How to Respond when an OIG Agent Wants to Talk
When one is under federal investigation, an agent from the inspector general’s office might show up at your office or contact you requesting to talk. Often this can be very confusing and nerve-wracking. Under such instances, one should not panic. People often make bad decisions and say incriminating things when they are stressed. To avoid making such bad decisions, you should request the agent to schedule the meeting for the following day. The rescheduling will give you time to calm down and prepare yourself for questioning.
Agents from the office of the inspector general carry guns and badges. Therefore, one should consider if it is in one’s best interest to speak to these agents. However, sometimes you may not have a choice. The agents will give you a warning preceding the interview to let you know that you have to talk to them.
How OGI interviews work
During the interview, agents from the OGI cannot force you to answer any question. However, if you decide to answer their questions, you have to be truthful. Giving false answers can incriminate you during the trial. On the other hand, you should refuse to answer questions if you feel they might use the answers against you during criminal proceedings.
It is within your rights to hire an attorney if you feel hesitant to answer the agent’s questions truthfully. The attorney will help you understand the consequences of refusing to answer a question and the reactions of giving a truthful answer. Although OGI agents cannot force you to answer their questions, you might lose your federal employment.
Even though you are bound by law to tell the truth when speaking to the OGI agents, the agents are not. Therefore OGI agents might often lie and deceive you during the interview. The aim of their deception is usually to rattle, confuse, and scare you into a confession. The agents then use the information garnered to build up a criminal case against you.
In instances where you are not the subject of the investigation, it is advisable not to offer information that you are not sure about or that you cannot prove. You should also not provide information unless you are willing to testify against the accused in court.
Your obligations during an interview with OGI agents
During an interview with OGI agents, you are under obligation to cooperate with the agents. This obligation includes answering questions truthfully and providing any additional information that might be in your possession. However, this obligation does not deny you the privilege to hire an attorney. You must also give detailed answers to the agents to avoid appearing as if you are withholding information.
If an OGI agent makes contact requesting an interview, you are obligated to inform your employer, the management, and their attorneys. You are also obligated not to disclose information about the interview to anyone else, including other employees.
Your rights during an OGI interview
During an interview with OGI agents, there is nothing like off the record reveals or discussions, any information you provide the agents will use it against you later. The Fifth Amendment protects you from offering up such information. By pledging the Fifth Amendment, you lawfully decline to answer any incriminating question that the agents might throw your way.
You have the right to be accompanied by your attorney. You should never attend an interview with OGI agents alone because the agents might coax and abuse your rights, including the Fifth Amendment right, therefore forcing you to reveal incriminating information. Having your attorney accompany you to such interviews will prevent such occurrences. You have the right to confer with your attorney about the questions asked and how to answer them.
Cases that OGI agents investigate
Agents from the OGI investigate a variety of cases. These cases are;
- Administration Improprieties.
- Employee Misconduct.
Once you suspect to be under investigation from OGI agents, your first step should be to hire a defense lawyer with experience in such cases. Your lawyer will help you through the process and ensure that the agents do not infringe on your rights.
Once agents from the inspector’s office general reach out requesting an interview, you shouldn’t accept it before consulting with your attorney. Making the thoughtful decision of conferring with a lawyer will help you be one step ahead of the investigation. Remember that withholding information and destroying the evidence could lead to problems for you in the long run. Working with an experienced lawyer will not only help you come out of the investigation unscathed but might also prove very beneficial when battling criminal charges in court. That is why we at Spodek Law Group provide you with the best legal representation to guide you safely through your interview with OGI agents.