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Can I wait out a possible federal prosecution abroad?

New York, NY |

I was involved in laundering money for a drug dealing operation(transporting money across state lines), but quit it and got my life in order and put my criminal life behind me. Recently I learned, by accident, that a woman I was involved with had been arrested by the DEA. I feared that she might inform on me and sold everything I had and moved to Germany without telling anyone where I was going. I later learned that she had been looking for me so I suspect that she is working with the DEA. So my questions is: can I wait out the statue of limitations in Germany and then come back to the US or is there a risk that I'll be arrested at the border? I haven't been indicted or arrested or contacted by the authorities regarding any crime so I don't think I'm fleeing prosecution.

Attorney Answers 8

Posted

In general, a statute of limitations is tolled (i.e., the clock stops running) while the defendant is out of the jurisdiction. Your plan to sit out the statute in Germany sounds like a non-starter for that reason alone, and possibly for others well. Your last sentence suggests considerable legal confusion on your part. You might want to review your options with an attorney familiar with the defense of U.S. federal prosecutions.

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Posted

You are not going to be able to wait it out once they have indicted or decided to indict. Maybe your absence can cause the statute of limitations to run since they can't continue their investigation.
Do you know thaey haven't indicted you?

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Posted

Familiarize yourself with a saga of Antoin (Tony) Rezko, a prominent Syrian businessman who was abroad as well and yet, was charged and indicted. I do not believe you will have much luck handing out abroad hoping the U.S. Government forgets about you given your description. Highly unlikely.

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Posted

You should not post admissions on this site. If they indict you before the end of the SOL and get an arrest warrant for you, there is no longer a SOL defense. You can be arrested if you come back. Go get an attorney to work through your criminal exposure here.

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Posted

If the US Attorney files an indictment that will satisfy the statute of limitations.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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Posted

My office regularly handles such issues and has has clients indicted and out of country for over a decade and still prosecuted... Once there is an indictment there is no statute of limitations, arguably once Theres a charge there is no statute of limitations...

So the waiting game could turn into your entire life...

I would usually suggest hiring an attorney ASAP and arranging for a surrender then a presentment... However, you should contact our office for a thorough review of what potential liability you're facing and a full discussion of your options.

Contact us immediately.

Contact us for a free initial consulation; at our NYC office at 212-405-2234 or our Bridgeport Connecticut office at 203-633-4567

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Posted

Hiding in Germany does not protect you from extradition. The statute of limitations will be tolled if the Government can prove that you were ouside the USA and unfindable, providing that they file an indictment within the five years of the criminal activity. You should hire a NY attorney to investigate and find out if the Government wants you or not. I am available.

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Posted

Your strategy is unlikely to be successful. I have represented many federal defendants on cases 5, 10 or more years old. Often federal indictments are sealed so you may have a warrant and not be able to see it on pacer. Unless you want a life on the run, I'd hire a good federal attorney and try to work this case out ASAP. Your former girlfriend is almost certainly cooperating against you. Hire an attorney at the earliest opportunity and start the process of dealing with this case. You can find an attorney on this site, but do locate counsel promptly.

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