How to Respond when an OIG Agent Wants to Talk
Learning that you are under investigation for a federal offense can be overwhelming and confusing. If a federal agent catches you off guard and attempts to question you at work, you may say things that you’ll regret in the future. Take a minute to think about the possible consequences of speaking with the agent and, if you decide it is the best course of action to move forward in your case, set up a time to talk with them after consulting your federal defense attorney. You may feel forced to answer their questions, but it’s important to understand that the Fifth Amendment protects you from answering questions that could be used to incriminate you, and you always have the right to remain silent. It is up to you to decide whether or not you speak with an agent.
Your decision to speak with an OIG agent is important and may have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Any information you share with them has the potential to be used against you in court, making it crucial for you to carefully consider what questions you want to answer. Consulting with your attorney will help you avoid self-incrimination, putting you one step closer to a favorable result in your case. If you’re under investigation for a federal offense, contact Grabel & Associates as soon as possible. We have licensed federal attorneys on staff who can advise you on the next steps to take after an agent has approached you. A member of our team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and get you on track to achieving your desired results. Contact us online to set up an appointment now.
What do OIG Agents Investigate?
OIG agents, or agents of the Office of the Inspector General, investigate a wide variety of matters including fraud, employee misconduct, administration improprieties, other ethical and compliance concerns, and more. If you suspect that you’re under investigation, the first step you should take is securing a premier defense lawyer. Your attorney will walk you through every step of the case and fight to protect your rights. Having a top-tier lawyer on your side is the best way to ensure you receive a fair shot at justice.
What is an Employee’s Obligation During an OIG Investigation?
Employees must fully cooperate with any OIG investigation, though that doesn’t strip you of your right to an attorney, and you should exercise your right to remain silent until a lawyer can advise you. Cooperation usually includes answering the agent’s questions honestly and providing any information requested that is in the employee’s possession. All questions should be answered with specific details to avoid the appearance that the employee is withholding information, though your lawyer can advise you on what exactly you need to disclose in detail. Employees that have been contacted regarding an investigation may inform management and their attorneys, but should avoid discussing the matter with anyone else.
Using Your Fifth Amendment Right in an OIG Investigation
Employees are legally obligated to speak with OIG agents, unless the questions could result in self-incrimination. Still, you should contact a lawyer before taking any action in an investigation. The Fifth Amendment protects individuals from providing information that could be used against them in a criminal proceeding, which if you are under investigation, is likely relevant. In some circumstances, employees may receive immunity against criminal prosecution and be required to share any information they have. Working with an attorney will help you navigate the confusing elements of your case and guide your interaction with the OIG, putting you in position to be successful in your defense.
Our Approach to OIG Agent Investigation Defense
Taking thoughtful action at the beginning of your case will make it easier for you throughout the entire investigative process. Contact a lawyer and learn about your rights before deciding to speak with an OIG agent. If you do speak with an agent, which you should not do without at least first speaking with a lawyer, remember to never provide false information, withhold any evidence, or destroy any evidence. This will result in much bigger problems in the long run. Work with a lawyer to learn about the options available in your case and to get on the road to clearing your name.
Contact Grabel & Associates for Help with Your Federal Case
A skilled member of our team can be reached 24/7 by phone or online. Call 1-800-342-7896 now to get connected with one of Michigan’s top legal teams. We will provide you with a free initial case consultation and connect you with a knowledgeable attorney. Our firm has over 15 years of history defending the rights of Michigan’s accused, and we are dedicated to aggressively fighting on your behalf. Providing you with sound legal advice to help you prove your innocence is our top priority. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us as soon as possible to ensure you have the best shot at protecting your rights and achieving a favorable case result.