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What to do if you suspect that you are under investigation

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Criminal Defense

When the police or any number of federal agencies conduct an investigation, they look for evidence they can use to build a case. They do not have the evidence already but may have a suspect.

If you believe you are the target of a criminal investigation, you should understand the process.

Learn about your constitutional protections

First, you have the Fourth Amendment right of protection against illegal searches and seizures. This means that if law enforcement does not have proof or probable cause, they cannot search your property, and in most cases, they need a search warrant.

You also have the Fifth Amendment right to leave the police station if the police did not arrest you. Therefore, ask whether the police formally arrested you. You also have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself under the Fifth Amendment. This means that although you should act respectfully, you can decline to answer questions from law enforcement.

Under the Sixth Amendment, you have the right to legal counsel. You should have someone with legal knowledge guide you during questioning and through the investigation.

Avoid speaking with law enforcement

At some point during the investigation, law enforcement may want to interrogate you. If this occurs, avoid waiving your rights. You should also remain calm and respectful. Avoid lying or obstruction of any kind, but do not admit to anything. Do not speak with other inmates or discuss the matter over the phone from jail. Also, prepare yourself for the police to lie to you to get you to admit something.

Remember that the police have the responsibility of finding suspects and proving guilt. Whether you are a witness or a suspect, learn and enforce your constitutional rights.