When law enforcement in Ohio has reasons to believe that you may have committed fraud or other criminal acts, they may initiate an investigation. If you are not keen, you may not know this until it is too late, and they are at your door with a court summons. In order to protect yourself and your interests, it is important to watch out for the following warning signs.
An increase in surveillance
Law enforcement officers may exploit avenues like your social media accounts, emails and phone calls to monitor your activities. You will suddenly start to receive suspicious friend requests, emails and calls from people you are not familiar with. You might also start to notice unmarked cars or police vehicles packed around your place of work or home for extended periods of time.
Others will start talking to your family, friends and former colleagues, inquiring about your whereabouts and activities. This is why it is always advisable to be aware of who you associate with and the kind of information they know about you.
Police contacts or visits you
Police officers may also take a direct approach and make contact with you. They might show up at your door or office to inquire about suspicious activities and ask questions about the fraud they suspect you to commit. It is important for you to know that regardless of how friendly they may appear, they have an ulterior motive – gathering evidence against you.
Just because law enforcement officers are investigating you for fraud doesn’t mean your rights are automatically waived. You still have the right to remain silent and not give any incriminating statements or evidence against yourself. They cannot search your person or property without a warrant or consent. You also have the right to contact a criminal defense attorney, under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, to represent you.
It’s essential to note that an investigation does not equate to guilt; you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Also, any interaction with law enforcement can significantly affect the case they might file against you. Therefore, maintaining silence when confronted is a prudent strategy to avoid unintentional self-incrimination. Ultimately, staying informed about your rights and remaining vigilant is the best way to protect yourself in case of a fraud investigation.