Getting accused of a crime is an extremely stressful situation. If you notice you may be under an investigation by the police in Florida, it is of the utmost importance to understand how to protect your rights.
What happens if you are unaware of tell-tale signs of being investigated by law enforcement officers? We have provided you with helpful tips on how to determine whether the police are currently investigating you. Once you can tell if you are under investigation, it is your responsibility to reach out to an experienced defense attorney in a timely manner. Follow these tips and find a defense attorney in your area to ensure you have the best possible defense for your case.
Common Signs to Tell if You’re Being Investigated by Police
If you have never been in a police investigation before, you may not be aware of the common signs. It is important to know how to tell if the police are investigating you, so we have provided a list of tips:
- Your family or friends have been contacted by the police – If you are under investigation for a criminal case, police officers may reach out to those closest to you. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to seek out the friends and family of someone they are investigating to seek out information. This can include anyone you are acquainted with, even coworkers.
- You are visited or contacted by the police – The most common way to tell if the police are investigating you is if they confront you personally. You may find police showing up at your home, place of work, or reaching out to you by phone to ask questions about a criminal case. It is imperative that you know there is no obligation to speak with them at this time. If the police contact you, then you should immediately seek out a defense attorney before answering any questions.
- Police surveillance – The authorities may try to surveil or watch you before confronting you. If you notice that there are police officers or suspicious, unmarked cars following you around or lurking outside of your home or work, it may be an indication that you’re under investigation. You may be being watched by law enforcement.
- Social media requests – Police have started to use social media to their advantage in criminal investigations. Law enforcement officers have been known to create fake social media profiles to try and add/gather information on people they are investigating in a criminal case. If you notice strange requests, it could be from an undercover police officer.
Know Your Rights if You’re Being Investigated
It’s important to be fully aware of your rights in the event that you are being investigated by the police. If you have noticed any of the signs listed above, you may be currently getting investigated by the authorities. Having a full understanding of your rights can help protect you, and go forward in the situation. The following is a list of your fundamental rights to remember:
- Fifth Amendment – Under the S. Constitution, every individual is entitled to the Fifth Amendment. This is the right to remain silent until you have contacted or met with a lawyer. There are no questions you are required to answer if you invoke this right. However, you must inform the arresting officers that you are choosing to invoke this right. After doing so, it is in your best interest to remain silent until you have met with a skilled defense attorney.
- Warrant Requirement – Make sure you understand that under Florida law, with few exceptions, the police cannot enter your home or seize your possessions without a legal search warrant. Law enforcement officers may try to intimidate you into letting them enter; however, the only way they can enter without a warrant is if you provide verbal consent. You can request for a signed search warrant without any further discussion. If you are concerned about opening the door or do not feel safe doing so, you can speak through the closed door and deny entry until the police return with the right paperwork. To learn more about search warrants, visit our blog here.
- Legal Representation – Under the S. Constitution, the Sixth Amendment provides all individuals accused of a crime with the right of an attorney. The sooner you find legal representation for your case, the better. Make sure you contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible in the event that you are being investigated in a criminal case.
Contacting a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
If you’ve noticed any of the common signs listed above, you may be under investigation by the Florida police. If that is the case, there is no need to panic. Your next step should be reaching out to a criminal defense attorney in your area to start building a defense for your case.
Don Pumphrey and his legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients all over the state of Florida. Not only can they help you figure out if you are currently being investigated, but can also provide help with navigating the legal system. If you or a loved one believe you are being investigated for a crime, don’t hesitate. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today for a free consultation.
Written by Karissa Key