Few people suspect that they will face serious criminal charges at some point in their lives. Often this type of predicament arises after a person has found themselves in a difficult situation and made questionable decisions or in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though you may have always felt like an upstanding individual, you could still end up facing federal charges due to unfortunate circumstances.
If someone accuses you of a serious crime, you may feel shocked and unprepared. Rather than panic about potential charges, you may want to learn more about your situation. First, an investigation must take place to determine whether the claims against you have merit.
Federal agencies involved
Depending on the type of federal crime allegedly committed, different federal agencies may conduct the investigation. Though you may first think of the FBI when it comes to such cases, that bureau acts as only one agency that could address serious crimes at the federal level. Some of the other agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The agency assigned to a case depends on what type of crime purportedly took place.
Identifying a suspect
If someone has pointed a finger at you as part of a federal crime, the agency involved in the case will likely consider you a suspect. However, their investigation must first determine whether a crime actually took place and determine whether evidence exists that causes agents to consider you a legitimate suspect. If they do suspect you, they could take you into custody or potentially attempt to gain additional evidence before making an arrest.
Initial court appearance
If agents do take you into custody, you will have to make an initial appearance in court. The appearance must take place within a 72-period after your arrest. During this appearance, the court will provide you with information regarding the allegations brought against you and other pertinent information. After your appearance, authorities may or may not release you from custody, depending on the circumstances.
Your legal options
As with any type of criminal allegations, you have the right to defend yourself against federal charges. Because these allegations can seem intimidating, you may want to ensure that you understand your predicament to the best of your ability. Due to the seriousness of such situations, you may wish to consider speaking with a Kansas attorney as soon as possible.