You’re Under Investigation. Now What?
When police are investigating a crime, it does not happen overnight. It can take weeks or even months for police and prosecutors to conduct and complete an investigation.
If you suspect — or have reason to believe — you are being investigated for a crime, you do not have to wait to be charged to seek help. In fact, it is better to get a head start by contacting a lawyer as soon as you think you are being investigated.
Why Call A Lawyer Before Being Arrested?
Once you have been arrested — or even just contacted by investigators — the case against you is likely strong. Investigators conduct extensive work behind the scenes so that when they do make an arrest, they have the evidence necessary to prosecute. Even if they have not made an arrest, they often have evidence they believe is sufficient to prosecute when they look to interview someone they suspect. This way they can confront the person with any claims that are contradicted by other evidence they have. They also are then in the best position to try to obtain a confession or an admission before they make an arrest.
Calling an attorney before investigators ever contact you is often the best way to protect yourself. Why? A number of reasons:
- The extra time will allow your lawyer to start building your defense before you are even charged with a crime.
- Your lawyer can explain what to do and say if you are contacted by investigators so you don’t accidentally hurt your case.
- Having an attorney on your side will help ensure that investigators do not coerce you into admitting fault or talk you into agreeing to a deal that isn’t in your best interests.
- A lawyer can try to arrange with police for your surrender at an agreed-upon time if you are charged. Doing so avoids your being arrested and handcuffed in front of your family and employer; allows your lawyer to be present during your contact with police; and very importantly, gives your attorney the ability to appear at your first court appearance, when bail is determined, increasing the likelihood of your being released from custody while your case is pending.