Would hiring a lawyer make me look guilty?

When a police officer is accused of a crime, the first thing they do is hire a lawyer, innocent or not. A person accused of criminal activity looks responsible, intelligent, and serious about their defense.

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Would a judge and law enforcement believe I must be guilty if I hire a criminal defense lawyer?

No. There may be a small percentage of people in public who assume you are guilty if you hire a lawyer, but anyone involved in the criminal justice community will believe you are doing the smart thing. If a police officer found out their child was suspected of a crime, rest assured their first phone call would be to the best criminal defense lawyer they know. The same goes for prosecutors, judges, and lawyers. Anyone who faces an investigation should be represented by well-known, reputable, and highly respected counsel. There are many naïve and hypocritical people. Misleading myths and beliefs should not prevent you from doing what needs to be done to be protected. Hiring a lawyer does not make you look guilty; it makes you look serious about your innocence, reputation, and future.

You cannot be arrested or convicted for looking guilty. You can be charged and convicted if there is sufficient evidence against you. An experienced, savvy defense lawyer can help you avoid charges, and hiring a lawyer immediately is in your best interest.

Will the officer in charge of my case be mad at me for hiring a lawyer?

Evidence is evidence. Evidence does not know you have hired a lawyer. The fact is that any police officer who genuinely believes you must be guilty because you hired a lawyer is probably not well-suited to be a police officer. After all, they would be naïve, petty, ignorant, and hypocritical. In all practicality, no one in law enforcement believes this to be true. Would a police officer who honestly thinks a person is responsible for a crime be a bit irked that they could not easily steamroll over an unprotected suspect? Perhaps. But they would certainly not blame you for hiring a lawyer, and no police officer would truthfully say hiring a lawyer makes you look guilty. Secretly, they would think you were foolish if you didn’t hire a lawyer.

Notably, the fact that you hired a lawyer will not enable the police to seek more charges against you or “hammer” you harder. The case does not get stronger against you if you hire a lawyer, but it very well may get stronger if you don’t. You may make statements you believe will exonerate you but actually hurt you. Many unrepresented suspects have thought they could “explain” to the police their side of the story and lived to regret it when they later see how their comments were twisted out of context or were misinterpreted. Remember, what you say “can and will” be used against you, not “may” be used against you.

Here is an example: “Officer, I swear the Vicodin pill you found in my pocket wasn’t mine. It was my friend’s. I was going to give it back to him but just haven’t had the chance yet.” Summary? You have just confessed to possession with intent to deliver controlled substances.

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If I am innocent, why would I need an attorney?

It would be great if we lived in a utopia with perfect justice, police officers who never make mistakes, evidence that is never misinterpreted, and where people never lie or exaggerate. Everyone knows that mistakes are regularly made, even in the great American judicial system; innocent people are sometimes charged, people are sentenced to cruel and excessive punishments, and prosecutors and police handle every case with bias and an interest in securing a conviction rather than administering justice.

If you are innocent, it is critical that you have a top lawyer to protect and defend you. Although anything you say “can and will” be used against you, your attorney can speak for you without the risk that someone will misinterpret something and later use it as evidence against you. Additionally, a proactive and intelligent attorney will take measures to procure, secure, and preserve evidence that may be favorable or corroborate your claim of innocence.

If charges are being considered against someone wrongfully accused, a skilled, adept attorney can sometimes turn things around with the government and prevent felony or misdemeanor charges from ever going to court.

What does a lawyer do when hired before charges are filed?

A criminal defense attorney can provide significant assistance to someone under investigation but not yet charged with a crime. Here are some ways in which we can help:

  • Legal Counsel: Our attorneys can explain the legal process, potential charges, and possible defenses. We can provide advice about our client’s rights, potential risks, and the best strategies moving forward.
  • Right to Remain Silent: We routinely counsel clients on their right to remain silent and the potential consequences of making statements to the police or other investigative agencies. It’s essential to understand that anything said can be used in court. It is better that a lawyer take the “blame” when someone remains silent rather than having an unspoken misconception about how declining to give a statement might appear to law enforcement officers.
  • Interacting with Law Enforcement: The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience interacting with police and federal agents on behalf of clients during the pre-charge phase. We can advocate for our client and tell their side of the story without fear that our statements will be twisted into evidence for the government. If an interview with police is appropriate, we can be present and ensure that our client’s rights are not violated and prevent self-incrimination.
  • Evaluating Evidence: Our lawyers, paralegals, and investigators can review any evidence law enforcement might have and assess its strength and validity. This can help in predicting potential charges and preparing defenses in advance.
  • Negotiating with Prosecutors: Before charges are filed, the defense attorney can reach out to the prosecutor’s office to discuss the case, potentially negotiate a resolution, or even persuade them not to file charges based on insufficient evidence or other considerations.
  • Preserving and Collecting Exculpatory Evidence: In some cases, collecting and preserving evidence that can help the defense is vital. This might include locating and interviewing potential witnesses, obtaining surveillance footage, or gathering other exculpatory evidence. Our investigators are experts at discovering and preserving evidence favorable to our client’s defense. Finding and preserving defense-favorable evidence becomes far more complicated after a charge is filed in court.
  • Preventing Charges: This is what we do best! Our defense attorneys have prevented charges from being filed by presenting evidence or arguments that show our client’s innocence or the unreliability of the evidence against them. The best defense is a strong, proactive defense attorney.
  • Understanding of Search and Seizure Law: A defense attorney can review the circumstances of any searches or seizures to ensure that they were legally conducted. If law enforcement violated constitutional rights, we might be able to get evidence excluded from the case. Evidence related to police conduct and efforts to secure warrants is often lost, destroyed, or unpreserved. Through pre-charge intervention and contact with law enforcement, we can force police departments to preserve this evidence for our analysis.
  • Preparing for Possible Arrest: If an arrest seems imminent, an attorney can advise on the process, help with arrangements for bond or bail, and begin developing a defense strategy. In most cases, we can arrange for our clients to self-surrender at the court and avoid an arrest altogether. If retained early enough, we can prepare for the arraignment hearing by getting proof of employment, residency, education, family support, etc., which helps with obtaining a low or personal bond.
  • Peace of Mind: Just having someone knowledgeable on your side can be comforting. Retaining a skilled, influential defense law firm, such as LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., can provide clarity about the situation, an understanding of complex legal nuances, and offer support during a stressful time.

It’s crucial to consult with a criminal defense attorney as early as possible when under investigation. Early intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome of the case.

The bottom line…

You cannot be concerned whether hiring a lawyer makes you look guilty. If you face a criminal investigation, it is no time to be proud or worry about how anyone looks. It is no time to attempt to be friendly, forthcoming, and cooperative with the police. It also is no time to try to explain your side of the story. The bottom line is this: You can’t be bothered with what a tiny minority of naïve and hypocritical people think. You must protect yourself by hiring the right criminal defense firm. Would you rather have some ignorant person believe you may have done something wrong, or in the alternative, would you rather face a wrongful charge that could have been prevented? It is an easy choice.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., the right criminal defense firm

The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully represented thousands of clients under investigation for state and federal felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties and federal courts throughout Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client.

If you are unsure whether you need an attorney or a lawyer, we can help you understand your options. Call us today for a free consultation, and we will contact you promptly. Being too proud to take responsible measures to protect yourself can have devastating, lifelong consequences. Don’t take chances with your freedom and future. Does hiring a lawyer make you look guilty? No. Police and prosecutors know that the first thing an intelligent, resourceful person does when facing a criminal allegation is hire a respected attorney.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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