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Asked in Powder Springs, GA Jul. 19, 2015 ,  9 answers Visitors: 89
Federal indictments how long can the investigation last.
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9 Answers


Posted on / Jul. 22, 2015 20:09:58

There is little that you can do. The federal statute of limitations for most crimes is five years from the date the crime was completed. Certain more serious crimes, like murder, have no statute of limitations. If you are being investigated for a conspiracy, which usually involves many defendants, then the statute starts to run when the conspiracy terminates. However, some conspiracies are continuing even after some of the participants have been indicted and/or convicted. A RICO case usually involves a criminal enterprise which usually involves continuing conduct. Depending on what you are being investigated for and when the crime terminated (if it indeed did terminate) then you could be in for a long wait to see if you'll be indicted.
My suggestions would be as follows: If you were indeed involved in a crime or crimes being investigated then under no circumstances should you ever speak with the authorities. If they come to talk to you, specifically invoke your right to remain silent, don't just refuse to talk to them. Also, invoke your right to an attorney. No Matter what they say to you or how much they threaten you, stick to your guns.
Do not speqk to any of the people who have been indicted or convicted o charges involving whatever you were allegedly involved in. Those people could be cooperating or wired and looking for leniency by cooperating. Don't discuss the case or charges over the telephone with anyone as your phone may be wiretapped. Don't write letters or emails to anyone discussing the case.
If you are still involved in any criminal activity, terminate your involvement immediately and disengage from others who might be involved.
Hire an attorney and consult with him about what is going on and hire him to be available in the event that law enforcement attempts to question you, detains you or arrests you. Keep his card in your pocket so you can contact him.
Lastly, as difficult as it may seem, get on with your life and go about it as if this were not hanging over your .head. Just protect yourself as I have indicated above


Posted on / Jul. 20, 2015 04:20:36

Generally speaking the statute of limitations for federal crimes is 5 years.


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 21:44:20

Maybe they are working their way up to you, but they first need to indict and convict other people. My only question is why you don't already have an attorney if you KNOW you are a suspect!


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 18:55:05

The glass may be half-full, instead of half-empty. It's a good thing you've not been indicted, of course, especially if others have in the case, even if the investigation continues.

There can be many reasons why you have not been indicted. E.g.,most obviously, that the prosecutors are not convinced you are guilty of a crime, or that they would have sufficient admissible evidence to convict you at trial; or that they do not view what they may think you have done as being sufficiently important to justify the necessary expenditure of resources to add you to the case; or some other reason. By now it may be that the prosecutors think too much time has passed since whatever relevant conduct by you, and that a prosecution of you now would be barred by the statute of limitations.

If in fact you are nearing such a point in time, it might be wise to leave well enough alone. But it is hard for me to say, not knowing anything about your situation. This issue too is an important one for you to try to figure out; especially because it may instead just be that the prosecutors have just not yet gotten around to charging you. You do not want to miss a chance to dissuade them from that if it is possible to.

As for the possible length of a federal criminal investigation, it can go on for a long time--for five years or longer from any relevant conduct by you or others involved.

It sounds like you are wondering what you might need to do to affect the process. Again, one possible answer is, nothing.--to let seeping dogs lie. Especially if you are nearing a possible end of the statute of limitations period for you, maybe you do not want to cast yourself more prominently onto the prosecutor's radar screen that you might otherwise be by now. Again, I don't know. I do, though, think you need the direct involvement of a lawyer to let you know even if this is the case. Otherwise, you are just guessing, and you may thus miss a chance to actually increase your chances of being left out of the case.

When a potential defendant (a "target") ) does get involved during an investigation (and this should only ever be done solely through an attorney; NEVER by the target himself) the usual goal is to persuade the prosecutor not to indict the target. This typically involves various interactions, including meetings, between the prosecutor and the lawyer representing the target. It is not unusual to be able to persuade a prosecutor not to indict in the right case if the lawyer is able to become involved early enough in the process.

