I was Contacted by an Investigator—Do I Need a Criminal Attorney?
The police often investigate a crime before making an arrest, especially if they need more proof that a person is probably the culprit. Being called into the police station or having officers show up at your doorstep is unnerving enough. But what happens if they start asking you detailed questions about where you were on a certain day? Are they digging for information to use to arrest you?
Many people are rightly worried when the police start questioning them, and they wonder, “Do I need a criminal attorney?” The answer is a definite Yes. Below, we will explain the many benefits of hiring an attorney as soon as possible.
An Attorney Can Keep You from Making Incriminating Statements
The police can use anything you say against you later during a criminal trial. Yes, the police must give you so-called Miranda warnings—You have the right to remain silent, Anything you say can be used against you, etc.
But did you know they only need to give these warnings if you are in custody? If they interview you as part of an investigation, and you are not in custody, the police can use any incriminating statement you let slip at trial.
If you have a lawyer by your side for every police interview, you won’t slip up and say something you will later regret. Your lawyer will protect your rights, including your right to remain silent. Once you suspect the police consider you the culprit, you need legal representation—even if you are innocent.
Hiring a Lawyer is Not an Admission of Guilt
Let’s get this out of the way. Many people don’t want to hire an attorney because they fear the police will assume they committed the crime. After all, why does an innocent person need a lawyer?
But hiring a lawyer does not send any signal to the police. And the state can’t charge you with a crime unless they have sufficient evidence of your guilt. By hiring an attorney, you make it as hard as possible on the state to bring charges against you.
Some people are also afraid to “anger” the police by requesting a lawyer. That’s another myth we need to debunk. In reality, it doesn’t especially matter if the police are “angry.” They have a job to do, which is to gather as much evidence as possible about a crime. By hiring a lawyer, you will guarantee that the police must respect your Constitutional rights as they go about their jobs.
You Need to Build a Strong Defense Right Away
In the event you are charged with a crime, you will need a strong defense. And the strongest defenses are those that a lawyer begins building immediately.
The fact is that evidence can disappear quickly. Alibi witnesses might move to another state, paper receipts that show where you were at a point in time can be lost, and so forth. By hiring a criminal defense lawyer, he can begin gathering all exculpatory evidence in your favor and preserve it for future use at trial.
A lawyer can also begin planning how to make an argument for bail. Depending on what our clients are charged with, it could take some effort to convince a judge that our client is not a flight risk. The more time we have to go over your criminal history and the facts of the case, the better.
A Lawyer Can Sometimes Keep Charges from Being Filed
Your attorney can review the evidence and find all the holes in the state’s case before any charges are filed. Your attorney can then go to the prosecutor and argue that no charges should be filed against you because the case is so weak.
This strategy is not effective in every case. But when successful, our clients avoid even an arrest. They also avoid the expense of trial. Instead, they can go about their lives as if the crime had never happened.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Collin County
It is never too early to have a criminal attorney by your side during a criminal investigation. At Rosenthal Barbieri, our Collin County criminal lawyers have represented clients at all stages of criminal proceedings, and we know how to press our clients’ advantage at each and every stage.
For more about how we defend cases, please contact us. We can discuss what you know about the case and how to handle police interviews. We can also attend any interview with you and make sure that you do not hand the state any evidence on a silver platter.