Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Law
What does it mean to be considered a “person of interest” in a criminal investigation?
This means a law enforcement agency has reason to believe you may have been involved in or know about a criminal matter they are looking into. It does NOT mean you are a suspect, yet; they may simply believe that you could have been an eyewitness. However, it is a serious matter. A skilled defense attorney can often make a great difference at this point in an investigation.
What should I do if I receive a target letter from a federal agency saying I am a person of interest?
Consider this letter an urgent legal matter that you must attend to as soon as possible. Do not contact the federal agency. Do not say anything or respond without consulting with a lawyer first. A best-case scenario will be for you to retain a qualified defense attorney and let them do the talking on your behalf.
Is “breaking the law” always a criminal matter?
Not always. Some violations consist of regulatory noncompliance. For example, a restaurant may not have the proper entrance that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires to accommodate customers with disabilities. An offender in such a case will normally receive a citation and possibly a fine, but the matter will not usually go on to a criminal court unless offenses rise to the level of a crime by being egregious or persistent, despite notifications, or for other reasons. An administrative agency such as the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) or the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will be the authority over a case involving noncompliance with civil regulations.
I believe I was exercising my constitutional rights when I was arrested for a gun law violation. Can a lawyer get my arrest removed from the record altogether?
An experienced defense attorney should review all details of your case to determine the best way toward a favorable outcome. Depending on the facts, you may have reason to bring a civil rights claim against the law enforcement officers. Your arrest and any charges may be sealable or expungeable. Do not miss the chance to protect your rights and reputation. Contact a defense lawyer as soon as possible.
How can I get answers to my individual questions?