I Am Currently Under Investigation. Do I Need an Attorney?
You definitely need to consult with a Michigan criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you suspect you are under police investigation. Once you consult with an attorney, you can determine if it is in your best interest to cooperate with the investigation. If it is in your best interest, then your attorney can devise a strategy for you to cooperate that provides as much protection for you as possible. Even though you may believe you are doing the right thing by cooperating and that you are in control of the situation, you could seriously hurt your case by failing to consult with a Lansing criminal defense attorney when you are under investigation by the police. You do not want to find yourself in the position of being arrested and have the police use the information they gathered from you while you were cooperating with the investigation.
Are There Advantages to Hiring an Attorney During the Investigation Process?
Yes, there are several advantages to hiring a criminal defense lawyer while the police are conducting their investigation. Some advantages include:
- An attorney may help you avoid being formally charged and arrested.
- Your lawyer can use his resources to try to obtain information about the status of the investigation and other relevant information.
- If you are going to be arrested, a lawyer could help reduce the severity of the charge.
- A defense attorney understands the rules of evidence and the elements the prosecutor is required to prove. The attorney might help minimize the evidence obtained by the police for the prosecutor to use at trial. The less evidence the prosecutor has, the higher the chance you might receive a more positive outcome.
- An attorney can guide and direct your actions and statements during the investigation to help you avoid mistakes that could negatively impact your defense and case.
- If you are going to be arrested, a criminal defense lawyer can help schedule a time for you to turn yourself into the police rather than have the police show up at your home or your place of business.
Hiring a defense attorney as early as possible in a criminal case can give you the advantage you need to avoid expensive fines, jail time, probation, and other penalties for a criminal conviction.
Understanding Your Rights During a Police Investigation
Many people mistakenly assume they must agree to answer questions or make a statement during an investigation. However, just as you have the right to remain silent after you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent during an investigation. Anything you say can be used against you, including statements that provide the police with probable cause to obtain a search warrant or arrest warrant. Miranda rights only apply once you have been arrested or you are in custody. Therefore, answering questions during an investigation can be very risky. Because a simple statement that you believe “clears up” a misunderstanding could be the piece of evidence that the police use against you to obtain an arrest warrant.
You must remember, the police can mislead you about their intentions. They could intentionally leave out information that might change your mind about answering their questions or cooperating had you known the information before you answered their questions, agreed to a chemical test, or consented to a search. It is sometimes much easier for the police to obtain incriminating evidence before arresting a suspect. Cooperating with the police during an investigation is risky and unnecessary.
Before Speaking with The Police, Talk to An Attorney
Critical decisions can be made about a case during the investigation stage. Having a criminal defense attorney representing your best interest could influence some of these decisions to your advantage. Instead of trying to handle the matter yourself or waiting to see what happens, get advice from an experienced attorney now while you may be able to do something to influence the outcome of the case. It is always in your best interest to know your options and your legal rights. Hiring an attorney does not make you look guilty — it is a sign that you are taking the matter seriously and you want a professional who understands the legal system to represent your interests from the beginning of the case.
Hire a Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
The Clark Law Office offers a free legal consultation with a Lansing criminal defense attorney so you can learn about your legal rights. Call our office at 517-347-6900.