingly complex. Even ordinary people can suddenly be facing a Kafkaesque nightmare of their own when they become involved in a Federal matter. And for those associated with defendants in a Federal case, the challenge becomes one of avoiding prison time if possible by full cooperation with authorities.
Federal defense attorneys are especially skillful in navigating through the complicated world of such proceedings. They can advise a client first and foremost whether they’re being looked at as defendants or witnesses. They will outline why they have become the subject of Federal attention and how to respond. They can instruct their clients in the statutes relevant to their particular situation. Federal defense attorneys guide clients in truthfully answering questions and how to protect their own rights, including the exercise of Fifth Amendment guarantees against self-incrimination. They are advocates who, if necessary to do so, can also secure the best possible deal for cooperation with prosecutors. In some cases, they can even secure a Letter of Declination from the U.S. attorney’s office, and the client won’t have to worry about facing a prosecution in the future.
Finding yourself the subject of a Federal subpoena does not automatically mean impending prison. But even an innocent person as a matter of self-protection will need a lawyer who knows the Federal criminal system backwards and forwards. For more information, click onto Addairthurston.com. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.
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