What Should You Expect With a Law Enforcement Investigation?
When a new client comes into our offices at Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC, they are often scared and confused about what is going to happen to them. No matter what you have been or could be charged with, going through a criminal investigation is stressful and can mean a lot of uncertainty. However, as experienced criminal defense attorneys, we are able to defend our clients during every step of an investigation.
First, it’s important to understand the difference between being arrested for a crime and being the subject of a criminal investigation. If you are under a criminal investigation, you likely have not been charged with a crime. On the other hand, if you have been arrested for a crime, this does not necessarily mean that there will be no more investigatory processes.
A person can legally only be arrested when there is probable cause to believe they have committed a crime. When no probable cause exists, but there is general suspicion that a person is involved in a crime, law enforcement typically place them under investigation. This can take many forms: a member of law enforcement can ask you to come in for questioning, they can show up at your place of work to ask your coworkers questions, and they can even ask your family members questions. Or you may never find out.
Unsurprisingly, many people choose to retain an attorney when they learn they are the subject of a criminal investigation. This is an incredibly smart move because a good criminal defense attorney can help protect you and preserve your rights in ways you might not have considered. For example, when you have a criminal defense attorney, an investigator cannot contact you directly without your attorney’s consent. This can act as a powerful deterrent against investigators who might otherwise try to exert pressure on you or use other sneaky tactics designed to get you to incriminate yourself. Without an attorney, there is very little stopping law enforcement from subjecting you to relentless and invasive questioning that may break you, even if you did nothing wrong.
Further, a good criminal defense attorney knows that there are often opportunities to put an end to an investigation or to reach a non-criminal outcome. Good criminal defense attorneys, like us, also know that they can put up roadblocks to prolong the investigation as long as possible. It takes an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney to recognize when both of these options are on the table, and to be able to advise their client which option is in their best interest.
Investigations can also take a long time, and a good attorney can help you form a realistic set of expectations for how long yours might last. Obviously, there is always a potential that an investigation results in your arrest, but when you have a criminal defense attorney you will likely know what you will be charged with, how much your bond is, and be able to surrender to police instead of being surprised by a 2 a.m. arrest at your home by a S.W.A.T. team or the humiliation of being “perp-walked” out of your place of work.
No matter what you are under investigation for, the attorneys at Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC can help. Our experienced Miami criminal defense attorneys have protected and defended clients during numerous law enforcement investigations. If you are under investigation, contact us today.
Posted in: Criminal