How Can You Tell if You’re Under Police Surveillance?

The police have a lot of power in criminal investigations. Covert surveillance is a common tactic used by law enforcement. If you believe you might be under police surveillance, call a lawyer immediately.

The police do not usually make it obvious when they are surveilling someone. You should be on the lookout for certain signs that the police are monitoring your activities. Have you noticed people following you in public spaces? Have you seen the same vehicles driving past your home or place of work? Perhaps the police have made direct contact with you or people you know. If you suspect the police are watching you, be extra careful about how you conduct yourself publicly and call a criminal defense lawyer for assistance. Your attorney can help you take steps to protect your privacy and your legal rights. If you are under police investigation, criminal charges might be forthcoming, and you need to be ready.

To get a free initial case evaluation, call our criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.

Signs You Might Be Under Police Surveillance

Exactly how the police conduct criminal investigations is somewhat hard to pin down. While certain investigative tactics are common knowledge, others are not. On top of that, no two investigations are alike, and law enforcement will tailor their efforts to the needs of each case. One method that the police may use is covert surveillance. To put it bluntly, the police might be spying on criminal suspects.

People Are Following You

The whole point of police surveillance is to watch the suspect without their knowledge to catch them in some incriminating act or circumstance. One important sign that you are being watched is seeing certain people you do not know multiple times in different places. Essentially, you might be being followed.

Contrary to what some believe, this is not illegal as long as the police officers tailing you do not enter private property without consent or otherwise conduct an illegal search. For example, the police cannot hide in the buses in your front yard. They can, however, walk some distance behind you on a public street and follow you to see where you go and what you do. If you notice the same person or people over and over again, call a lawyer.

Cars Driving Past Your Home or Work

Sometimes, the police will check up on a suspect to see where they are and what they are doing. They might not follow you around, but they might drive past your home or place of work to see if your car is in your driveway or the parking lot. Simply checking on a person’s whereabouts is a common surveillance strategy.

Sometimes, the police will drive an unmarked vehicle and park it outside your home or office, just waiting for you to come out. As long as they stay on a public street, they are not trespassing.

Police Contact

Sometimes, the police take a somewhat bolder approach and actually confront suspects in criminal investigations. They might do this if the alleged crime is not very serious or if they believe the suspect is willing to cooperate. If you have been contacted by the police about a criminal investigation, get a lawyer immediately.

Our criminal defense attorneys can make sure you know your rights and how to protect them. Avoid talking to the police or answering their questions until you have a lawyer. If they arrest you, invoke your right to remain silent and demand your lawyer.

Suspicious Social Media Activity

Police surveillance has changed in the digital age. Surveillance might occur across social media platforms. If you notice friend or follower requests from unknown accounts, do not accept them. If you have not done so already, make all your social media private so only approved people can see it. Avoid posting on social media for as long as you believe you are being surveilled.

What Do I Do if I Believe I’m Under Police Surveillance?

If you suspect the police have been following you or are otherwise keeping an eye on you, you should be extra careful about everything you do. Every time you leave your home, assume you are being watched and act accordingly. Avoid doing anything that might be misconstrued or somehow used against you.

Avoid making extreme changes to your routine. Stick to your normal daily activities. Go to work or school in the morning and come straight home in the evening. If you must run errands, make them quick and do not stop off anywhere. Changes to your normal routine might only arouse greater suspicion, even if you are not doing anything incriminating.

Avoid leaving the state if you can. While you are being surveilled, you might not necessarily be entangled in the criminal justice yet. Unless a judge has ordered you to stay put, you are likely free to leave the state. However, this might be seen as an attempt to flee, and the police will only crack down harder on their investigation.

Finally, contact a lawyer for help right away. Even if you are unsure why the police are watching you, call an attorney. They can help you prepare for when the police move in for an arrest. They can also help you get to the bottom of why you are under surveillance.

How to Protect Your Privacy if You Are Being Surveilled by the Police

The best way to protect yourself while being watched by the police is to avoid speaking to people you do not know. If a stranger tries to strike up a conversation, politely move on and do not give away anything other than basic small talk.

If the police contact you directly, remain silent. If you have not been arrested, you do not have to talk to the police at all. You can just walk away. If you are unsure whether you can walk away, directly and clearly ask the officer if you are being held in custody. If the answer is no, leave and call your lawyer.

If the police ask to enter your home, say no. If they have your consent, the police can search your home without a warrant. Police officers often rely on suspects not knowing their rights and being too scared to say no. Be brave and say no.

Alert your attorney any time you notice something suspicious. While the police can surveil people as part of criminal investigations, they must adhere to very strict legal rules and protocols. If the police cross a line, their investigation and surveillance operations might be in jeopardy.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help if You Notice Police Surveillance

To get a free initial case evaluation, call our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956.

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