If you have reason to believe you are under investigation by law enforcement officials, the actions you take going forward are of profound importance to your future. The first thing you should do is talk to a lawyer. A few mistakes you should avoid include:
Talking to investigators without an attorney
You may have nothing to hide and feel that talking freely to investigators will reveal your innocence, but this can be a serious mistake. Investigators with the FBI, IRS and other government agencies are skilled at getting subjects to make incriminating statements. A barrage of questions can disorient even an innocent person and compel them to make contradictory and even untrue statements, resulting in heightened scrutiny and even possible criminal charges. You can avoid these pitfalls by having a knowledgeable attorney by your side from the beginning.
Keeping your attorney in the dark
Speaking of your attorney, this is the person with whom you should be completely forthright, even if it means revealing embarrassing or even incriminating details. The attorney-client privilege offers you the freedom to divulge sensitive information to your lawyer with the assurance that your communications will remain confidential.
The last person you want surprised by an unknown element in your case is your lawyer. The more information your attorney has at hand, the better equipped she will be to help you avoid lasting damage from a criminal investigation.
Dragging your feet
In a high-stakes legal matter such as a criminal investigation, every hour and minute counts. If you are just finding out federal investigators have you on their radar, it is likely the investigation has already been active for weeks or even months.
The sooner you mount a proactive defense, the better chance you have of quickly putting this matter behind you, or at least mitigating the impact that a criminal investigation will have on your career and your life.