There are many criminal accusations that are followed by an intense investigation. For example, a drunk driving or violent crime arrest may prompt authorities to take a closer look at the circumstances and events leading up to the alleged event.
However, there are some cases when an investigation has been underway long before person is ultimately arrested, for instance when white collar crimes are involved. Authorities who receive a tip or complaint that someone may be involved with actions like embezzlement or fraud can monitor a person long before filing charges. During this period, they can conduct searches and speak with people without the subject of the investigation even realizing what is happening.
People may assume that they would know if they are being investigated. They think it happens like it does in the movies, with an impassioned prosecutor approaching a suspect and declaring that they will stop at nothing to track down incriminating information. This is typically not the case.
In reality, authorities can access information or correspondence without alerting the person under investigation. In an article on our website, we discuss one law called the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which can allow older electronic messages to be accessed by the government without first securing a warrant.
This is just one law that many people may not be aware of which enables a person to be monitored without their knowledge.
However, as soon as someone believes or learns that he or she is under investigation for a white collar crime, it can be crucial to speak with a criminal defense attorney who understands New Jersey and federal search and investigation laws. With legal representation, previous investigation procedures can be scrutinized and a person can be protected from any potential violation of his or her rights going forward.