Government Investigations & Subpoena Compliance

Government Investigations & Subpoena Compliance

Government Investigations and Subpoena Compliance Lawyers

Government Investigations & Subpoena Compliance

Being questioned by law enforcement or receiving a government subpoena for information or documents does not alone indicate that you are suspected of criminal activity or the target of an investigation — but it could mean that. Sometimes it may mean no more than the government considers you or your company a witness with relevant information regarding a different investigation target.  Regardless of whether you believe yourself to be innocent of any criminal offense, any involvement you have with a criminal investigation or subpoena you receive warrants consultation with and review by a knowledgeable and experienced attorney.

Receiving a government subpoena can present unique burdens for individuals and companies. We have spent substantial parts of our legal careers conducting investigations into myriad white-collar criminal activities. We believe that everyone should be proactive in obtaining legal counsel when questioned by state or federal law enforcement or government agencies. It is equally important to seek the advice of counsel if you have received a subpoena so that you ensure your compliance, avoid unnecessarily waiving your rights, and if necessary, begin preparing a legal response to any further actions that may result.

What should you do if you are questioned by federal law enforcement?

If you have been contacted by law enforcement for questioning, it is wise to immediately contact an attorney to help you navigate the situation and be present for any communications or questioning. Federal law enforcement officials are very good interviewers and choose their words carefully to make people feel comfortable and encourage cooperation. As a result, it is not unusual for people to agree to questioning without a lawyer present, which could lead to statements that can be used against them later in court.

It is not necessarily unwise to voluntarily cooperate in an investigation, but it is unwise to do so without consulting an attorney and without your attorney present during such voluntary cooperation.

I received a subpoena from a government agency (agent). What should I do?

Subpoenas may be administrative (i.e., issued by a government agency), court-issued, or ordered by a grand jury. There are numerous reasons both personally and professionally why you may receive a subpoena or information request from a government agency to provide certain information or produce documents. The implications of not responding to a subpoena or improperly replying are significant.

Navigating subpoena compliance can be stressful and complicated. If you receive a subpoena from a government agency, it is likely related to an active investigation. Government agencies are not required to provide you with any information about the ongoing investigation or the precise reason for the request.

One of the first steps to take before responding to a subpoena or information request from a government agency is to contact an attorney experienced in representing clients in government investigations. Your attorney should first verify the subpoena or information request’s authenticity and that it was in fact issued by the stated agency.

Then, your attorney should verify that the government agency complied with all relevant procedural requirements in issuing the subpoena or information request. It is also important to ensure that you respond properly both to ensure compliance with the subpoena and protect your own interests by not disclosing more than what is required.

Government Investigations, Subpoena, and Information Request Lawyer in San Francisco, California

If you or your organization has been contacted for questioning by a government agency or received a subpoena or information request from a government agency, the first step you should take is to contact an attorney skilled and experienced in handling such matters.

As former federal prosecutors with significant private-sector and law-enforcement experience, our attorneys know how to help you respond efficiently and effectively. We are deeply familiar with procedures and tactics used by government agencies and are poised to help you navigate these matters to ensure your compliance and protect your legal interests. We are committed to helping our clients meet all of their obligations under such subpoenas in a practical and cost-effective manner. We know how to engage with government lawyers and investigators about reasonably limiting the scope of the subpoena. We also understand that we cannot counsel our clients in such situations without fully understanding their interests and business, and we always develop and adapt our strategy with those interests in mind.

For more information contact us today at (415) 891-6210 for a confidential consultation of your case.


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