22 Sep 23

How do you know if you are still under investigation?

| by

Last Updated on: 2nd October 2023, 05:52 pm

How to Know if You’re Still Under Investigation

How to Know if You’re Still Under Investigation

Being under investigation can be a stressful and uncertain time. You may be wondering how long the investigation will last, if charges will be filed, and when you’ll get some answers. Here’s a helpful guide on how to know if you’re still under investigation and what to expect during the process.

You Haven’t Been Contacted by Authorities

If the investigation into you is still ongoing, it’s likely you haven’t heard anything from the police or investigators. They want to gather all the facts and build a solid case before they start reaching out to people involved. The silence doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear, it just means they’re still looking into the matter and collecting evidence. Be prepared for them to eventually contact you for an interview or with a warrant.

Your Lawyer Hasn’t Gotten Any Updates

Your lawyer or legal team is your main source for getting updates on the investigation. If they haven’t heard anything new from the prosecution or investigators, then chances are there are no big developments yet. Stay in touch with your lawyer and let them know immediately if you are contacted about the case. They can help manage the flow of information and protect your rights.

Online Records Still List You as “Under Investigation”

Many court and law enforcement agencies keep online records that are accessible to the public. If a case has been opened involving you, it may show up in these databases as “under investigation.” The records are not always updated in a timely manner, so you can’t rely on them 100%. But if your name is still listed in connection with an active investigation, it’s likely not over.

You Haven’t Been Called to Testify

If prosecutors are ready to take a case to trial or grand jury, they will often subpoena people to testify who are connected to the investigation. This includes suspects, witnesses, victims, and experts. If you have not been called to provide testimony, depositions, or documents, the investigation is probably still in progress.

No One Has Been Charged Yet

For a complex investigation involving multiple suspects, prosecutors usually don’t file charges until they feel they have built a comprehensive case. If no one has been arrested or indicted in connection with the investigation you’re involved in, it means law enforcement is likely still gathering evidence and preparing their case.

LEARN MORE  NY Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192.1 - Driving While Ability Impaired

Your Bank Accounts or Assets Haven’t Been Frozen

To prevent suspects from moving around assets and hiding money, investigators will often get court orders to freeze bank accounts, seize property, or block transactions. If your accounts and assets are still accessible to you, it’s a good indication that the investigation has not progressed to prosecution yet.

You Can Still Travel Freely

If you are the main target of an investigation, prosecutors may ask the court to restrict your travel so you don’t leave town or the country. The fact that you can still travel freely suggests the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed yet.

No Media Coverage Yet

For high-profile investigations, the media often gets wind of new developments before suspects or their attorneys do. If there’s been no media coverage on the investigation you’re involved in, it means there haven’t been any big breaks or leaks to report yet.

Ask Your Lawyer Directly

If you’re unsure whether an investigation is still ongoing, the best approach is to ask your lawyer directly. They can call the prosecutors or law enforcement agency handling the case and inquire about its status. While officials may not share many details, they can at least confirm whether the investigation is still open and active.

What to Do If the Investigation Continues

If it becomes clear the investigation is still underway, here are some tips on what to do next:

  • Be patient – Investigations can take weeks, months, or even years depending on the complexity of the case.
  • Stay silent – Avoid discussing the case with anyone other than your lawyer to prevent accidentally compromising the investigation.
  • Don’t flee – Running away or leaving town abruptly could make you appear guilty and irresponsible.
  • Follow legal advice – Listen carefully to your lawyer’s counsel about how to respond to investigator’s inquiries.
  • Live normally – Don’t make drastic changes to your routine that could attract suspicion.
  • Gather exculpatory evidence – Work discreetly with your lawyer to collect any evidence that may prove your innocence.
  • Hope for the best, prepare for the worst – While maintaining optimism, be ready in case charges do get filed against you.

When to Worry

In general, there’s no need to panic if an investigation seems to be dragging on. However, there are some circumstances where you may need to be concerned that charges are imminent:

  • You or your lawyer have been contacted about providing testimony, documents, or other evidence.
  • Investigators have conducted searches or raids of your home, office, car, safe deposit box, etc.
  • Officials request to meet with you directly and advise you to bring a lawyer.
  • There have been leaks to the media about impending arrests or indictments.
  • Prosecutors have begun the process of convening a grand jury.
  • You learn charges have been filed against other targets of the investigation.

If any of these happen, it’s time to get serious about building your legal defense strategy and preparing for the possibility of arrest or an indictment down the road.

LEARN MORE  Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (NY Penal Law 175.35)

Don’t Forget Your Rights

Whether an investigation is just starting or seems to be nearing its end, it’s important to remember your rights. Here are some key rights to keep in mind if you find yourself under investigation:

  • You have the right to remain silent – You never have to answer an investigator’s questions if you don’t want to.
  • You have the right to legal counsel – You can have your lawyer present for any interviews or interactions with law enforcement.
  • You cannot be detained without probable cause – Police cannot arrest you unless they have sufficient reason to believe you committed a crime.
  • You are innocent until proven guilty – The burden is on prosecutors to prove your guilt, not on you to prove innocence.
  • You have the right to due process – Investigators and prosecutors must follow proper legal procedures.
  • You have the right to privacy – Your personal records and communications cannot be accessed without a warrant.

Don’t let investigators bully or intimidate you into giving up these fundamental rights that are protected by law. Politely assert your right to remain silent or speak with a lawyer if you ever feel pressured.

Getting Legal Help

Being under investigation is scary, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Speaking with a criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and provide guidance during this difficult process. Even if you haven’t been charged with a crime yet, it’s wise to at least get a free consultation with a lawyer to understand your options and next steps. They can also intervene on your behalf if investigators ever overstep legal boundaries.

Some ways a lawyer can assist you if you’re under investigation include:

  • Advising you on how to interact with investigators
  • Gathering information to understand the scope of the investigation
  • Negotiating with law enforcement and prosecutors on your behalf
  • Reviewing any evidence collected and building a defense
  • Filing motions to protect your rights and block overreach
  • Preparing you for any grand jury or trial proceedings

Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner can make all the difference in how an investigation plays out. Don’t wait until charges are filed to seek out help.

Stay Strong and Be Patient

Being under investigation is a difficult experience, but try your best to stay strong mentally and keep an even keel emotionally. Follow your lawyer’s advice, focus on your daily responsibilities, and trust that ultimately the truth will prevail. Although the waiting and uncertainty is hard, be patient and know that investigations can’t go on forever.

With the help of a good lawyer and faith in the justice system, you can get through this challenging period. Keep sight of the light at the end of the tunnel and remain confident that your name will be cleared if you are innocent of any wrongdoing.