Every day in our society crimes are investigated by law enforcement officers and prosecutors. During the course of pre-charge investigations it is common for a police officer to attempt to speak to the “target” of the investigation. Other times, investigating grand juries may be utilized and subpoenas issued to require someone’s appearance before a grand jury. The Constitution states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself in a criminal case. This is called the 5th Amendment privilege – and it needs to be protected.
When do I need to hire a criminal attorney?
Many individuals forget that an attorney isn’t only needed once someone is charged with a crime – often times it is critical to have counsel before charges are brought. The following list shows some of the benefits of having counsel when you believe or know that you are being investigated by law enforcement.
- It prevents the officers from speaking to the “target” directly – therefore, not providing law enforcement with any potentially incriminating statements.
- It will allow for guided and thorough conversation about how one should act while being investigated. The tactics and tools that law enforcement use are wide ranging. An experienced criminal lawyer will be able to properly and completely inform the one being investigated on things to be aware of and how to protect your rights.
- It will allow for you to properly being preparing your defense in the event that you are ultimately charged. The earlier the better, as it is common for evidence to become harder to preserve with a longer delay.
- It will prohibit others from attempting to speak to the target while acting on behalf of the government.
- If an arrest is planned – it will allow your attorney time to speak to the government and agree on a turn-in date rather than being arrested when you are not expecting it.
- In the event that cooperation with the government is the best strategy in your defense, your attorney can help to set up any communications with the government and ensure your rights are protected throughout the cooperation process.
This list is not exhaustive. Pre-charge investigations can be drawn-out in time and incredibly involved. If you believe you or a loved one may be the subject of one of these investigations it is a good decision to hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your interests and represent you through the process.
Contact West Chester Criminal Defense attorney Mike DiCindio to discuss your case today.
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended solely for informational purposes.
Michael DiCindio is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale.