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
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
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