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What Should You Do If Police Raid Your New Jersey Home?

Facing a police raid at your New Jersey home is a terrifying experience. Whether you're under investigation or have never been involved with the criminal justice system before, it's crucial to understand your rights and the steps you should take to protect yourself. At Camili & Capo, PA, our criminal defense lawyers have guided individuals through countless legal challenges, including handling raids and subsequent investigations. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide for individuals facing police raids in New Jersey.

Understanding Police Raids

A police raid is a sudden and often forceful search of your property, usually carried out when law enforcement suspects illegal activity is taking place. Police raids often occur due to suspected drug offenses, weapons charges, domestic violence, and other criminal offenses. To conduct a raid, police generally need a search warrant authorized by a judge, but there are some exceptions, such as exigent circumstances, where immediate action is deemed necessary.

When Can Police Conduct a Raid?

  • With a Search Warrant: Police usually need a search warrant to enter and search your home legally. The warrant should specify the location and nature of the search.
  • Exigent Circumstances: In some urgent situations (e.g., preventing immediate danger or destruction of evidence), police can enter without a warrant.
  • Consent: If you or someone else living in the home gives police permission to enter, they can search without a warrant.

What Should You Do If Police Raid Your Home?

Stay Calm and Composed

  • Panic can lead to irrational decisions that may be used against you later.
  • Take deep breaths and try to remain level-headed during the raid.

Ask to See the Search Warrant

  • Politely request to see the warrant to ensure the officers have legal grounds to search.
  • Check the warrant for details such as the correct address, the judge’s signature, and the description of the items being sought.

Do Not Interfere with the Police

  • Avoid physically obstructing or confronting officers.
  • Interfering can lead to additional charges, such as obstruction of justice or resisting arrest.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

  • You are not obliged to answer any questions posed by the police during a raid.
  • Politely but firmly state that you will not answer questions without an attorney present.

Do Not Consent to Any Searches

  • Do not verbally agree to any searches beyond the scope of the search warrant.
  • Avoid signing any documents that give officers additional consent to search your property.

Document the Event

  • Take mental notes of the officers involved, their conduct, and any property damage.
  • If possible, discreetly record video or audio of the raid, but only if it's safe to do so.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately

  • Call a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for advice on protecting your rights and handling subsequent legal proceedings.
  • At Camili & Capo, PA, we offer immediate support and guidance to help you navigate this stressful situation.

After a police raid, there is a high likelihood of being charged or investigated for a criminal offense. Even if you believe you have done nothing wrong, it's critical to consult with an attorney who can:

  • Ensure Your Rights Were Respected: We will investigate whether the search warrant was legally obtained and properly executed.
  • Suppress Illegally Obtained Evidence: If the raid was conducted unlawfully, we can file a motion to suppress any evidence found.
  • Guide You Through the Legal Process: We provide comprehensive support from initial investigations to court proceedings, giving you the best possible defense.

Common Criminal Charges Following Police Raids

In New Jersey, police raids often lead to various criminal charges, including:

  • Drug Offenses: Possession, distribution, or manufacturing of controlled substances.
  • Weapons Charges: Illegal possession or distribution of firearms or other weapons.
  • Assault and Domestic Violence: Physical altercations or abuse leading to criminal charges.
  • Fraud and Theft: Identity theft, credit card fraud, or possession of stolen goods.

Frequently Asked Questions About Police Raids

Can the police take anything they find during a raid?

Police can seize any items listed in the search warrant or evidence found in "plain view." If they seize something not included in the warrant, an attorney can challenge it in court.

What should I do if I think my rights were violated during the raid?

Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. They will review the circumstances and determine if your rights were breached, possibly leading to the suppression of evidence.

Will I be arrested after a police raid?

Not necessarily, but if the police find evidence of a crime, there is a higher likelihood of an arrest. It's important to have an attorney ready to represent you if charges are filed.

Contact Camili & Capo, PA Today to Schedule a Free Consultation To Discuss Your Criminal Defense

If your home in New Jersey has been raided by the police or you believe you're under investigation, contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Camili & Capo, PA. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and provide you with the comprehensive legal guidance you need.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a qualified attorney for your specific situation.

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