Police Investigation and Pre-Charges
If you are facing a police investigation or the potential for criminal charges in a situation, it is a good idea to partner with one of our experienced attorneys from the beginning. There are times when people are contacted by the police because the police “just want to talk.” Most often, this happens when law enforcement believes the person is a suspect or person of interest in a crime, but the police are still investigating the case and aren’t ready to make an arrest yet.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives you the absolute right to have an attorney present during police questioning. You can stop police questioning at any time by demanding to have an attorney present with you. If the police call you or show up at your house to talk, it is almost always a good idea to talk to an attorney first because you’re at a disadvantage when being interviewed by a police officer. Officers have specialized training in interrogation techniques, and they don’t have to tell you the full story when they talk to you. Even if you’re innocent, officers often approach interviews with a preconceived theory and they may attempt to make your words fit their story. It’s natural to be nervous when being questioned by the police, and without an attorney, it’s easy to say something that you might regret later.
If you have already been questioned by the police about a crime, just because you weren’t arrested doesn’t mean that the situation is over. Months – or even longer – can go by before the police decide they are ready to make arrests and charge the person they interviewed with a criminal offense.
If you have been contacted or interviewed by the police, involving our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys during this investigative pre-charge stage can drastically change the outcome of your case. Often, we are able to contact the law enforcement officer or District Attorney General’s Office and find out why you’re being investigated. This period of time is a valuable opportunity for our attorneys to independently investigate the case, interview witnesses, uncover evidence, communicate your side of the story, and to present information that changes the narrative that law enforcement has been developing. Through this process, we strive to avoid criminal charges altogether or to make sure that you’re in the strongest possible position to defend any charges you may face.