U.S. Attorney’s Target Letters: Basic Samples

FBI Investigations
March 26, 2020
The 3 Key Steps After You Receive A Target Letter
March 26, 2020

target letter mnIn our many years of experience, we have seen a wide variety of target letters issued by different agencies within the Department of Justice. We have prepared some sample target letters to give you a better idea of how these instruments work.

(Note that all target letters will be sent on official DOJ letterhead.)

Letter 1: Request For Lawyer Contact

Dear [your name]:

[A law enforcement agency or federal department (e.g. FBI, IRS, Inspector General, Postal Inspector)] is currently investigating you in connection with [a specific federal crime].

This office is currently preparing to seek an indictment in this matter by presenting evidence to a federal grand journey. You may be able to resolve your involvement in this matter before an indictment or the issuance of an arrest warrant. To do so, please have your attorney contact me before [a date which is typically about two weeks away].

If you would like an attorney to assist you with this matter but do not believe you can afford one, I have enclosed a form that you can use to request representation from [this judicial district’s] Federal Public Defender’s Office.

Sincerely
[Name of Assistant United States Attorney]

Letter 2: Meeting/Interview Request

Dear [your name]:

This office is currently cooperating with [A law enforcement agency or federal department (e.g. FBI, IRS, Inspector General, Postal Inspector)] in investigating your connection with [a specific federal crime].

I would like to discuss this investigation with you in person. Please come to my office for this discussion at [a date and time in the near future]. If you cannot attend this meeting and do not respond to this letter, this office will proceed to seek an indictment by presenting evidence to a federal grand jury. If you have not met with me and the jury returns an indictment against you, we may then seek an arrest warrant.

If you would like an attorney to assist you with this matter but do not believe you can afford one, I have enclosed a form that you can use to request representation from [this judicial district’s] Federal Public Defender’s Office.

Sincerely
[Name of Assistant United States Attorney]

Letter 3: Grand Jury Testimony

Dear [your name]:

This letter is to inform you that you are the target of an active investigation by a [court location] Grand Jury. You are hereby invited to testify before the Grand Jury in connection with the investigation.

As a Grand Jury witness, you may be asked to answer questions, testify, and produce records and/or documentation. Your testimony is private; the only permitted participants are you, the Grand Jury’s members, attorneys for the United States, and a stenographer.

The Grand Jury investigation regards the potential violation of federal criminal laws. Possible crimes include — but may not be limited to — [description of potential specific offenses involved in the case]. Be advised that destroying or altering any evidence the Grand Jury requires you to produce is a serious crime. Such tampering may constitute, among other crimes, Obstruction of Justice.

You are hereby advised of your status as one of the targets of the Grand Jury’s investigation. You have the right to refuse to answer any question raised by the Grand Jury if a truthful answer could incriminate you. All of your actions and statements may be used against you in subsequent legal proceedings.

If you appear before the Grand Jury with an attorney retained to represent you, you will have opportunities (within reason) to exit the Grand Jury room and confer with your counsel if you wish to.

Sincerely
[Name of Assistant United States Attorney]

If you receive one of letters, contact us today.

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