Burlington Office



Our law firm has successfully handled thousands of criminal, DWI, and municipal court charges throughout Burlington County and New Jersey.

Schedule free Consultation

Do I Need a Lawyer if I’m Only Under Investigation in New Jersey?

May 24, 2024

Top-Rated Local Attorneys to Protect me in a Criminal Investigation in Burlington County NJ

You may be too casual learning you are under a criminal investigation. After all, an investigation is not a criminal charge; everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, a criminal investigation could lead to criminal accusations you must defend against in criminal court, facing a prosecutor and judge. The law enforcement agencies who investigate crimes are not merely curious. They intend to identify a culprit and bring them to justice. In a local or state police detective’s or federal agent’s eyes, you are a suspect and a potential criminal. Their job is to find enough evidence to solve crimes so a prosecutor can convict you or someone else.

If you are being targeted for suspected involvement in a crime in New Jersey, enlisting help from an accomplished criminal defense lawyer is your best course of action. The sooner, the better when it comes to your innocence. Contact Proetta, Oliver, & Fay now to speak with a criminal attorney who can protect your rights and best interests, no matter the allegations or evidence you may be up against. Call

Warning Signals that You May be Under Investigation in NJ

You may suspect an investigation involving you is underway when the police contact you. Whether by phone, letter, or in-person, the invitation to speak to an officer about specific events, actions, or people may appear in a random phone call, a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the mail, knock on your residence front door, or a visit at your work. 

For example, you may receive a phone call from a police detective asking you to come to the station to talk or to answer a few questions. The subject may be about your activities on a specific day and time. On the other hand, the questions may concern someone else, indicating you may be a witness in another individual’s criminal case. Alternatively, you may receive a target letter stating you are under criminal investigation for federal crimes. The state police are not obligated to inform you of an ongoing criminal investigation.

However, one sure sign the state is investigating you is when the police ask others about you. A call or text from a friend, colleague, or family member reporting that the police inquired about you should alert you to an investigation and the need for an attorney, especially when more than one person reports police questioning them about you. 

And once the police have a search or arrest warrant, you can be sure you have legal trouble. A warrant to search your car or home is a legal document the police obtain from a judge upon proof that they have probable cause or reasonable grounds to believe their search will yield evidence implicating you as a criminal suspect. However, the search warrant and search must be lawful, so you must not assume charges and a conviction are sure to follow before consulting with a criminal defense lawyer.  

Investigation Does Not Mean Charges Have Been Filed

Understand that being investigated based on an accusation or suspicions connected to a larger investigation of criminal activity does not mean the County Prosecutor’s Office has filed charges against you. Before filing charges in a criminal case, the police build a case based on their theory of how a crime happened. So, they interview people and collect physical, video, witness, and other forms of evidence from the crime to support their story. They may also interrogate a suspect. 

Do I Have to Talk to the Cops Investigating Me in New Jersey?

When you are the suspect, remember you have a constitutional right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during an interrogation or interview. Retaining an attorney right away can save you from making mistakes that harm your defense. You may not know police tactics to draw incriminating statements from suspects. Even innocent facts you mention can potentially corroborate a detective’s case theory. With the guidance of an attorney, you are unlikely to mistakenly give law enforcement evidence against you. An attorney can object to interrogation questions eliciting incriminating evidence and instruct you not to answer.

I’m Being Investigated in NJ, Is a Criminal Lawyer Really Necessary?

Once you suspect you are under investigation, you may be running a race against time. A search warrant may follow an informal inquiry to talk to you, so you want to have representation before then. Police officers may appear at your door to question and ask to search your home or car. Once you give them consent to do so, they do not need a warrant. An attorney would advise you immediately to refrain from speaking informally to the police or from consenting to a warrantless search. You have a right to refuse both. 

You also have the right to go about your life as you usually would despite being under investigation. If you previously planned to leave town for business or pleasure, you do not have to stay because the police told you to stick around during an informal discussion. Remember that you may look suspicious when you leave town immediately after a police interview. Moreover, leaving New Jersey after an arrest and being released on bail may violate release conditions. A judge could issue a bench warrant for violating release terms.

Speaking to an attorney at the outset of the investigation phase can help ease your mind about what you can expect and avoid unnecessary complications. For example, the police may arrest you even though you are innocent. A criminal defense attorney will warn you of that possibility and advise you not to resist arrest or try to flee. Resisting arrest and eluding police are offenses that could result in convictions and a criminal record. 

Is it Better to Hire a Local Lawyer who Regularly Handles Criminal Cases in the County Where I’m Being Investigated?

Aside from protecting your rights and giving you peace of mind during a criminal investigation, a local criminal defense attorney is invaluable to possibly preventing an arrest and criminal charges. A criminal lawyer who regularly works with the police and prosecutors in the jurisdiction where your case may be can informally speak to the detective investigating your case or the county prosecutors they know to get information about what they have on you. 

In the pre-filing phase, your attorney can offer evidence that exonerates you from involvement with the crime under investigation. Say, for example, you have plane ticket stubs and receipts from a trip you made when the crime allegedly occurred. As a trusted and respected criminal defense lawyer, they can offer such evidence to the police or prosecutor to prevent a criminal complaint against you.

Hiring a local criminal defense attorney can help you prepare for a potential criminal case. Your attorney will prevent you from giving law enforcement evidence against you, develop a strategy if you face criminal charges, file pre-trial motions that may lead to a dismissal, or negotiate a plea deal early in the proceedings. In the worst-case scenario, they can represent you in the criminal litigation process before a jury should your case go to trial. But don’t wait to find an attorney. You may lose valuable time to prevent regrettable blunders and criminal charges. 

You need legal representation to protect and preserve your rights and defenses under police investigation. Call today.

Intervention by your attorney can avoid charges, self-incrimination, and other damaging effects on your case. If you are under investigation in Burlington County towns such as Mount Laurel, Mount Holly, Lumberton, Pemberton, Cinnaminson, Delran, Florence, Riverside, and nearby communities in Southern New Jersey, the top-notch, local criminal defense lawyers at Proetta, Oliver, & Fay are poised to take action now. Without hesitation, call our local office in Evesham Township for a free consultation at (609) 850-8284. We are available seven days a week, night and day, to get involved and provide critical guidance when you need it.

Contact Us

Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted.

Burlington Office

525 Highway 73,
Suite 104, Marlton,
New Jersey 08053
Phone: 609-850-8284
By Appointment Only

Hamilton Office

100 Horizon Center
Boulevard, Hamilton,
New Jersey, 08691
By Appointment Only

Point Pleasant Office

3828 River Road,
Suite A, Point Pleasant,
New Jersey 08742
By Appointment Only

Middletown Office

180 Kings Highway,
Middletown Township,
New Jersey 07748
By Appointment Only