How to Tell if You’re Being Investigated by the Police - Pumphrey Law (2023)

Pumphrey LawBlogHow to Tell if You’re Being Investigated by the Police

April 18, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense

Getting accused of a crime is an extremely stressful situation. If you notice you may be under an investigation by the police in Florida, it is of the utmost importance to understand how to protect your rights.

What happens if you are unaware of tell-tale signs of being investigated by law enforcement officers? We have provided you with helpful tips on how to determine whether the police are currently investigating you. Once you can tell if you are under investigation, it is your responsibility to reach out to an experienced defense attorney in a timely manner. Follow these tips and find a defense attorney in your area to ensure you have the best possible defense for your case.

Common Signs to Tell if You’re Being Investigated by Police

If you have never been in a police investigation before, you may not be aware of the common signs. It is important to know how to tell if the police are investigating you, so we have provided a list of tips:

  • Your family or friends have been contacted by the police – If you are under investigation for a criminal case, police officers may reach out to those closest to you. It is not uncommon for law enforcement to seek out the friends and family of someone they are investigating to seek out information. This can include anyone you are acquainted with, even coworkers.
  • You are visited or contacted by the police – The most common way to tell if the police are investigating you is if they confront you personally. You may find police showing up at your home, place of work, or reaching out to you by phone to ask questions about a criminal case. It is imperative that you know there is no obligation to speak with them at this time. If the police contact you, then you should immediately seek out a defense attorney before answering any questions.
  • Police surveillance – The authorities may try to surveil or watch you before confronting you. If you notice that there are police officers or suspicious, unmarked cars following you around or lurking outside of your home or work, it may be an indication that you’re under investigation. You may be being watched by law enforcement.
  • Social media requests – Police have started to use social media to their advantage in criminal investigations. Law enforcement officers have been known to create fake social media profiles to try and add/gather information on people they are investigating in a criminal case. If you notice strange requests, it could be from an undercover police officer.

Know Your Rights if You’re Being Investigated

It’s important to be fully aware of your rights in the event that you are being investigated by the police. If you have noticed any of the signs listed above, you may be currently getting investigated by the authorities. Having a full understanding of your rights can help protect you, and go forward in the situation. The following is a list of your fundamental rights to remember:

  • Fifth Amendment – Under the S. Constitution, every individual is entitled to the Fifth Amendment. This is the right to remain silent until you have contacted or met with a lawyer. There are no questions you are required to answer if you invoke this right. However, you must inform the arresting officers that you are choosing to invoke this right. After doing so, it is in your best interest to remain silent until you have met with a skilled defense attorney.
  • Warrant Requirement – Make sure you understand that under Florida law, with few exceptions, the police cannot enter your home or seize your possessions without a legal search warrant. Law enforcement officers may try to intimidate you into letting them enter; however, the only way they can enter without a warrant is if you provide verbal consent. You can request for a signed search warrant without any further discussion. If you are concerned about opening the door or do not feel safe doing so, you can speak through the closed door and deny entry until the police return with the right paperwork. To learn more about search warrants, visit our blog here.
  • Legal Representation – Under the S. Constitution, the Sixth Amendment provides all individuals accused of a crime with the right of an attorney. The sooner you find legal representation for your case, the better. Make sure you contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible in the event that you are being investigated in a criminal case.

Contacting a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you’ve noticed any of the common signs listed above, you may be under investigation by the Florida police. If that is the case, there is no need to panic. Your next step should be reaching out to a criminal defense attorney in your area to start building a defense for your case.

Don Pumphrey and his legal team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients all over the state of Florida. Not only can they help you figure out if you are currently being investigated, but can also provide help with navigating the legal system. If you or a loved one believe you are being investigated for a crime, don’t hesitate. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today for a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key


How do you know if you are being watched by police? ›

Police Surveillance

If you notice suspicious individuals loitering near your home, workplace, or regular hangout spots, it could be a sign that you are being monitored. Pay attention to unusual behavior from individuals who seem out of place or exhibit consistent patterns of observation.

