Work With A Board Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are many circumstances where a person may learn that they are under criminal investigation but have not yet been formally charged by a prosecuting agency. In some cases, a person may receive a phone call or knock on the door from a detective, federal agent, or other law enforcement official wanting to discuss an ongoing criminal investigation. In other situations, it may be through word of mouth from friends, colleagues, or family members that someone has made a report to law enforcement making allegations against you. Or, you may have been arrested and then released without being charged at that time. After being arrested, an individual can remain in limbo in this pre-charge state until charged with a crime, or until a decision is made by the prosecuting agency to decline prosecution. Facing potential criminal charges can be overwhelming and it is advisable to seek the advice of legal counsel as soon as possible after learning that you might be under criminal investigation to ensure that your rights are protected and to avoid any mis-steps that could negatively impact the case going forward. It is during this period, which is commonly referred to as the ‘pre-charge’ stage in a criminal investigation, where a criminal defense attorney can play a significant role in the trajectory of the case. During this pre-charge period, a criminal defense attorney may be able to persuade the prosecuting agency not to proceed forward with filing criminal charges. Alternatively, if charges are inevitable, your criminal defense attorney can take advantage of this window of opportunity to influence the scope and severity of charges filed. Either way, your attorney will be able to help you navigate through this process by taking proactive steps, such as, identifying and preserving exculpatory evidence, contacting the investigating detective to notify them that all communication should be arranged through your attorney to ensure that no potentially incriminating statements are made, ensuring that your constitutional rights are protected and, by making other strategic decisions during the pre-charge investigation to ensure the best course of action is pursued in your case. In the event charges are filed, your attorney will be able to help facilitate a self-surrender and hopefully avoid an arrest at your home or workplace which could cause further angst and embarrassment. If you have been arrested and released without charges, are being sought in connection with a crime, or have been questioned and released by the police, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your rights and legal options.
Even if you are completely innocent of the crime under investigation, you should still seek out competent legal representation to counsel you as to your rights, the law relevant to your situation and to be present with you during any questioning by law enforcement. A professional pre-charge defense investigation may help to reveal factual deficiencies in the government's case through independent investigation. A pre-charge investigation may also help to identify sources of exculpatory evidence which need to be identified, preserved and/or recorded so that you can demonstrate your innocence later, in the event you are formally charged.
Mr. Buckallew has nearly 20 years’ experience as a Board Certified Criminal Defense attorney and can help counsel you on the relevant laws as well as provide guidance on how best to prepare your defense during the pre-charge investigative phase of your case.