Many people assume that the time to call a criminal defense attorney is after a prosecutor issues criminal charges against you. However, many people can benefit greatly from calling the right attorney before they have been formally charged. The following are some examples of when this might be the case.
You Are Under Investigation
In some situations, law enforcement officers will conduct an extensive investigation before they make an arrest. This is because they need to gather enough evidence to have probable cause before they arrest you. Often, people are alerted to the fact that they are under investigation. You might be called in for questioning, officers might be questioning people you know, or officers might execute a warrant to search your home or office.
If you see any signs that you are under investigation, you want a criminal defense lawyer on your side immediately. It is all too easy to slip up during an investigation and say something incriminating – even if you did not commit a crime. In addition, a lawyer can identify when officers might be violating your rights during the investigation.
You Have Been Arrested
When you are arrested, police officers might want to question you to gather evidence to support criminal charges. Even though you have not been officially charged with a crime yet, you should seek the help of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.
Before police question you, they must inform you of your Miranda rights, which include:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to be represented by an attorney
It is always wise to invoke these rights and call for defense representation right away. Doing so will not make you appear guilty – instead, it will help protect your rights and interests during all police communications. This can help avoid criminal charges or limit the evidence that a prosecutor might have against you should they file charges.
Contact a Trusted Fargo Criminal Defense Lawyer
The criminal process can begin well before you are charged with a crime, and an experienced Fargo criminal defense attorney can begin helping you and protecting your rights early on in your case. If you believe you are under investigation or you have been arrested or charged, seek the defense help you need as soon as you can. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorney, Tatum O’Brien, by email, or call O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys at 701-235-8000 or toll-free 877-235-8002.