The belief that it will “look bad” if you hire a lawyer is a dangerous misconception and one that can result in criminal charges that were otherwise avoidable. Experienced and successful defense attorneys know how to take steps to provide a client with maximum pre-charge protection.
Hiring a Lawyer Makes You Look Smart to Law Enforcement, Not Guilty
In the words of Saul Goodman, “Actually, it’s getting arrested that makes people look guilty, even the innocent ones. And innocent people get arrested every day.” When local, state, and federal police investigate a lawyer, doctor, business leader, college professor, or a powerful politician, they fully expect that the person will immediately retain a respected and influential lawyer. They know and expect that a responsible person will hire an attorney even if the allegations are false or untruthful. They understand a person under investigation will hire a lawyer if they are smart, responsible, and interested in making sure their rights are fully protected. If the police are talking to you or investigating an allegation regarding you, they already think you are guilty, and you already “look bad.” Again, protecting you is not about making you “look good” or “look bad”; it is about doing what is necessary to help you avoid charges, if possible. It is critically important to take measures to prevent criminal charges if possible.
Prosecutors Determine Charges Based on Evidence, Not Looks
A prosecutor will not file charges unless there is evidence. Evidence can be tainted, misinterpreted, or inaccurate, but some evidence is required before a charge will go to court. One thing that cannot result in criminal charges is how a person “looks.” For a person under investigation, the hope is that the police and prosecution will not file criminal charges in court. Any concern regarding how they see that person is not important in the grand scheme of things. A criminal defense attorney, with a track record of helping clients avoid charges, will know how to take any available measures to stop criminal charges. Put simply, how a person “looks” is not evidence.
Suspects who fail to hire counsel will invariably and inadvertently assist the government in obtaining evidence that results in charges. Law enforcement can misinterpret a statement, gesture, or look of the eyes as incriminating evidence. Think about it, when an officer is trying and hoping to hear or see something to build a case, it is easy to misconstrue a remark or someone’s body language. For example, if a person is nervous talking to the police and is trembling, sweating, or avoiding eye contact, these human and innocent responses can be viewed as consciousness of guilt. Perceived consciousness of guilt is evidence and can, along with other alleged evidence, result in felony or misdemeanor charges. Hiring an attorney demonstrates that you mean business and will stand up to false accusations or illegally obtained information.
You must not speak to the police.
You cannot advocate for yourself because anything you say “can and will be used against you.” Your attorney can speak on your behalf without the danger of a police officer claiming you incriminated yourself with words, actions, mannerisms, or something else. Police use tactics that have been developed by expert interrogators and psychologists to trick people into talking. Police regularly make false representations, such as that they are just trying to clear things up, that they consider you a witness and not a suspect, that they “just want to help,” that they will not arrest you, or that if you stay silent, it looks suspicious. The most disingenuous claim made by the police is that you would talk with them if you are innocent. They know they’re lying when they make such statements; however, their training teaches them to say things along these lines to get incriminating evidence.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution exists for a very important reason. No one should be forced to be a witness against himself, and a person’s silence is not evidence. Innocent people are charged with crimes all the time, and this is an indisputable fact. Police are searching for evidence, not the truth. They are on a mission to solve a crime and file charges, not achieve justice. As previously stated, the police can see the slightest innocent nervous reaction or imperfect response to a question as incriminating. Literally, 100% of police and prosecutors would tell their family members, who were under investigation, to invoke their right to remain silent and not speak to the police.
The Advantages of Pre-Charge Representation
An attorney who is adept at pre-charge representation can help a client in a multitude of ways. In addition to shielding the client from over-zealous investigators, the attorney can:
- find and preserve favorable evidence,
- consider and coordinate polygraph examinations,
- hire investigators to interview helpful witnesses,
- advocate the client’s innocence or mitigating information to police and prosecutors,
- present mitigating information that is unknown to law enforcement,
- establish a strong defense and make it clear that the client is innocent,
- negotiate to reduce the seriousness or number of impending charges,
- recommend therapy or other support for the client that will eventually help the attorney to secure a future, favorable plea bargain or sentence,
- facilitate a low or personal bond,
- arrange for the client to surrender on a warrant, as opposed to being arrested, and
- the possibility of turning things around and pressing charges against someone who made false allegations against you.
A trained and seasoned lawyer will know how to make all of the right moves to protect and defend the client, to avoid charges, or lessen the seriousness of felony or misdemeanor charges that are unavoidable. Hiring a respected and known attorney will ensure that the client looks smart, responsible, and serious about his or her defense. If you do not hire a lawyer, it is likely you will be arrested and charged, even for a crime that you did not commit.
Avoid Charges – Hire a Top Attorney Immediately
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has an unparalleled track record of helping clients, who are under investigation, avoid felony and misdemeanor charges. We know every tactic to protect our clients and shield them from prosecution, when possible. If charges are unavoidable, we will work quickly to lessen the severity of the charges that get filed in court. Finally, we will negotiate with the police to prevent your arrest and to arrange for an opportunity for you to self-surrender in court without being taken into custody in front of family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form, and an experienced defense attorney will promptly contact you.