The best time to hire a criminal defense attorney is before you need a criminal defense attorney. People who are under investigation, think that they are under investigation, or have been contacted by police officers or detectives need to get an attorney involved as soon as possible. An attorney can do a number of things at the outset, including:
- call the investigating detective or prosecutor,
- attempt to determine charges or potential exposure, and
- check on bond amounts.
Questioned or Investigated by the Police?
If you are being questioned or investigated by the police, you need an attorney to help guide and assist you. The last thing you want is to do something that the police can use against you.
For example, not answering an officer’s question truthfully is against the law. That means if you’re talking to the police while you’re overly tired or otherwise not thinking clearly, you might be committing additional criminal acts. If you’re being investigated, and you don’t have a lawyer involved, you’re only hurting yourself by cooperating.
In the worst case scenario, if charges are coming, your attorney might be able to negotiate your surrender. Surrendering yourself at a police station is much better than having officers kick down your door and arrest you in front of your family and neighbors.
Is Immunity on the Table?
If you are not the subject of the investigation, but the police are looking at someone other than you, you might be able to negotiate immunity in exchange for your cooperation. This, however, must be arranged with the prosecutor—not through the police. Cops have no authority to grant someone immunity from prosecution.
The attorneys at the Marc Lopez Law Firm don’t want anyone to have to deal with being investigated or having criminal charges filed against them. If you are facing criminal charges, you need to hire a smart and experienced attorney who can try to minimize the impact on your life.
If you have any questions about when to hire a criminal defense attorney, give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!