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Ask Alex J. Esq. Your Own Question
Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16448
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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How much and what kind of information is required for law enforcement

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How much and what kind of information is required for law enforcement agencies to start an investigation?

Even if no crime has been committed can they start investigating based on something they heard or read?

Say for example someone asking on this website or other ones about laws or punishments for certain crimes, would that be enough for them to assume that person has committed a crime and start looking into the matter?

Would they be able to get a search warrant based on this? Or would it be a waste of their time as there is no actual facts that a crime has occurred?

Alex Esquire :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be glad to help you.

Alex Esquire :

Are you online with me?

Customer:

hi, yes

Alex Esquire :

Welcome to JustAnswer.com

Alex Esquire :

Simply someone posting a question about certain crime, would not be sufficient grounds for the law enforcement agencies to start a criminal investigation.

Alex Esquire :

Generally, there would have to be some sufficient actual facts and generally a complainant before a criminal investigation would be initiated.

Alex Esquire :

Just because a person asking about certain crimes, penalties, etc...there would not be sufficient grounds for a valid assumption that the crime has been committed.

Customer:

So they would not even look into that person's details or anything

Alex Esquire :

correct

Alex Esquire :

Keep in mind that most law enforcement agencies are extremely busy investigating and pursuing real crimes and criminals

Customer:

I know asking questions about a crime is not a criminal act, but does this not even interest law enforcement?

Alex Esquire :

generally not.

Alex Esquire :

Not unless the topic involves terrorism or some other major crime that can pose a threat to national security of any given country.

Customer:

it wouldn't be about terrorism.

Customer:

so all in all law enforcement doesn't start investigations into questions about crimes unless they are terrorism related?

Alex Esquire :

generally that is the case or unless there are some credible evidence / indication that the crime was in fact committed.

Customer:

all there would be is just a general question.

Alex Esquire :

I understand and such general question would not warrant a criminal investigation.

Customer:

i have heard of probable cause, would that be a factor?

Alex Esquire :

not at a point of a general question posted somewhere on the internet.

Alex Esquire :

Probable cause means a finding based on some facts that it is likely that a crime had been comitted.

Alex Esquire :

committed*

Alex Esquire :

Do you have any related follow up question? Is this a hypothetical question or is this related to a real life situation?

Customer:

just a couple of follow ups, if the crime being asked about was considered a felony would that be a factor?

Alex Esquire :

Not really

Alex Esquire :

unless the question is related to some specific known crime and offers some specifics

Customer:

and also as justanswer is a forum for people asking questions about criminal laws they don't give out information on posters because of the questions they ask unless asked to by law enforcement? unless of course the terms of agreement are broken etc. is that correct?

Alex Esquire :

This is a question that should be directed to the JustAnswer.com customer service and legal department.

Alex Esquire :

I cannot speak on behalf of JustAnswer.com, but can only provide general answers to customers' legal questions.

Customer:

ok thank you for all your answers, you have been very helpful

Alex Esquire :

I wish you the best of luck. Please click on the "excellent service" rating, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required.

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