Nobody wants to be audited, but the new crime audits make being audited by the IRS look like a walk in the park. Under the terms of the Criminal Accountability Act, citizens are randomly chosen, and every aspect of their life and past is thoroughly investigated. Large amounts of data are available to investigators at the Criminal Audit Division of the FBI. Bank records, security camera footage from locations and times the audited person was known to be at, and cellphone records and emails are accessible.
The letter informing the recipient that they have been audited is hand delivered. From that point they have two months to fill out and return what is called a ‘declaration’ and a ‘bid’. The declaration is a list of all criminal offenses that the audited person thinks that they have committed, together with as many details as they can remember. The bid is the suggestion that the audited person makes about what their punishment should be. At this point, they have no idea what the CAD knows about what they have done. They are told that they must record every single crime they can recall, but in practice this involves a guessing game about what the investigators will be likely to find. The more that the audited person reveals about their criminal offenses (especially ones unknown to the auditors) the more likely the CAD are likely to be lenient. One of the ways in which they can be lenient is to accept a low bid.
Obviously, the complexity of all this makes hiring an attorney necessary. At the moment, the system is relatively new, so even the most experienced attorneys are still trying to find the best ways to help their clients. What crimes should they declare? What should their bids be like? They want to try and secure the lowest possible sentence but bid too low and the CAD will seek a total sentence that tends towards the upper end of the sentencing rules. Ultimately a judge decides, but they have not yet rejected an accepted bid or deviated much from the recommended sentence requested by CAD after a rejected bid. If the CAD attribute any additional crimes to the defendant beyond what they have declared, they can challenge them, but it invalidates their bid which may otherwise be accepted by the CAD with a recommendation for an additional element based on the added offenses. Rejection of additional crimes usually results in a criminal trial on those charges. If the defendant has already admitted to enough criminal offenses to warrant it, CAD usually requests that they be held on remand ahead of the trial, and this is usually granted and does not count towards any final sentence. So the incentive is there to be as thorough and accepting as possible.