If I'm going to be a witness in a federal investigation, should I consult with an attorney?
Question Details: About 2 years ago. I was contacted by the FBI asking some basic questions about my employment at a former company where the owner and his partners were charged last year for health care fraud or kickbacks. Then last week the same FBI agent sent me an email asking if I knew an individual charged in the case. They told me that I could be asked to testify at trial and that could be a couple years away. Should I get a legal representation as a witness? Should I refer any additional questions to an attorney? I'm not really sure what I should do here.
A witness does not normally need legal representation unless either of the following is true:
1) You yourself did things which are either criminal or which could get you sued (so, for example, helping someone else engage in fraud or take money to which they are not entitled) if they come to light and they might come up in your testimony, in which case you want an attorney's advice about how to avoid or at least minimize consequences.
2) You signed some sort of confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement that would be violated by testimony, and you will want an attorney's help to avoid any consequences from that.