If you are worried about being the subject of a criminal investigation, you likely want to know what to expect before you end up as a criminal defendant. If you are being investigated for a federal crime, they may inform you that you are a target. However, depending on who is handling the case, you may not be notified of a state criminal investigation. If you believe that you are the subject of a criminal case, you should speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal investigations lawyer. The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can help you anticipate the possibility of being a criminal defendant, and we will help you prepare for your case. Our firm is here to explain the signs of being under a criminal investigation in Philadelphia.
Signs of a Criminal Investigation
There are multiple red flags that could indicate that you are being targeted in a criminal investigation in Philadelphia. The most obvious indication that you are suspected of committing a crime is if you are arrested. However, not every sign of a criminal investigation will be this clear. The following is a list of signs to look out for if you believe you are the subject of a criminal investigation.
The Police Request to Speak with You
The most common red flag that may tip off a criminal investigation is being contacted by the police. One of the easiest ways that law enforcement can close a case is by speaking with a person before they become aware of an investigation. At this stage, a detective is looking for an errant statement that may incriminate the suspect or possibly a confession.
They may show up at your door unannounced or call you and request that you come to the police station to speak with a detective. It is important to note that for some crimes law enforcement may elect to set up surveillance and wait for evidence of the crime to present itself. If you believe the police are following you or may have set up surveillance near your home, it is important to speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney about it as soon as possible.
You are not required to speak with law enforcement if they simply ask to speak with you. If you think you are under criminal investigation, but you wish to make a statement, you should retain an attorney first. An experienced attorney can make sure you do not harm your case if you voluntarily offer the police a statement.
Learning About an Investigation from a Third Party
Another tactic the police may use is talking to family or friends about you without your knowledge. If a third party informs you that a law enforcement officer was asking questions about you, you should contact a lawyer immediately. While it may be tempting to speak with other people about the reason police are investigating you, you should not make any statements to anyone before speaking with a lawyer.
Being Served a Search Warrant
If law enforcement presents you with a search warrant to check your home or vehicle for an item or multiple items, this is a sign that you are under criminal investigation and may have been the subject of that investigation for weeks. If the police discover the contraband named in the search warrant, they will arrest you on the spot and charge you with a crime like drug possession or a weapons charge, depending on what they discover.
Whether the police locate the item they were searching for or not, you should contact your lawyer immediately. A lawyer may be able to help you determine if a warrant was valid and whether the criminal evidence was legally discovered.
Additionally, if you own a business, you may receive a subpoena that requires you to turn over certain records. While you can personally avoid speaking to the police if you are not arrested or charged with a crime, it is not smart to reject a request for records.
There are other tactics not listed above that the police may use to investigate you. Under certain circumstances, law enforcement may use deceptive methods to trick you into incriminating yourself. This is why it is important to have an attorney that will protect your interests.
Philadelphia Felony Defense Law Firm Offering Free Consultations
If you or a family member is worried about being investigated for a crime, you should contact an experienced felony defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, we are dedicated to providing you with the legal defense that you deserve. Being the subject of a serious criminal investigation can be intimidating, but we are here to stand with you for various types of charges including theft, arson, homicide, and receiving stolen goods in Philadelphia. To schedule a free legal consultation with criminal lawyer Lloyd Long, call us at (215) 625-6818, or contact us online.