Pre-Charge Investigation and Consultation Defense Attorneys
Is it too early to hire a lawyer if there are no charges yet? If you are asking the question, it may be too late. Your best hope of avoiding a criminal charge is with the proactive and early intervention of pre-charge investigation and consultation defense attorneys.
What should I do if I am under investigation?
If you have reason to 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, if you have been arrested and released without charges, then you are also in a pre-charge stage. 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 to avoid being charged. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have been successful numerous times with convincing police officers and prosecutors not to file charges or entertain a pre-charge, favorable settlement of the matter.
Talking with the Police Prior During an Investigation
The first and only rule anyone needs to follow regarding talking with the police is …do not! Police, special agents, and law enforcement officers use various techniques when attempting 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 very friendly approach in an attempt to make him or her 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 his or her client from volunteering damaging or inculpatory evidence. Common statements made by law enforcement officers to manipulate a suspect 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 are going to 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 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 at a later time. 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 most prevalent misconceptions is that a person that hires a lawyer looks guilty. This belief could not be more untrue. From the perspective of the police, prosecutors, and judges, people who hire a lawyer look 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 in a way that is 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.
Steps Can Be Taken to Protect You
Successful defense attorneys know that being proactive in protecting a client’s rights results 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 his or her client, and the police cannot use the lawyer’s statements as evidence in court. The attorney’s job is to prevent his or her client from being charged, if possible.
The Greatest Investment You Will Ever Make
A lawyer can take measures in an attempt 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 are accused of crimes in state and federal court every day. The system is far from perfect, and 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 charges and may result in an unnecessary conviction and jail time. An unfortunate and common mistake people make is failing to seize upon an opportunity to avoid criminal charges by retaining an experienced “pre-charge” defense attorney.
Proactive and Effective Criminal Defense on a Pre-Charge Basis
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. If you have reason to believe that someone has accused you of a felony or misdemeanor in federal or state court in Michigan, you need to contact our pre-charge investigation and consultation defense attorneys as soon as possible. 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 a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.