Can you be investigated without your knowledge? ›

This term can also be referred to as natural justice. An employer has the right to conduct a workplace investigation without the knowledge of the employee. However, they can not simply conduct a workplace investigation in secret and then make a decision to dismiss you.

How do you know if feds are watching you? ›

Confirming Physical Surveillance
  • a person being somewhere he has no purpose being or for doing something he has no reason to be doing (blatant poor demeanor) or something more subtle.
  • moving when the target moves.
  • communicating when the target moves.
  • avoiding eye contact with the target.
  • making sudden turns or stops.
Sep 1, 2022

Can I ask if I'm under investigation? ›

Call your local police department and ask if someone has filed charges against you. Again, they don't have to inform you if you are currently being investigated. If there's a police report, you may request a copy.

How do you deal with an investigation? ›

  1. Don't Panic. Participating in an investigation is stressful, and often takes much longer to resolve than a respondent would like. ...
  2. Gather Information. As the subject of an investigation, you should receive detailed information that will allow you to respond to the allegations against you. ...
  3. Cooperate.
Jan 22, 2019

How do I know if my phone is being monitored by police? ›

Unusual sounds during calls

If there are clicking sounds, static, or distant voices coming through your phone during conversations it could be a sign that you're being snooped on. This is not normal for today's phones on digital networks.

Can police see you through your phone? ›

There are a few legal ways that the police can look through a cellphone: with the owner's consent, with a warrant, or if the owner is on parole or probation and the terms of the parole or probation allow for a warrantless search.

How can you tell if someone is an informant? ›

Here are ten warning signs:
  1. Something feels “off.” Something about them just doesn't line up. ...
  2. Despite the misgivings of some members, the individual quickly rises to a leadership position. ...
  3. S/he photographs actions, meetings, and people that should not be photographed. ...
  4. S/he is a liar.
Jul 6, 2013

What can investigators lie about? ›

When interrogating someone, the police can use every psychological trick they have to elicit a confession. They can lie about evidence they have, such as telling you that they found your fingerprints at the scene or that you were caught on camera.

Do you have to answer questions in an investigation? ›

The right to decline to answer questions: You are not required to answer any questions throughout the investigation. You can decline to answer questions from the employer, and you can also decline to answer questions from the person who made the complaint against you.

Do you have to answer investigators questions? ›

A: No. You have the constitutional right to remain silent. In general, you do not have to talk to law enforcement officers (or anyone else), even if you do not feel free to walk away from the officer, you are arrested, or you are in jail. You cannot be pun- ished for refusing to answer a question.

How do feds catch you? ›

They will use much more sophisticated means to investigate than State authorities usually use. For example, it is not uncommon to see wiretap evidence utilized in a federal criminal prosecution. The feds also use various forms of surveillance. In some cases, we might file motions in federal court on your behalf.

Do the feds listen to your phone calls? ›

Federal Wiretaps – When Are They Legal? The good news is that federal agents aren't allowed to listen to your phone conversations any time they want to. They aren't sitting around listening to phone calls, looking for crimes they can prosecute.

Can the Feds tap your phone? ›

Before a federal agency can wiretap your phone, they must go through a rigorous process to receive permission from the Department of Justice. This process is designed to ensure that wiretapping is only used when necessary and when all other investigative methods have been exhausted.

What are some examples of investigate? ›

Example Sentences
  • The police are still investigating the murder.
  • The accident was thoroughly investigated.
  • The manager promised to investigate when we pointed out an error on our bill.
  • He was investigated for his involvement in the incident.
Jul 18, 2023

What does currently being investigated mean? ›

: being investigated : being looked into to try to find out the facts. The accident is under investigation.

What does it mean when you are being investigated? ›

If police or investigators want to question you about a crime, they are not trying to clear your name – they are gathering evidence with which to prosecute you and anyone else they suspect is involved.

How long can the FBI investigate you? ›

So if you have still not been charged after the time set by the statute of limitations, the investigation is effectively over. For most federal crimes, the statute of limitations is five years. Bank fraud has a statute of limitations of ten years. Immigration violations and arson are also subject to a ten year limit.

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