You’ve got this nagging feeling that something’s not quite right. You’ve heard people talk about an investigation going on. Is it about you?
Signs that you’re under investigation
There are some telltale signs that mean you may be under investigation. If you’re trying to figure out if it’s about you, be on the lookout for these signals:
- The police approach you. Often, they will come right out and ask to talk to you.
- They get a search warrant. This allows law enforcement to enter and search places like your home or office.
- You receive a target letter. This letter is from the U.S. Attorney’s office and will notify you that you are under investigation.
- You get a subpoena, which requires you to appear in court.
What to do next
Once you find out that you’re under investigation, your next steps are important. You must be careful about what you say and do. Here are some things to remember in the following days:
- Get a lawyer ASAP. Find someone that you trust with experience in criminal law.
- Don’t talk to the police without your lawyer. You have a right to have your lawyer present if law enforcement starts talking to you, so be sure to exercise that right.
- Don’t talk to the witnesses. Even though it can feel like you just need to explain the situation, talking to witnesses could be witness tampering.
- Collect as much documentation as you can. When the police contact you, write down what happened. Make copies of any documents that relate to the case. This may help your lawyer work through your case.
- Don’t destroy evidence, even if it works against you. That could get you convicted of tampering with evidence and put you in jail.
- You’re not required to meet with the police unless you receive an official request, like a target letter.
- Police won’t always be telling the truth. They’re allowed to lie to get information out of you, so don’t believe everything they say.
If you’re worried about being investigated, it’s important to know your rights. Talk to a lawyer about what you are required to do and what you have the right to abstain from.