Signs You May Be The Target Of A Criminal Investigation
If you have ever watched a television cop show, you have seen investigators conduct criminal investigations. While real life differs from television in many ways, criminal investigations happen all the time. How do you know if you are the target of one, though?
Criminal investigations unfold in a few different ways. If you notice any of the following, however, you may need to ask a lawyer for assistance:
1. You have done something wrong
Generally, investigators do not investigate for the sake of investigating. If you have done something illegal, such as , someone may eventually discover your conduct. If a person alerts the authorities, you can likely assume an investigator will begin to look into your behavior.
2. You notice strange activity
Often, investigators must gather extensive evidence when investigating a crime. If you notice strange vehicles parked near your house, receive odd phone calls or even have unknown individuals contact you through social media, you may be the subject of a criminal investigation.
3. You receive a request for information
Criminal investigators typically look through a variety of records when building a case. They may also work with banks, educational institutions, employers and others to uncover facts. If you receive a request for information that seems out of the ordinary, an investigator may be trying to pin criminal charges on you.
4. An investigator tells you
How Property Is Retained By The Police
When arrested and/or subject to a police investigation, you may have property confiscated from you which is then held by the police on your behalf.
When the Police investigate criminal offences, they are give wide ranging powers to seize property they believe is relevant to the investigation. This is principally done under s.19 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 .
Basically, if the officer thinks that something is relevant to the investigation, then he will seize it.
Getting this property back, either whilst you are in custody or once the proceedings that relate to why the property was confiscated have taken place, can be difficult.
If your property is confiscated it is usually held at the holding/arresting police station until the matter has been dealt with. Once the officer in charge of the case feels that your property is no longer needed, an officer should inform you that your property is ready for collection.
There are two types of property that may be taken from you when you are arrested
How Can I Know If I Am Being Investigated For A Crime
If youre wondering if youre under investigation, heres what you should know. How can I know if I am being investigated for a crime? Usually, the police will call or visit and ask you questions because people do make statements and incriminate themselves or even provide a confession. That is the easiest way for the police to close a case. They will call you or show up at your home and ask to speak to you, or ask you to come in for an interview with a detective and that is how you will find out that you are a suspect in whatever crime they are investigating. In some undercover cases they are working you may not know ahead of time everything will be done via surveillance and your indictment may be a secret until you get arrested or find out there is a warrant out for your arrest. Those cases are rare most of the time you will know because the police will ask you about it.
Am I Obligated To Meet With The Police And Answer Their Questions?
Are Police Allowed To Lie To A Suspect During Investigation Or Questioning?
On the flip side, you cannot lie to them. If you lie to police, that can bring more serious consequences. You have the right to remain silent and it is what you should do. If you do choose to speak and you lie to the police, you could be facing additional criminal charges.
What Are the Differences Between Misdemeanor and Felony Charges?
How Long Do Criminal Cases Typically Take To Resolve?
CHARGED WITH A CRIME IN OHIO?
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Are You Under Investigation In Michigan For A Drug Offense
It is important that you do not let the prosecutor get the upper hand by securing evidence against you collected in an investigation without the support and legal representation of a trusted criminal defense attorney. You must be proactive and take prompt action to prevent the devastating consequences that can result from an arrest and conviction related to a drug crime.
If you or someone you know is under investigation for a drug offense, do not hesitate before contacting the highly regarded team of Michigan drug charge defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates. We are available 24/7, so give yourself every possible advantage by calling 1-800-342-7896 now. Contact us online to set up a free confidential consultation.
Keep A Lookout For Anything Unusual
The police will want to gather incriminating evidence against you before placing charges. Check your surroundings to see if you notice anything or anybody strange. It may be unmarked vans parked across your house or a suspicious person following you everywhere you go.
If you are being spied upon, the person would follow you everywhere, stop moving when you move, mumble, or talk under their breath when you do something, and actively avoid your eye contact.
Do not ignore your neighbors when they say they noticed somebody lurking around the house, such as a postman when you are not supposed to get any mails or a utility repairman coming in unannounced. If that happens, check if anything seems misplaced in your house, and look for wired bugs in your appliances.
Keep track of odd phone calls, friend requests, or messages on social media. Distant static or clicking sounds, decreased battery life, phone acting up by making weird noises and lighting up, increased usage of data, etc., could indicate that your phone is also being tapped.
