For some people, the discovery that they are suspected of potential criminal activity occurs when law enforcement officers arrive at their home or place of business to arrest them. Other people find out about a pending investigation long before the police have any actionable evidence.
Officers may have attempted to question a co-worker or someone that you know through your family about your personal life or business dealings, or they may have approached you directly. Once you find out that you are the subject of an investigation, whether conducted by New York state law enforcement or federal agents, you want to be careful about how you handle the situation.
Inform yourself of your legal rights early in the process
If you think you know your legal rights when dealing with state or federal law enforcement but can’t quickly explain what those rights might be, you may need the advice and assistance of someone experienced in criminal law. Discussing the pending investigation and other considerations with a criminal defense attorney can help you establish the best way to respond to the investigation and its potential impact on your life.
If you don’t assert your own rights, no one will do it for you
There are many rules in place that limit how police officers can interact with the public in order to protect people from inappropriate and unscrupulous behaviors. Unfortunately, police officers often employ tactics to help them get around the basic rights of people they arrest or question.
Once officers convince you to waive your rights, you will be at a significant disadvantage when interacting with them. You need to know about what obligations and rights you have when interacting with law enforcement in order to avoid making mistakes that could impact the criminal proceedings against you in the future.