A second goal may be to obtain some objective, advance assurance from the prosecutor that he will not indict. This can be more difficult. Usually at least an oral indication can be obtained that no charges will be brought (perhaps that the matter with be removed from the agenda of the grand jury) if the prosecutor can be persuaded to so refrain. But obtaining a formal, written undertaking by the prosecutor to not indict or charge or otherwise pursue the target is much more rare. Certainly it is in my direct experiences handling these types of situations for clients in federal and state matters here in Georgia.

Again, it is impossible to give more specific opinions here on the best course for you, because I lack any information about your situation. If you want to find out whether anything can and should be done to help your position in connection with this investigation (and I strongly think you should) then you should consult a lawyer directly now--preferably one with experience in handling criminal cases in this context, and especially with experience in doing so here in Georgia, and metro Atlanta (assuming this is where your situation is).

One thing that is certain is that generally it is MUCH more difficult to persuade a prosecutor to let charges go once they have been brought against a target than it is to dissuade the prosecutor from bringing those charges in the first place.

Good luck to you.


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 17:13:21

by the other answers that appear here, you know by now that the statute of limitations for most federal offenses, that is, the date by which charges must be brought against you, is 5 years from the commission of the offense. you didn't indicate the type of federal crime that you have been investigated for since 2011, but, based on the number of people (54) who have been indicted, you're probably talking about some type of identity theft (credit cards, stolen checks, telemarketing) or, more likely, drug offenses.

my only pont in responding was to answer some of your other questions. obviously, no one on this site can answer why the feds may still be after you or why they are still trying to "put something on you." as to why you weren't included in the other three indictments, the answer is either (1) they have determined that you didn't commit an offense and don't ever intend to indict you, or (2) that they are hoping to get information from those that have been indicted so that they have enough evidence to finally indict you. if you are perceived by police to be "at the top," it may be more likely that they don't have enough evidence yet and are hoping to develop evidence through lower-level individuals who plead guilty and agree to cooperate. hope this helps.


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 15:42:26

The investigation can't go on longer than the statute of limitations for the crime being investigated. Many crimes have statutes of limitation longer than others, and certain crimes are "continuing" crimes - your best bet is to hire a federal criminal defense attorney to discuss all your options, potential exposure and defenses.


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 15:35:03

Federal investigations can take a long time and you can be indicted until the statute of limitations runs out. When will that be? My colleagues have given you some good and detailed information about that. I would only add that an imaginative prosecutor may try to find a way to extend or avoid any statute of limitations that might appear to be applicable. Your attorney may be able to discuss your case with the United States Attorney's office and try to get it resolved. If that fails then you can assume that they really want you but are having some trouble getting a grip on you, and you will be looking over you shoulder for a while yet.


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 15:22:49

unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do. The Statute of Limitations for a federal crime (other than a capital offense) is 5 years from the date of the event, or if it is a conspiracy, 5 years from the last act in furtherance thereof. The only time you can feel safe is after the SOL has expired.


Posted on / Jul. 19, 2015 15:17:40

There is no statute of limitations for federal crimes punishable by death, nor for certain federal
crimes of terrorism, nor, since passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (2006)
(P.L. 109-248), for certain federal sex offenses. Prosecution for most other federal crimes must
begin within five years of the commitment of the offense. There are exceptions. Some types of
crimes are subject to a longer period of limitation; some circumstances suspend or extend the
otherwise applicable period of limitation.
Arson, art theft, certain crimes against financial institutions and various immigration offenses all
carry statutes of limitation longer than the five year standard. Regardless of the applicable statute
of limitations, the period may be extended or the running of the period suspended or tolled under
a number of circumstances such as when the accused is a fugitive or when the case involves
charges of child abuse, bankruptcy, wartime fraud against the government, or DNA evidence.
Ordinarily, the statute of limitations begins to run as soon as the crime has been completed.
Although the federal crime of conspiracy is complete when one of the plotters commits an
affirmative act in its name, the period for conspiracies begins with the last affirmative act
committed in furtherance of the scheme. Other so-called continuing offenses include various
possession crimes and some that impose continuing obligations to register or report.

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