Being deemed a suspect in a criminal investigation is a big deal. In these cases, it's important you are aware of the protections afforded to you by the Constitution, state, and local laws.
If you believe that the police are reaching out to you to investigate your association with a crime, it would be in your best interest to exercise the following rights:
The right to an attorney
This is one of the most important rights that you can take advantage of. If you are worried that you are now a suspect in a criminal investigation, your first response should be to seek legal representation. This could save you a lot of issues in the long run. They can help you throughout an investigation from beginning to end and help you avoid making serious mistakes that can lead to criminal charges.
The right to privacy
In the course of an investigation, the police may ask you if they can search your vehicle, home, other types of property, or you. This is a tactic that law enforcement employs to get you to waive your 4th Amendment rights, which protects you from unauthorized searches and seizures. Even if you feel like there isn't anything questionable on your property, the answer to a search request should always be no. If you consent, anything they find - whether you're aware of it being there or not - can be used to justify an arrest.
The right to remain silent
If the police ask you any questions about an alleged crime, you can “plead the fifth” to prevent yourself from saying any incriminating statements. Police are allowed to get away with things that you can't. They are given the authority to lie to suspects, to trick them into saying what they need to hear from them, or taking what they say out of context. The only time you should speak to the authorities is if you have an attorney present to advise you.
The right to leave
If you have not been arrested or been read your Miranda right under the 5th Amendment, you are not legally obligated to stick around to hear the police out. You can, and should, exercise your right to remove yourself from this situation. To distinguish between an arrest attempt and mere questioning, your best strategy is to ask. If an officer confirms that you aren't under arrest, you should immediately leave and contact an attorney to come up with your next course of action.
Delaware County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you think you're a suspect in a criminal investigation, protecting yourself should be your main priority. The most effective way of doing so is to retain a skilled Delaware County criminal defense attorney. Legal professional Joseph D. Lento has successfully represented countless clients who've acquired misdemeanor and felony charges and has helped them get their sentence reduced, and their charges dismissed. For a case evaluation, contact him today online or by phone at (215) 535-5353.