Pre-Charge “Investigation Stage”
Attorney in Scottsdale
If the Scottsdale police or other law-enforcement agency in the Phoenix area have asked you to come down to the police station for questioning, if you are aware that they are looking for you, or if they have arrested and released you without a citation, then you are currently in the “investigation stage” of a criminal case before actual criminal charges are filed against you. It is at this stage in a criminal case that a defense attorney can help you the most.
It is always better to avoid having any criminal charge on your record at all than to have a criminal charge that is later dismissed. This is because when you are charged with a crime, you will have a criminal record that can be located during a background check. Even if you are charged with a crime and it is dismissed, you will still have to explain to any future employer the circumstances surrounding your arrest. But if you are never arrested at all, then you will not have a criminal record. You will not need to explain an arrest to a future employer or anybody else conducting a background check. This is the best-case scenario you want to fight hard to achieve.
How Can a Scottsdale Pre-Charging Lawyer Help You?
If you are in the investigation stage of a criminal case, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you avoid criminal charges entirely. There are a number of things that a defense attorney can do to help you at the pre-charge stages of a criminal investigation.
Have your Attorney Communicate with the Police
If you are a suspect, the police will call you down to the police station to question you. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during any police questioning. The police do not want you to have an attorney present during questioning because that will make it easier for them to extract a confession from you. The police could try to convince you to talk to them by saying that doing so will help “clear your name” and that after you talk to them you can “put the whole matter behind you.”
These are common tactics to cajole an unsuspecting person to speak to the police without an attorney. This is never a good idea. Even if you are entirely innocent of the crime that you are being investigated for, without the advice of counsel, you can give statements that can be interpreted as incriminating. This can then encourage the police to later arrest you, even if a good defense attorney can later get the charges dropped.
The first thing that a defense attorney can do if you in the pre-charging phase of an investigation is to get between you and the police. Our lawyers can contact the police and tell them that you are represented by an attorney and that they cannot speak with you outside of your attorney’s presence. Our firm can discuss with you the pros and cons of any requests by the police to interrogate you, acquire a DNA sample, or otherwise investigate you. We will advise you and help you make the best decisions to help avoid criminal charges.
A defense attorney will also communicate with the detective that is assigned to your case and will try to convince the police not to file any charges or to file lesser charges.
Gather Evidence in your Defense
At the early stages of the investigation, a criminal defense attorney can help acquire evidence in your defense. If you have been falsely accused of a crime, we might suggest that you have a polygrapher conduct a polygraph examination. The results of a lie-detector test can then be presented to the police investigator. This may convince the investigator that the alleged victim or witness is not credible, and no charges should be brought. A criminal defense attorney can also discuss the possibility of hiring a private investigator to do research into your case. A private investigator could discover useful information to help your case. Perhaps the accuser has a criminal record or a history of making false allegations. A defense attorney can bring this to the attention of the detective to try to keep you from being charged.
Negotiate with the Prosecutor
Before felony cases can be filed against a defendant, the charges must be reviewed and approved a prosecutor. A defense attorney can attempt to contact the prosecutor prior to any charges being filed and try to convince him or her not to file the charges. If there is strong exculpatory evidence (evidence that goes towards your innocence) our firm can communicate that evidence to the prosecutor’s office. This evidence may have been discovered during our own pre-charge investigation, and it may not be in the police report. If the prosecutor learns of this evidence, this can convince the prosecutor that the case is not as strong as the police report would otherwise indicate and it could influence the state to not file any charges or to file lesser charges than the police had submitted to the prosecutor’s office.
Even if the prosecutor’s office decides to file charges against you despite the best efforts of your defense attorney, we can ask the prosecutor to serve us with the direct complaint. The prosecutor will often agree to this request, and this can avoid the potential embarrassment of you being served with the complaint yourself at work or to have you arrested at a later.
Get Out in Front of Criminal Charges
If you learn that you are under investigation for a crime, you should contact a skilled pre-charge criminal investigation attorney immediately. The sooner you learn of the investigation, the more a defense attorney can do to help you. Even if you have already talked to the police, it is never too late to contact an attorney to help keep charges from being filed against you.
Call me, an experienced Scottsdale pre-charge “investigation stage” lawyer, today to represent you at (480) 470-6119.
“His personable approach during a stressful time was definitely what was needed.”- Lionel
“I was able to get my charges lowered, and I have Stewart to thank!”- John C.
“The outcome was very favorable!”- Dasey D.