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To Exercise Your Right Of Access Follow These Steps:
- Identify where to send your request.
- Think about what personal data you want to access.
- Make your request directly to the organisation.
- State clearly what you want.
You might not want all the personal data that the organisation holds about you. It may respond more quickly if you explain this and identify the specific data you want.
Are Police Allowed To Lie To You And Vice Versa
On a state matter, police are permitted to lie to get information from you. One of the oldest tricks in the book is they arrest your friend and tell you they just confessed and said you did it, to which you may reply that you didnt do it, that you just drove the car, and right there, they have what they need.
However, while police can lie, you cant because, even if youre not criminally prosecuted for the crime, they can prosecute you for lying. For example, in a federal investigation, they never have anything to convict Olympic sprinter Marion Jones with, when it came to her use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, but they were able to prove she lied about using them, and she went to federal prison for five years for nothing more than lying to police.
A second way lying to police can hurt is because everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You dont have to speak at the trial, but if you assert the right not to speak, the only thing the jury may hear is that you lied, which means theyll have a credibility issue to believe the police, who are just doing their job, or you, who is the person who is on record lying on police reports and video surveillance?
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Will The Police Keep The Investigation A Secret
Generally, no. The first clue youll have that youre under investigation is the police knocking on your door in order or calling you into the station to ask you a few questions. There are some cases where the police are working undercover or trying to gather evidence without a subjects knowledge, but those arent as usual.
Should I Simply Go In And Attempt To Explain Everything
One of the top misconceptions about being arrested or investigated on criminal charges is that the police are there to help you and if youre under suspicion simply explain everything, the case will just go away.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Never give any information to police without having your attorney present to advise you. Even if youre not guilty, you may inadvertently give damning evidence that may be twisted and used against you. A criminal defense attorney is familiar with the way these kinds of cases work and what needs to happen to provide you with a quick resolution and positive outcome.
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You Have Been Involved In Something Illegal
If you feel you are being targeted by the police or any other law authority, think about any illegal activity you might have committed. You can also be reported for breaking the law, even if it had been performed unintentionally.
Hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you are not sure what you might be investigated for. They will protect your rights and make sure you are abiding by the law and not digging a deeper hole for yourself under pressure. Getting a lawyer is not a sign that you are guilty.
How Am I Told What Happens Next
If the investigation into your alleged criminal activity is discontinued, the police will call you and tell you the good news.
On the other hand, if the police intend to formally charge you, you will find out in one of two ways. Either, you will receive a phone call from the police, or you will receive a letter through the post.
If you receive a phone call from the police, you will be asked to attend the police station. Once at the police station, you will be formally charged and given a charge sheet. This will tell you the date and time you need to attend court. You need to keep this appointment, or a warrant could be issued for your arrest. However, please do not attend court without legal representation. Instead, contact our criminal defence solicitors as soon as you are charged.
If you get a letter through the post, then you have received a postal requisition. This letter is from the Crown Prosecution Service and is a summons, telling you where and when to attend court. Occasionally, you will receive a phone call first, telling you to expect a postal requisition. Ordinarily, however, a postal requisition arrives without any warning. We advise that you contact our criminal defence solicitors as soon as you receive this letter.
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What Happens In A Federal Investigation
Federal law enforcement agents have a large toolbox of investigative techniques at their disposal. These are just some examples:
- wiretapping the suspects phone
- performing physical surveillance over a period of weeks or months
- monitoring the suspects online activity
- recording consensually monitored conversations
- reviewing a suspects financial documents, such as bank records or tax returns
- issuing grand jury subpoenas for testimony and documents
- executing search warrants and analyzing the materials obtained, such as computers and smart phones
- conducting witness interviews and proffer sessions.
In a federal investigation, agents and prosecutors work with the end goal of bringing a federal indictment and securing a conviction. Federal law enforcement agents are well-trained to accomplish this task. For example, agents may show up unannounced at a suspects home in the early morning to ask questions and interrogate the individual, at a time when the individual is not fully alert or prepared, to gain a psychological edge. As another example, law enforcement agents may use deception as part of their investigative technique. The agents may tell the suspect that that the investigation is not focused on the suspect, and that they are simply looking for information concerning another individual. The suspect may then be lured into making incriminating statements about him or herself.
