Law enforcement officers use a variety of tactics to gather information on suspects and charge them with crimes. Part of this process can include conducting what is known in the industry as a “pre-file investigation”. This is something that police officers use to build up a case and gather evidence against an individual to charge them with a specific crime.
If you are being investigated by the police as part of this process, awareness is key—so you can be prepared and get in touch with qualified legal representation in advance. Luckily, there are a few tell-tale signs that can tip you off that you are under suspicion or investigation by law enforcement in Florida.
If you need a criminal defense attorney to protect you against allegations or charges brought against you by Florida law enforcement, you can always count on the legal experts at the Mike G. Law to protect your best interests.
Read on below to learn how to tell if the police are investigating you.
What is a Pre-File Investigation?
A pre-file investigation is part of the process that police use to gather evidence on individuals they suspect of being involved in criminal activity. If sufficient evidence is found during this process, it can result in an arrest of the suspect, but if the results are inconclusive, then no charges can be pressed.
How Would Law Enforcement Investigate You?
The pre-file investigation process typically involves questioning the suspect and as many of the suspect’s direct contacts as possible. This includes both personal and professional relationships as well as acquaintances. Law enforcement officers would question not only the suspect but also their relatives, friends, and coworkers. They will also look thoroughly into any potential criminal background using police databases and legal records.
Do Police Have to Tell You if You are Being Investigated?
A pre-file investigation will begin with the suspect being questioned by the police. If you are being investigated, a police officer will likely come to your home and ask you to come in for questioning or to make a statement. They may not say explicitly that you are under investigation when they initially visit you, but this is a strong indicator.
How Can You Tell if You Are Being Investigated?
Our professional legal team at Mike G Law are experienced with the procedures that law enforcement officers use to gather evidence on suspects. As such, we know how to tell if the police are investigating you, and we want to share our tips with you so that you can be prepared. Here are some of the most common signs.
- You are Contacted or Visited by the Police: The strongest indicator that you are the subject of a criminal investigation is that the police come to your home and ask you to come in for questioning. They may also try to contact you at your place of work. In neither of these cases are you obligated to speak to them; and they cannot legally enter your home without a warrant.
- Your Friends and Relatives are Contacted by the Police: Law enforcement officers are also likely to contact anyone you may be acquainted with, such as your friends, family, and co-workers, and ask them questions regarding the investigation.
- Police are Lurking Around Your Home or Workplace: The police may also surveil you at your home or place of business. If you notice police vehicles or suspicious unmarked cars outside for a significant time period, you could be being watched or followed by law enforcement.
- You Receive Questionable Social Media Requests: Officers have also been known to use fake social media profiles to gather information on suspects during pre-file investigations. Suspicious contact requests online could be from undercover law enforcement agents.
What Rights Do You Have if You are Being Investigated?
If you’ve spotted some signs that you may be the subject of a law enforcement investigation, or if you are placed under arrest by the police, it’s imperative that you understand your rights so that you know how to proceed in this situation. Here are some of the most fundamental points to remember.
Fifth Amendment Rights
Remember that, upon arrest, you do not have to answer any questions and have the right to remain silent until you have met with a lawyer. Your right to remain silent is to protect you from accidentally incriminating yourself as per the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. You must inform the arresting officers that you are invoking this right, and after doing so it is in your best interest to refrain from speaking until meeting with a defense attorney.
Right to Legal Representation
According to the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, anyone accused of a crime has the right to an attorney. As such, it is crucial that you contact a qualified legal representative as soon as possible in the event you believe you are being investigated. The earlier legal council is involved in your case, the more prepared they will be to protect you and your rights.
No Search Without a Warrant
Law enforcement officers must be in possession of a warrant from a judge in order to legally search your home or seize your property as evidence. You do not need to let any officers into your home if they cannot provide such documentation, even if they try to intimidate you into granting them entry. You can speak clearly through the closed door if you do not feel safe opening it, demanding to see a signed warrant and denying entry if they cannot provide one.
What Should You Do if You are Being Investigated?
If you notice that you may be under investigation by law enforcement in the State of Florida, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to get in contact with a qualified defense attorney immediately. Our legal experts at Mike G Law are always available to provide assistance in such cases.
Contact Us Today
Now that you know how to tell if the police are investigating you in Florida, you should be able to more easily spot it in advance and be prepared. If you notice any of these signs, do not delay in contacting a legal representative. Get in touch with our team at Mike G Law at your earliest convenience for assistance with any of your legal needs. We will ensure your rights are protected and your perspective is heard.