Pre-arrest and Arrest Warrant FAQs
If you are contacted by federal agents or otherwise become aware that federal agents would like to speak to you about a criminal investigation, you should seek to speak with an attorney prior speaking with the federal agents. If you can’t afford an attorney, you may contact one of our offices to learn more about how to request that the court provide you with an attorney at no cost.
If you think you might be the subject of a federal investigation, you should contact a criminal defense attorney before speaking with law enforcement agents or their representatives. You have a right to an attorney’s advice and counsel in any conversation with law enforcement agents. Your attorney should arrange all meetings or telephone contact with them. Even if you do not have an attorney, remind law enforcement representatives that you wish to have an attorney present.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you should contact the Federal Public Defender’s Office at (305) 530-7000 in Miami-Dade County, (954) 356-7436 in Broward County, (561) 833-6288 in Palm Beach County, or (772) 489-2123 in St. Lucie County. An Assistant Federal Public Defender can provide you information about how to request that the court provide you an attorney at no cost. Even if you believe you are only a witness in a federal investigation, you still have the option and the right to consult with an attorney and to refuse to speak with law enforcement.
It is important to determine whether you are the subject of the grand jury investigation or just a witness providing evidence. The “subject” or “target” is anybody whom the government might charge with a crime as a result of the grand jury proceedings. Check the subpoena or your letter from the U.S. Attorney to see whether that office considers you a “subject” or “target” of the investigation. If you are the “subject” or “target” — or even if you are uncertain but suspect you might be the “subject” or “target” of the grand jury investigation — you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. You should not negotiate with the prosecutors or law enforcement agents by yourself. Have your defense attorney call the U.S. Attorney’s Office to identify the government’s interest in you. A criminal defense attorney can protect important rights for you, including your right against self-incrimination, and may be able to successfully negotiate immunity in exchange for your testimony.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you should contact the Federal Public Defender’s Office at (305) 530-7000 in Miami-Dade County, (954) 356-7436 in Broward County, (561) 833-6288 in Palm Beach County or (772) 489-2123 in St. Lucie County. An Assistant Federal Public Defender can provide you information about how to request that the court provide you an attorney at no cost.
The U.S. Marshals Service has offices at the following locations in the Southern District of Florida:
In Miami: U.S Courthouse, 400 N. Miami Avenue 6th Floor, Miami, Florida (786) 433-6340
In Ft. Lauderdale: U.S. Courthouse, 299 E. Broward Boulevard, Room 312, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (954) 356-7256
In West Palm Beach: 701 Clematis Street-Room 215, West Palm Beach, Florida (561) 655-1827
In Ft. Pierce: 101 South US Highway One, Suite 2058, Ft. Pierce, Florida 34950 (772) 293-0650