Pre-Charge Investigation, Consultation, and Damage Control.

Is hiring a criminal defense lawyer too early if there are no charges yet? If you are asking the question, it may be too late. Your best hope of avoiding charges is with the intervention of pre-charge investigation and consultation attorneys.

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What should I do if I am under investigation?

If you believe that police or other law enforcement agents are interested in speaking with you, you are in the “pre-charge” or “investigation state” of a criminal case. Similarly, you are also in a pre-charge stage if you have been arrested and released without charges. The pre-charge stage is the most crucial time to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you. Those who decide to wait and “see what happens” will have no chance of avoiding being charged. The pre-charge investigation and consultation attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have been successful numerous times in convincing police officers and prosecutors not to file charges or entertain a pre-charge, favorable settlement of the matter.

Talking with the Police During an Investigation

The first and only rule anyone needs to follow regarding talking with the police is: do not talk to the police! Police, special agents, and law enforcement officers use various techniques to build a case against a person accused of a felony or misdemeanor charge. During the “pre-charge” phase of an investigation, the investigator will most likely take a friendly approach to make them feel comfortable and not threatened. The last thing the officer wants to do is scare a suspect or prompt them to connect with a lawyer. Why? Because an experienced defense attorney will know how to prevent their client from volunteering damaging or inculpatory evidence. Representations made by law enforcement officers to manipulate a suspect might include the following:

  • “You do not need a lawyer; you are not considered a suspect at this time.”
  • “We only want to talk to you to clear up a few things.”
  • “It does not look like you will be charged with anything; we just have to complete a report for informational purposes.”
  • “Once we take your statement, we can close the file and forget about all of this.”
  • “Things will go easier for you if you make a statement.”
  • “We just want your side of the story.”

The truth is that “anything” you say “can and will” be used against you. Even if you do not “confess,” the police will likely claim your body language was suspicious or claim that even a minor discrepancy or mistake is a red flag showing guilt. A pre-charge investigation and consultation defense lawyer can speak on your behalf and protect you so that the police do not misconstrue your statements and body language and use that against you later. The police try to convince you not to have a lawyer because they know a knowledgeable attorney will protect you and make prosecuting you more difficult.

“If I get a lawyer, won’t I look guilty?”

One of the most significant and prevalent misconceptions is that a person who hires a lawyer looks guilty. This belief could not be more untrue. Police officers, prosecutors, and judges think someone who hires a lawyer looks responsible, proactive, and serious about their innocence. A successful lawyer’s function on a pre-charge basis is not to intimidate or antagonize law enforcement. The most effective attorney will defuse any acrimony, smooth out the process, and provide information most likely to help avoid or reduce charges.

On the other hand, there are cases where the best approach is to fight right out of the gate. You cannot be charged based on how you “look.” The prosecutor can only charge you if there is evidence, and an experienced lawyer can persuade the police to see any evidence in the light most favorable to you.

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Steps Can Be Taken to Protect You

Successful defense attorneys know that proactively protecting a client’s rights can prevent criminal charges from being filed. A lawyer can take various steps to defend a client on a pre-charge basis. Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer may be able to collect and preserve favorable evidence, obtain helpful opinions from experts, secure statements from favorable witness statements, conduct an independent investigation, and expose flaws in police evidence. A persuasive lawyer can speak powerfully for their client, and the police cannot use the lawyer’s statements as evidence in court. The pre-charge investigation and consultation attorney’s job is to prevent their client from being charged, if possible. The early intervention of a skilled, qualified defense lawyer can mean the difference between getting charges thrown out of court versus standing trial and facing severe consequences.

Preventing the Client’s Arrest and Detention

A defense lawyer can prearrange their client’s peaceful self-surrender when hired before the prosecutor files charges. By negotiating a self-surrender on a warrant, the client will not face arrest or any unnecessary detention in jail while awaiting trial. If someone does not hire a lawyer, their first notice of charges might be when officers forcibly arrest them at home, at work, or during a traffic stop.

Pre-Charge Representation – The Greatest Investment You Will Ever Make

A lawyer can take measures to prevent you from being charged or, in the alternative, convince the prosecutor to charge less severe charges. What is avoiding criminal felony or misdemeanor charges worth? The fact is that innocent people face state and federal criminal allegations every day. The system is imperfect; innocent people are sometimes convicted or accept plea bargains to avoid jail or prison. Being innocent does not necessarily guarantee a dismissal or acquittal. A lawyer who can potentially stop charges or preserve and lockdown any favorable evidence provides an invaluable service. Doing nothing and hoping “the truth will prevail” generally results in wrongful criminal charges and may result in an unnecessary conviction and jail time. An unfortunate and common mistake people make is failing to seize an opportunity to avoid criminal charges by retaining an experienced “pre-charge” defense attorney.

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Proactive and Effective Pre-Charge Investigation and Consultation

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience protecting and defending clients during the pre-charge investigation stage of the criminal process. We have helped countless clients avoid charges that seemed unavoidable. Additionally, we have helped prevent charges that would have been more serious or numerous without our expertise and intervention. Suppose you have reason to believe someone has accused you of a felony or misdemeanor in federal or state court in Michigan. In that case, you need to contact our pre-charge investigation and consultation defense attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation. We will tirelessly work to protect your rights and do whatever is necessary to keep you from being charged.

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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Why hire a criminal defense lawyer for precharge representation?

It is known as pre-charge representation because you have not yet been formally charged, and your case is still in the investigation phase. Pre-charge representation involves hiring an attorney during the investigation phase so that we can investigate the possibility of preventing charges from being filed against you. This type of proactive representation may involve contacting the investigator on your behalf and informing them that you have retained counsel, are protected, and will not be making any statements. We can also use this opportunity to learn more about the allegations against you by the alleged victim or government. Sometimes, the officer or agent in charge will provide us with a few details and the charges they plan to recommend to the prosecuting attorney. We can arrange for you to have an opportunity to self-surrender instead of facing an arrest and detention at the jail.

Depending on whether or not the police report has been completed and sent to the prosecutor’s office, we may be able to find out which assistant prosecutor or U.S. Attorney is assigned to your case, discuss the charges being filed against you, and potentially settle the case before it is even filed.

Every single instance is unique. We must determine if you have a criminal history or none at all. We must consider the victim’s identity and credibility. Do they have a criminal record or a propensity to lie? Perhaps, in your case, the offense does not allege a specific victim. We need to determine the time limit or statute of limitations for the government to file charges against.

Hiring an attorney in the earliest stages of an investigation could be advantageous because you would protect your reputation and freedom proactively. Do not make a statement to the police if you find yourself in trouble; instead, contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. to find out what you can do to protect yourself. We will find a way to help you.