Pre-Filing Investigation of a Criminal Case
For most folks, the criminal justice system is perceived largely
by what they see on television and read in books.  The real
system is cold and un-sympathetic and often targets and
convicts innocent people.  When you understand how the
process works you can begin to relate to what should be done
and not done in order to help level the playing field.

1. DO NOT GIVE ANY STATEMENTS to any police officers,
investigators,  social workers, attorneys, or anyone asking about the
allegations, without first consulting a Lawyer.  Inform anyone who asks
about the allegations that upon advice of your attorney you cannot make
any statements or respond to any questions.  
THE MAIN OBJECTIVE
OF POLICE QUESTIONING IS TO ELICIT STATEMENTS THAT WILL
BE USED TO PROSECUTE YOU.

2.  DO NOT DISCUSS THE ALLEGATIONS WITH ANYONE.  Your
seemingly innocuous statements to friends, relatives or co-workers are
not privileged and may be used against you in Court.

3.  DO NOT agree to take or submit to any lie detector test or polygraph
without first consulting with a lawyer.  All lie detector tests are prone to
error in favor of the police.

4.  CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY if you receive any official
contact (from the Court, police, D.A.’s office, etc.) regarding the
allegations.

During this period of investigation AN ATTORNEY can contact  law
enforcement regarding your case.  However,  law enforcement is not
required to speak with your attorney and may choose to not discuss the
allegations.  Further, the authorities can take whatever actions the law
permits (including arrest or filing of charges) with or without your
attorney’s knowledge or approval.  A suspect in a crime investigation
may be arrested at any time, anywhere, as permitted by law, if the
police feel they have enough evidence to make a case, regardless of
whether the suspect has an attorney.

Nevertheless, having an
experienced criminal defense attorney for a
pending case has several advantages, including: 1) an attorney can be
a contact and intermediary for official contacts between a suspect and
the police, 2) the presence of an attorney can give the police assurance
that a suspect will not flee the jurisdiction, which may lead to lower bail
or immediate release after an arrest, and 3) an attorney already familiar
with the allegations, who is “up to speed”, can act quickly after an arrest
to advocate on behalf of a client.

A police investigation can last for weeks, or months, and long periods of
time can pass without any new information or contact.  Criminal
charges, depending on the allegations, can be filed up to one year, and
sometimes as long as six years after the date of alleged wrongdoing.  
Police agencies are overwhelmed with work, and sometimes this
creates a backlog resulting in delays unrelated to the substance of a
particular case.

If you or a loved one is being investigated by the Police,
contact our
Office today for a FREE consultation with a Lawyer.   An experienced
lawyer can often make the difference if you retain the attorney early on,
before the case is filed in Court.


San Pedro Criminal Defense Lawyers
Exclusively Criminal Law
444 West Ocean Avenue
Long Beach CA 90802