Michigan Criminal Defense Investigation Lawyer
How can I avoid criminal charges? If the police attempt to contact you, your next move can make the difference between facing formal or dropped charges. There is no room for error.
Advice from a Michigan Criminal Investigation Lawyer
The Criminal Investigation Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has helped hundreds of clients facing felony and misdemeanor allegations on a pre-charge basis. Criminal defense lawyers know that many criminal charges would be defensible in court if not for their client’s confessions, incriminatory statements to law enforcement investigators, or the failure to intercede on a pre-charge basis. Once a suspect voluntarily talks with police, provides evidence (such as computers or cell phones), or participates in a police investigation or interrogation, the damage to their defense can be so significant that even the best criminal defense lawyer cannot get them out of the charges. In most situations, experienced Michigan Criminal Investigation Lawyers will prevent clients from providing incriminating evidence to the police. In addition to preventing their clients from inadvertently incriminating themselves, there are many other ways a great pre-charge defense lawyer can help through aggressive, early intervention.
Examples of ways a top defense attorney can intervene on a pre-charge, investigation, and consultation basis include:
- Arranging for the client to voluntarily self-surrender, so they are not arrested.
- Negotiating a Pre-Charge Settlement of Charges
- Persuading the Prosecutor to Decline Charges
- Working out an agreement for a low or personal bond at arraignment.
- Assisting the client with proactive rehabilitation measures such as evaluations, counseling, education, community service, therapy, etc.
- Interviewing witnesses and collecting favorable evidence to ensure it is available to build a strong defense.
- Keeping the client informed of the investigation status.
- Being available to consult with the client and answer questions and concerns as they arise.
The Prosecutor Bring Charges Based on Evidence, Not Perceptions
People under investigation frequently worry that hiring a lawyer “looks bad.” Prosecutors bring felony and misdemeanor charges based on evidence, not a person’s appearance or how they “look.” Specifically, the prosecutor must believe there is probable cause based on admissible evidence. Most importantly, the perception that someone who hires an attorney must be guilty or have something to hide is misguided. Police officers routinely attempt to manipulate the target of an investigation into not hiring an attorney because they know that an experienced lawyer will make it more difficult to charge and prosecute the client. Regardless of the appearance to the general public, prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officers know that intelligent people hire good lawyers immediately. It is irrefutable that an excellent defense lawyer dramatically reduces the likelihood of charges or the severity of impending charges.
When a person of influence, such as a politician, celebrity, or wealthy business person, is under investigation, they hire legal counsel immediately. Similarly, a prosecutor, judge, or police officer under investigation for misconduct or crime retains a lawyer immediately. Why do people in a position to know the best strategy for damage control retain a criminal defense attorney immediately? Because they know an experienced criminal investigation defense lawyer gives them the best odds of avoiding charges, avoiding arrest, and controlling potentially devastating consequences. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. provide the highest level of pre-charge protection and defense to people of every socioeconomic position by charging legal fees that are fair and affordable.
Frequently Asked Questions about Criminal Investigations
Do I need to hire a lawyer before being charged?
Although all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law, the fact remains that people with the resources and wherewithal to hire a criminal defense lawyer have better odds of avoiding charges or getting drastically reduced consequences. Those without the money to hire an attorney are more likely to face charges and be forced to defend themselves with a court-appointed attorney. Someone who hires a Michigan Criminal Investigation Attorney on a pre-charge basis might be able to avoid charges, get reduced charges, arrange for a voluntary surrender (instead of arrest), and more.
What should I do if the police call me and want to talk?
Do not return the call or talk to the police under any circumstances. Anything you say or do, even if seemingly innocent, will be used against you. Police departments train officers to lie and use pretense to trick and manipulate people into talking with them and answering questions. Unfortunately, the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that lying, manipulation, and deceitful police practices are lawful and appropriate investigative tools. Suppose any law enforcement officer or agent reaches out to you or attempts to speak with you. In that case, it is essential that you retain a criminal defense lawyer immediately to protect and defend you. An attorney can help tell your story without the risk of the government using your statements, actions, or omissions as evidence against you.
Why do the police want to talk to me?
If the police attempt to talk with you, you are likely the suspect in an investigation. The officers might try to make you feel comfortable by claiming they “just want to clear things up” or “they just want to talk” and “get your side of the story.” Do not fall for their tricks and manipulations. If you are the suspect in a criminal investigation, the officers are working to build a case, not to find “justice.” A lawyer might be able to figure out the nature of an investigation, the allegations against you, and develop a proactive strategy to influence potential charges and any future consequences.
What happens if you don’t answer police questions?
You have a solemn, constitutional right not to answer police questions under the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Detectives and special agents know they can twist your statements to favor the government (even ones professing innocence), so they hate when those under investigation refuse to answer questions. Detectives will do everything possible to coerce suspects into incriminating themselves, including using a pretense of kindness or helpfulness, threats, intimidation, guilt, etc. Please do not fall for their coercive, manipulative tactics!
How can I talk to the police?
The best way to communicate with the police is through an experienced Michigan Criminal Investigation Lawyer. A savvy attorney will know how to advance your narrative, perform damage control, and proactively strategize to reduce the odds of criminal charges and lessen any potential consequences in the event of a conviction.
