Federal Target Letters and Florida Drug Cases
Criminal cases involving simple possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances usually go through the state courts. If you do not have any prior criminal convictions, you might even be eligible for a pretrial diversion drug court program, where, if you complete the court-ordered substance abuse treatment and other requirements of the program successfully, you can get the charges dropped and emerge from the case without a criminal record. If the charges involve a large group of people connected to the illegal drugs, such as drug trafficking conspiracy cases where the drugs crossed state lines or the alleged conspirators communicated with each other online, then it is likely that your case will go through the federal courts. Investigations into federal drug trafficking cases take a long time, and the people who receive criminal charges are only a fraction of the people that the police investigate in connection with the drug trafficking operation. If you receive a letter saying that prosecutors want to talk to you about a drug-related crime, it does not always mean that you will face charges yourself, but it does mean that you should talk to a Florida drug offenses attorney.
The What and Why of Federal Target Letters
“Target” is a scary word in the context of a criminal investigation, but if you receive a federal target letter about a drug conspiracy case, it does not always mean that you are a suspect. It does, however, mean that prosecutors think that you are a witness to a crime. When you receive a federal target letter, it either means that you have been summoned to testify before a grand jury or that you will receive a subpoena soon. As long as a grand jury is meeting, the defendant, who, as a rule, is not you, has not received criminal charges. In other words, prosecutors want you to testify so that a grand jury can decide, based on your testimony and on the testimony of the other witnesses, whether to charge the defendant with a crime.
Your Rights If You Receive a Federal Target Letter
If you are requested to appear as a witness, you are legally required to respond and to answer truthfully. The Fifth Amendment protects you from being forced to incriminate yourself. Therefore, you should plead the Fifth Amendment if answering a question truthfully might cause you to receive criminal charges. The federal target letter informs you of this right. You have the right to representation by a criminal defense lawyer if you have received a target letter and must testify before a grand jury. Your lawyer can help you avoid incriminating yourself and may even be able to help you get immunity from criminal prosecution.
Contact FL Drug Defense Group About Drug Cases
A Central Florida criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being asked to testify before a grand jury in a federal drug conspiracy case. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.