Targets and Subjects

Targets and Subjects

Targets, Subjects, and Witnesses in Federal Criminal Investigations

The Government often classifies the persons in a federal criminal investigation as targets, subjects, and witnesses.  These classifications, which can change at any moment, are helpful to understanding how the government views the case.

What Does The Term “Target” Of A Federal Criminal Investigation Mean?
According to the United States Department of Justice, a target of a federal criminal investigation is a person as to whom the prosecutor or the grand jury has substantial evidence linking him or her to the commission of a crime and who, in the judgment of the prosecutor, is considered to be a defendant.

What Does The Term “Subject” Of A Federal Criminal Investigation Mean? 
According to the United States Department of Justice.  A “subject” of an investigation is a person whose conduct is within the scope of the grand jury’s investigation.  In practical terms, that can mean that the Government simply isn’t sure of the person’s role in the alleged violation of federal law and that they are still investigating the person.

What Does The Term “Witness” In A Federal Criminal Investigation Mean? 
If a federal agent or Assistant United States Attorney tell you that you are merely a “witness” in a federal criminal investigation, that generally means that they believe you have information concerning another person’s alleged violation of federal law.

Don’t Speak to Government Investigators
If a federal agent or Assistant United States Attorney tell you that you are a target, subject, or a witness in a federal criminal investigation, you should not speak to them without first consulting with an experienced federal criminal attorney.

First, it is essential to remember that if you decide to speak with federal agents, and you tell them things that are not true, you could be charged with a crime.

Second, regardless whether the government classifies you as a target, subject, or witness, that classification could change as the investigation progresses, and anything you say to the agents could be used against you in court.

Third, sometimes a defense attorney can bring facts to the government’s attention to show them that a target or subject is really just an innocent witness.

Are you looking for the best federal criminal defense lawyer in Tampa Florida? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.

Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents people accused of committing federal criminal offenses.

Attorney Hardy is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. In the Federal Courts, he has handled a wide variety of cases including international extradition, drug trafficking, bank fraud, health care fraud, immigration offenses, aggravated identity theft, the misbranding of drugs, and firearms offenses.  He has represented clients in Federal Trial and Appellate Courts in Florida, Texas, and Georgia.

Attorney Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.  Contact Attorney Hardy for a free consultation.