Do you have to talk to the police?
You do not have to talk to the police. You have a constitutional right to refuse to answer questions and demand the assistance of an attorney. Further, the constitutional mandate is that the government cannot use your silence as evidence of guilt.
Why would the police call my cell phone?
If the police call your cell phone, the odds are that you are the target of a criminal investigation. Do not return a detective’s call under any circumstances. For your protection, it is vital that your lawyer returns the call on your behalf to ensure that the prosecution cannot use anything you do or say as evidence against you for charging or prosecution purposes.
Do I have to answer police questions?
No, you do not have to answer police questions, and you should not speak with the police without a defense lawyer present to protect you.
Can the police come to your house to ask questions?
The police can come to your house or workplace to ask you questions any time of the day or night. If the police show up at your home or place of employment, state, “I respectfully invoke my right to remain silent and request the assistance of a lawyer.”
Should you talk to the police if you are innocent?
Even if you are innocent, you should not talk with the police. If law enforcement officers seek you out for questioning, they believe there is evidence that you committed a felony or misdemeanor. Evidence includes a witness’s or victim’s allegation. For example, if an alleged victim claims you victimized them, their testimony is “evidence.” Anything you say “can and will be used against you.” The criminal investigation attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have seen countless innocent people charged with crimes due to an officer’s claim that a suspect incriminated themselves during questioning. Don’t forget, an investigator’s only purpose for speaking with you is to build a case, despite anything they claim to the contrary. If you do not want the prosecutor to file charges based on untruthful or mistaken allegations, let an experienced defense attorney protect you.
How do I stop talking to the police?
You simply decline to answer further questions by stating, “I refuse to answer any further questions. I invoke my right to remain silent. I request the presence of my attorney.”
What is it called when police ask questions?
Police questioning is generally called interrogation.
Can it help if I tell the police my side of the story?
Officers often twist a suspect’s side of the story into incriminating evidence. Even if you deny guilt, such as by saying, “I’m innocent!” officers will claim that you acted nervous, you were shaking, you spoke without conviction, that you couldn’t maintain eye contact, or some other excuse to give the prosecutor a reason to charge and prosecute you. Worse, an officer might misunderstand you or falsely claim you admitted to a crime. Letting your lawyer speak for you means no miscommunications, misunderstandings, or false confessions.
Will it look bad if I don’t talk to the police?
It will look bad if you talk to the police and they coerce you into saying something inculpatory, inconsistent, or contrary to evidence obtained in their investigation. It will look bad if you fail to maintain eye contact, act nervous, speak ambiguously, make a mistake, or get tricked into saying something you did not intend. If you invoke your constitutional right to remain silent, your silence cannot be used against you as evidence. A seasoned defense lawyer will know how to communicate with the police on your behalf to avoid any negative or adverse inferences. Hiring a respected, reputable lawyer looks (and is) responsible and intelligent.
Do I have the right to remain silent?
You have a right to remain silent under the 5th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Do I have to attend a police interview?
Although the police might arrest and attempt to interrogate you, you do not have to answer any questions. Also, you have the right to demand the presence of an attorney.
How do I stop myself from incriminating myself?
Stop talking and hire a Michigan Criminal Investigation Lawyer to prevent incriminating yourself.
Can you plead the Fifth to a cop?
Yes, you can invoke your right to remain silent by “pleading the 5th” if law enforcement officers or agents attempt to question you.
What happens if a cop doesn’t read you your rights?
Law enforcement officers must only read Miranda rights to someone questioned while in custody (custodial interrogation). If an officer arrests and interrogates someone without reading their rights, answers to the officer’s questions might be ruled inadmissible in court.
Can I decline a police interview?
You can decline a police interview. The best way to turn down a police interview is to hire an attorney to communicate on your behalf. A good lawyer will know how to phrase a respectful response to the officers in a way that doesn’t harm you in court.
Can you say no comment in a police interview?
A judge might view a “no comment” response as an admission. For example, suppose an officer asks someone if they hit their spouse, and the suspect responds, “no comment.” A detective or prosecutor would view that answer and argue it is essentially a confession because an innocent person would have denied the allegation. The government cannot use your silence against you if you unequivocally invoke your right to remain silent.
What does it mean to take a 5th?
“Taking the fifth” means invoking a person’s constitutional right to remain silent and ensuring their silence is not used as evidence of guilt.
Michigan Criminal Investigation Lawyers – We Can Help You!
If you face felony or misdemeanor allegations in Michigan, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.’s criminal investigation lawyers can provide you with the most robust protection and defense. We have decades of experience representing clients on a pre-charge basis. Our track record of convincing prosecutors and detectives to consider out-of-court settlements and dropping charges is unparalleled. Because our lawyers have state-wide, well-known reputations for integrity, credibility, and zealous representation, they have the influence necessary to get the government’s attention and consideration.
Call us for a free consultation. We will take the time to talk with you, address your concerns, answer any questions, and work with you to develop a proactive, pre-charge strategy to avoid charges or reduce any impending consequences.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.