FAQ: I was contacted by law enforcement investigating a crime. What should I do?

Often, law enforcement agents, both state and federal, will contact a person being investigated of a crime by calling or showing up at their door. Law enforcement relies on the element of surprise, and you may feel pressured or obligated to speak to them.

You are generally only obligated to speak to law enforcement if you are served with a Court Order personally served on you to testify in a Court or Grand Jury proceeding. That means you can refuse to speak to a law enforcement agent if you receive a call or visit. However, you should always be polite and respectful to law enforcement, even while firm and declining their request.

You should call an attorney before you speak to law enforcement any further. Most of the time, the first time a person knows they are under investigation is when a search warrant is executed or they are placed under arrest. Law enforcement is not legally obligated to tell you that you are under investigation, even while speaking to you about the matter in which you are under investigation.

Of course, if a law enforcement agent tells you that you are under arrest, it is a different story. You should always cooperate with law enforcement, with the understanding that what you say is protected under the  Constitution, and you do have and should exercise your right to remain silent.

Call the Blanch Law Firm today at 212-736-3900 for more information.

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