You Will Be Putting Yourself At A Great Disadvantage If You Do Not Have An Attorney Present While You Are Being Questioned
If theyre questioning you theres always a chance that you can say something that might incriminate you whether youre guilty of anything or not. You are placing yourself at a tremendous disadvantage by speaking to law enforcement personnel without an attorney present.
I have many, many clients who call me and say, Well, they asked me to come in for questioning and I answered their questions and guess what? I was arrested and now I have charges. When you represent them after they already have been interviewed, as an attorney, you are now stuck with the answers they gave to those questions that preceded their arrest. This is a terrible disadvantage.
Interviewer: So even before Miranda Rights are read to you, you can always say I want to speak to my attorney first?
Michael: Correct. Its very, very important to keep that in mind.
Interviewer: I think thats what a lot of people dont know.
Third Sign: A Persons Accounts Are Frozen
In rare cases, a person may receive notification from a utility company or bank that states that their information was shared. This situation is rare because these companies are not supposed to contact the person. However, if someone receives this type of notification, this is a red flag that some government agency is looking into the persons information.
Why May The Police Want To Arrest Me
Usually because you are a suspect in an investigation into an alleged criminal offence. They must have reasonable grounds to suspect your involvement. However, just because you have been arrested this does not mean that you are guilty of the suspected crime. Many people are arrested on suspicion of crimes they have not committed.
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You Can Apply For A Protection Order
A protection orderprotection orderA protection order means an offender can be arrested if they hurt, threaten or approach you or your children. You can apply for a protection order if you’re in a domestic relationship with the offender. A judge can include a protection order in a sentenceView the full glossary means an abuser can be arrested if they hurt, threaten, approach or encourage anyone else to abuse or threaten you and your children. You can apply for a Protection Order if you’re in, or have been in, a close personal relationship with a person being violent towards you.
Its free of charge to apply for a Protection Order.
If you urgently need a Protection Order the court can make a temporary Protection Order on the same day. For more information on getting a Protection Order as well as the forms and advice on how to get a lawyer to help you with these forms, you can visit:The Ministry of Justice website
Can I Change Solicitors Once Ive Been Interviewed
If you had the duty solicitor in your first interview then VHS Fletchers will be able to represent you in any subsequent interview under caution and that advice will remain free of charge to you under the legal aid scheme.
If, however, you had selected your own solicitor but now wish to change to VHS Fletchers then you may have to pay privately. Contact us and we will advise you as to that aspect of the case.
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What Does It Mean To Be Released Under Investigation
Being released under investigation means that you are suspected of a criminal offence and that the investigation into your alleged criminal activity is ongoing. You have not been charged, and nor has your case been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service . But you are not yet out of the woods, because the police are still suspicious that you have committed a criminal offence.
Typically what happens is that you are interviewed under caution by the police, but there are not sufficient grounds to charge you. However, the police do not want to dismiss you as a suspect just yet. Instead, they want more time to make inquiries, before deciding whether or not to refer your case to the CPS. The police, therefore, choose to release you under investigation. This allows you to leave the police station, but the police can seize your personal property as evidence.
You will be told about the outcome of the investigation at some point in the future. This creates a great deal of uncertainty because you do not know if the police will eventually charge you, or drop the case against you. To make matters worse, the investigation process has no maximum time limit, meaning you could be kept waiting for weeks, months or years before you discover the outcome. Having the threat of prosecution hanging over your head can be very unnerving, and may even damage your ability to earn an income.
How Do I Know If Im Under Criminal Investigation
Can you check if police are investigating you? How Do I Know if Im Under Criminal Investigation? Typically, unless its an undercover operation, the police will contact you and ask you to speak with them. They may tell you that its in your best interest to talk to them. They may tell you they already know what you have to say, they just want to confirm what they know. They may tell you it will go better for you if you talk with them. Keep one very important thing in mind:
The police are allowed to lie to you!
The Ohio and United States Supreme Courts have said so. You cant lie to them you can remain silent, but cannot lie but they can lie to you to try to get you to confess some damaging detail.
If you speak with them voluntarily, are free to leave and arent under arrest, any rights you have under Miranda dont apply. Whether they read you your rights or not, anything you say in a voluntary situation can be used against you and it is very difficult for an attorney to undo that damage.
If its really necessary to speak with the police, an attorney can talk for you or set up a meeting. An attorney can also start an investigation on your behalf.
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