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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27425
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am being investigated on theft charges. I dont know why

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I am being investigated on theft charges. I don't know why but a few months back I used the company credit card and made purchases. I have no prior record and I know I was wrong. I received an email today from a Detective asking me to call him when it is best for me to discuss incidents that occured at the company while I was employed there. What should I do?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced criminal lawyer.

When you are a suspect in a criminal matter, the only time you should ever go talk to the police about this incident is if you show up to see them with counsel. Otherwise, you should not cooperate.

We have a 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination, and of course the police know it, but they reach out to you anyway, usually sounding very friendly in the hope that they will get a confession from you. That confession would tie the hands of your lawyer when it comes time to trying to make a deal for you, if you are inclined to try to dispose of whatever this turns out to be about.

Additionally, if they don't presently have enough to arrest you, the last thing in the world you want to do is help them to find more evidence.

In matters like this, what you don't say about this incident can never be used against you. But anything you admit to or corroborate can be used against you. So don't call the detective back at all. As detectives don't usually reach out over email, this may not be legitimate communication anyway, so ignore any contact via email. If he calls you, ask what this is about and then tell him that you want to speak to your lawyer before talking to them.

The detective won't be happy, but he will know that this is a fundamental right that he has to accord to you, and he is then supposed to leave you alone. At that point, you can look for a local lawyer to talk to, just in case. He or she can reach out to the police on your behalf to determine whether it's worth your while showing up to speak to them with counself. (It usually is not).

So what should you do? Nothing right now. If the police could arrest you, they wouldn't email or call. So don't give them any information about whatever they are contacting you about.

While I'm thinking about it, there are people who email and say they are a detective but who are actually internet scammers. When you contact them, they make you feel like you are in trouble and then they ask you for money for "bail" or some other nonsense. Legitimate police don't work this way, so that's another reason not to respond to the email.

You n
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much! I feel a lot better. I am still not happy about what I did but....I thought it might be weird that I got an email. The email the contacted me through was not one that my previous employer even had. It is new. I googled the detective's name though and he is a detective. Could a scammer have gotten this information easily and made it appear that it was from a legit detective?


Yes, anyone can find out the name of a local detective, and many scammers will use a real name in order to bolster their fraud. In a small town where everybody knows each other ( I don't know if that applies or not) a detective might email, but generally not.

If you give me the email address, I can see if I can do a reverse search of it and might be able tell you if it's legitimate. If you want to give it to me though, use the word "at" instead of the @ sign so that our site's privacy software doesn't edit it out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Does each question cost me money? I can only afford one 38.00 charge....if so please don't reply because then I don't think it will charge me. Email address is


This would appear to be a legitimate email from a detective with the Moorstown Police. All the police emails do have to the right of the @ sign.

So it's likely legit and may or may not be about your unauthorized use of the card. Again, you want to ignore the email and if the detective contacts you by phone, while you can talk to him, do not give him any information about anything where you are a possible suspect. Just tell him that you will call your lawyer who will get in touch with him about an appointment. He will know he's being ducked, but so what? It is your right to say "no" to something like this and your right against self incrimination is a very important one to protect.

All of your questions after your first have been follow up questions. Follow ups are free. You would only have to pay again if you started a whole new topic, as that should be on a separate question page and would require a new deposit.

Although you have made a deposit to JustAnswer for the questions on this page, I don't get paid from that until you rate me. Rating me will alert JustAnswer to transfer my fee for the question to me.

Good luck with this.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Will they issue a warrant for my arrest? Or will he just wait to hear from an attorney? Is it a good sign that they might not have a lot if he is emailing me? I don't know how he got that email.....sorry, I plan on rating you highly as you have been a great help...I'm just scared. It has been about three months since the incident and although it didn't go away in my mind I was hopeful maybe they would just let me pay them back like I offered when it first happened.


I understand that you are scared.

Basically, he may do nothing at all. If he were sure that you had done anything wrong, he'd have picked you up already. That he mailed usually means he doesn't have quite enough evidence for a warrant for your arrest.

If he doesn't get evidence from you, he'll try to get it elsewhere. Eventually you'd probably end up with a summons. For a first arrest on an non-violent offense when you have ties to the community, it's unlikely that anyone will come to your job to arrest you physically. You are not at all likely to have to go to jail on something like this.

All the same, start looking for a local lawyer. You don't need to retain one yet, but just in case you'd want to be prepared and you'll probably feel better once you find one. If he think it's appropriate to call the police he'll do it and take all of that pressure away from you.
Zoey_ JD and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your help! You have been awesome!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One more will he try to get more evidence on me? Is he allowed to call my family and friends? Sorry I forgot to ask this and it is really worrying me..


Sorry for the delay. I am not at home.

I can't possibly know exactly what the detective will do, since we are only assuming what he is calling you about. But if it is about the credit card, he,d probably not need to bother your family. It is a corporate card so he may be looking at other workers, but I am just guessing.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I don't know if that is the case. They were pretty sure when they fired me in August that it was me. It has been since then that this started. He said for me to contact him at my earliest convenience....does this mean they are still looking into this matter? Why did it take so long? I'm just really scared. I don't want anyone to find out. I hate myself for all of this....

Hi Wendy,

It looks as if they didn't arrest you because they don't have enough evidence. They have an unsolved case on their desk and they will keep trying to reach you. Apart from that, nothing I have said to you before changes.

Don't make statements to the police without a lawyer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So since this happened three months ago and this is the first I am hearing from anyone regarding this and it was via email what do you think that means? The email he used was one that I just created a couple months ago. I don't know how he got it. Do you think they have been looking into me for a while?.....I won't reply to him. And I am sorry I asking so many questions. I am just scared someone is going to come pick me up. I haven't heard from anyone on this matter since a week after I was terminated. If they filed charges then would I have heard something before now? I know what I did was isn't like me to do something like that and I don't know why I did. I feel terrible and I am so embarrassed.


I can't tell you what it means because I am not inside the officer's head. All I can tell you is what I've said several times. The matter is being investigated now. I don't know when the police got involved, but it's clear that you are being looked into at this time. They likely don't have enough to arrest you.

If you want to find out exactly what the police know, you should retain a local lawyer and let him or her call the police on your behalf if they think it's a good idea.