Investigations don’t begin and end overnight. It can take weeks, months or even years for authorities to build a case and conduct the necessary procedures. If you have reason to believe that you’re being investigated for a crime, you shouldn’t wait to be charged. It’s best to get a headstart and know what to expect moving forward.
How Can I Know for Sure?
Usually, police will call or visit you to ask questions. It’s the easiest way for them to close a case, as suspects tend to make statements or provide a confession, effectively incriminating themselves. You may be requested to come in for an interview with a detective, which will reveal the details of the crime you’re being investigated for.
In undercover cases, you may not know ahead of time. Everything is done through surveillance and your indictment may come as a surprise that you only find out about when you get arrested or a warrant is sent out. Keep in mind that this is a rare occurrence.
What are my Rights?
Even if you’re certain of your innocence and have nothing to hide, it’s risky to assume that your cooperation will get you out of the situation easily. It’s possible to be charged for a crime you didn’t commit. When under federal investigation, remember these important rights:
- Right to Leave: If you are not under arrest or simply being questioned, then you should be able to leave.
- Right to Privacy: This allows you to refuse a search of your property in the absence of a warrant.
- Right to Remain Silent: Uphold this during questioning to prevent incriminating yourself.
- Right to an Attorney: You are entitled to seek legal assistance with your case.
Why Should I Call a Lawyer?
In the event that you’re arrested – or even contacted by authorities – the case against you is likely sufficient enough to prosecute. Getting help from criminal defense attorneys is often the best and only way to ensure your freedom. There are several reasons to do this before investigators call you:
- The additional time will allow your lawyer to start building a defense
- Your attorney can provide advice and explain the next steps
- They will also ensure that you aren’t coerced into admitting guilt
Attorneys can also arrange for your surrender at a specific time in the event that you’re charged. This helps you avoid being arrested in front of your friends, family or employer. It also ensures that your lawyer will attend your first court appearance, which increases your likelihood of being able to apply for bail and remain out of custody.
What if Police Want to Interrogate?
Don’t forget that you can bring an attorney along if the police want to take you in for questioning. It’s critical that you firmly uphold this right. Investigators are trained to get you to talk, and a lawyer will help you avoid their tactics. Remember to remain calm and not lie or obstruct the investigation.
Facing police investigation is naturally a stressful experience. Having the right people at your side is the best thing you can do to ensure an outcome in your favor.