SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY BEFORE I AM ARRESTED OR CHARGED WITH A CRIME?
- March 24th, 2014
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That’s a very common question, and it has a very simple answer: YES.
I can’t state that strongly enough. You should hire an attorney as soon as you think you might need one.
That goes double for clients who already know that an accusation has been made against them, or that police are already conducting an investigation.
This may be the most critical point in the development of the case against you – which means it’s also where an attorney’s help and advice can have the biggest impact. All cases start off as police investigations. The police then either make an arrest themselves, or they turn over their report to the State Attorney’s Office. (This stage of the process is known as “pre-filing.”)
Critical decisions are often made about your case during the pre-filing stage – and if we’re already involved in your case at this stage, we can often influence those decisions. Instead of just waiting around to see if criminal charges are going to be filed, it makes more sense to hire an attorney and do everything possible to prevent charges from being filed in the first place. Or, if charges are inevitable, it’s also possible that an attorney can reduce the severity of those charges. You’d be surprised at the difference a proactive approach can make.
Sometimes, people think that hiring an attorney will make them look guilty. That is not true. Prosecutors and police officers are professionals, and they’re used to dealing with attorneys in a wide variety of circumstances. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you present your side of the case to the State. If the prosecutor is only getting one side of the story, they may decide to charge you – simply because your voice was never heard during the pre-filing stage. And it’s a lot harder to fight criminal charges than it is to avoid them.
We’ve handled a variety of cases where our pre-filing investigation and representation has prevented charges from being filed. Recently, we were able to convince police not to charge one of our clients:
We’ve also been able to convince prosecutors to file lesser charges or negotiate dispositions prior to filing. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true when it comes to your reputation and liberty. If you or family member are being investigated by police, give us a call today so that we can start immediately working on your behalf.