People often think police investigations are covert operations hidden from the public until law enforcement makes a dramatic surprise arrest. In reality, it can be easy to tell if you are the subject of a criminal investigation if you know what signs to look for.
You might be able to tell if you are under investigation if the police have been showing up in your life more often than normal. Perhaps you have had some encounters with the police lately that felt out of the ordinary. You might have also heard rumors in your community about the police investigation. It is also possible that the police have made themselves known to you and have executed a search or arrest warrant or are trying to. If you believe the police are conducting a criminal investigation and you are somehow at the center of it all, contact an attorney immediately.
While the police have a lot of authority, their power is not without limits. Our Atlantic County, NJ criminal defense lawyers can help you protect yourself from the police and hopefully avoid criminal charges. For a free case evaluation, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.
Signs That You Might Be the Subject of a Criminal Investigation in Atlantic County, NJ
Depending on the nature of the case, it might be obvious that you are under investigation by the police. In other cases, the police are more discreet, and it might be harder to determine exactly what is happening. If you suspect you are being investigated for a supposed criminal offense, call our Atlantic County, NJ criminal defense attorneys for help immediately.
Encounters with the Police
One way you can tell that you are being criminally investigated is that you might have had some recent encounters with law enforcement. While encounters with law enforcement are normal (e.g., routine traffic stops), they can become concerning.
You might be under investigation if the police wanted to stop you and ask questions. You should be concerned if the police seemed adamant about asking questions or if the questions seemed to be a bit incriminating. Remember, you do not have to answer questions asked by the police outside of basic questions about your identity. If you are not in police custody, you may walk away. If you are in police custody, remain silent and call a lawyer.
If the police stopped you while you were driving and searched your vehicle or wanted to search your vehicle, you might be under an investigation. The police often use routine traffic stops as a pretext to search your case and find probable cause to arrest you for a different alleged crime. If the police stopped you and searched your vehicle, contact our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys immediately whether you were arrested or not.
You should also be concerned if the police have ever shown up at your home or place of work. Even if they do not arrest anyone or conduct a search, they might be trying to gather reasonable suspicion or probable cause to allow them to take further action against you.
Complaints from People in the Community
Even if you have not had any contact with the police, that does not mean they are not investigating. In many instances, people learn about criminal investigations from people in their own communities. Call our Atlantic County, NJ criminal defense lawyers for help if you are unsure about a potential investigation.
People often learn that they are the subject of a criminal investigation through neighborhood gossip and rumors. Perhaps you heard about the investigation through a friend or a neighbor, and now you are afraid the police might show up at any minute. First, rumors can be helpful in these situations, but they should not be taken as the gospel truth. Find out what information you can and call an attorney for additional help.
In other cases, people become aware of a criminal investigation because someone in their community came forward and admitted to making a complaint to the police. Other times, people get angry and tell you that they plan to call the police before actually doing it, like a threat. In either case, take these threats and complaints seriously, even if the reason behind them is bogus.
A Search Warrant Has Been Executed
Some signs of a criminal investigation are more obvious and urgent. For example, if the police have executed a search warrant and searched your home, you are almost certainly being investigated. Alternatively, you might be aware that a warrant exists but has not yet been executed. In that case, call our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys immediately.
Being searched by law enforcement is a huge deal, and you need to contact an attorney even if you were not arrested. It is possible that the search was illegal, and the evidence seized can be suppressed. Suppressed evidence cannot be used against you in court, and the more evidence that is excluded, the better. The search might have been illegal if there was no warrant, the warrant was faulty, or the exception to the warrant rule claimed by the police was invalid.
What to Do if You Are Under Criminal Investigation in Atlantic County, NJ
If you believe the police are investigating you in Atlantic County, contact a lawyer and avoid speaking to law enforcement. Remember, even if you are arrested, and in police custody, you do not have to answer any questions beyond basic ones to verify your identity. You have the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer present while you are held in custody.
You should also call a lawyer because the police might violate your rights during the investigation. For example, if they arrest you and begin asking you incriminating questions (i.e., custodial interrogation), they must first inform you of your Miranda rights. These include your right to remain silent and have a lawyer. If they fail to read you your rights, any information you divulge must not be used against you. Our Atlantic County, NJ criminal defense attorneys can come to your aid as soon as possible.
Call Our Atlantic County, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers for Help Now
Criminal investigations are intimidating, and it is understandable to feel overwhelmed. Our Wildwood, NJ criminal defense attorneys can help you protect yourself throughout the investigation and fight any criminal charges. For a free case evaluation, call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287.