If you have found yourself in a situation where you are accused of committing a crime, are taken into custody or are under investigation for any type of criminal offense, you are probably wondering whether you need an attorney. The question of when to involve a criminal defense attorney is a crucial one, and your choice may end up having a direct impact on your future.
Because every case is different, the best advice we can give is this: if you think you may need an attorney, you're probably right. And even if you do not end up needing legal counsel at this time, you have nothing to lose by discussing your situation with a professional who can provide insight and the answers you seek.
We place a strong emphasis on the early involvement of a criminal defense attorney because of the serious consequences that even an accusation of an alleged crime can have on all areas of your life. Depending on the type of offense, you may be socially ostracized. Your employment may be terminated. The custody of your children may even be threatened, and you may find that friends and family members are unwilling to lend their support. You need someone on your side who knows how to effectively challenge criminal accusations and formal charges inside and outside of the criminal courtroom.
With law enforcement and the prosecution doing everything in their power to gather enough evidence against you to secure a conviction, you need an attorney to protect your rights and interests. Even before formal charges are filed, an attorney can conduct a pre-file investigation or intervention and work to ensure this does not occur. Search warrants should be carefully reviewed and may be challenged in some cases. Any questioning, formal or informal, should be supervised by your attorney to make sure you do not say or do anything that could be used against you later on - even if you are just trying to cooperate.
If you are familiar with Miranda rights, you know that you have the right to an attorney if you are arrested on suspicion of committing a crime. You also have the right to remain silent. You do not need to wait until an arrest, however, to exercise your right to an attorney. Involve a legal professional as soon as you become aware that you are a person of interest in a criminal investigation, and you may find that you can avoid a good deal of embarrassment, inconvenience and even formal charges that could threaten your entire future.
Do Not Wait Until an Arrest to Seek Legal Counsel
In some cases, such as a DUI arrest or situation where you are taken into custody with no forewarning, you may have no choice but to involve an attorney after you are already taken in. There are other scenarios where you may discover that you are a prime suspect in a criminal investigation or where law enforcement may call you in for "questioning." When this occurs, a pre-file investigation may be the answer.
At The Law Offices of Jacqueline Goodman, we offer pre-file investigation services to clients throughout the Orange County area of Southern California. We recognize the immense benefit that can be brought about by the immediate intervention of a criminal defense lawyer, even if formal charges have not been filed. With our experience in this field, we understand that prosecutors are unlikely to proceed if they do not have extremely strong cases against defendants. We use this to our clients' advantage, finding fault in physical evidence and witness testimony to weaken the prosecution's case and persuade them to stop in their pursuit.
With the right approach and a competent attorney by your side, you may find that you can avoid a conviction or even charges in the first place. Contact our firm today to discuss your unique case and how we can help you.