One of the most important times in a case is the investigation. Things will be done and not done during the investigation that have lasting, and frequently unchangeable, consequences.
The Supreme Court has found a person has the right to have a criminal defense attorney during the investigation stage of a case.
Having an attorney is important for several reasons:
- Helping ensure an accurate investigation;
- Helping with law enforcement questioning;
- Helping ensure all your rights are protected;
- Helping ensure that any arrest is done properly and that any bond is set as low as possible.
An attorney can help make sure that things are done correctly during an investigation and that all relevant evidence is gathered. This can include evidence that must be collected immediately or is lost (e.g. gun shot reside testing, DNA testing, fingerprint gathering, etc.).
If you have been contacted by law enforcement regarding a case investigation you need to speak to an attorney right away, and most importantly BEFORE speaking to any law enforcement.
It is almost never a good idea to give any information about an investigation without the advice of an attorney.
You need an attorney because:
- Law enforcement officials can legally lie to you during investigation.
- Law enforcement frequently withholds information from people they are questioning, including information that you are in fact suspected of a crime.
- Law enforcement routinely use techniques that have resulted in false confessions or incriminating statements.
- Everything you say will be scrutinized at a level that most people are not used to. Simple mistakes or inaccuracies can be used to make you look dishonest.
- Not only can anything you say be used against you, it can be distorted by the law enforcement and used against you.
The Lawyers at McGraw & Strickland have prevented many of their clients from wrongful arrests and indictments by working during the investigation stage.