Are You a Suspect in a Criminal Investigation?
In California, if you're under investigation by a law enforcement agency, anything you say to them can and will be used against you. The incriminating statements you make during a police investigation are powerful weapons in a prosecutor's hands. Do not give any statements to the police without an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney at your side.
Criminal Investigation Strategy
When you're under investigation, you're at a complete disadvantage. You may think you can talk your way out of a criminal investigation; but talking to law enforcement is an intimidating experience. Lying to police is a mistake and will make your situation worse. The best strategy is to exercise your constitutional right to remain silent.
Keep in mind that the law enforcement agency has to prove the criminal charges against you. Police officers and detectives are trained to obtain statements from suspects. Therefore, don't believe an investigator if he/she makes it seem like cooperating will get you off the hook. By giving a statement during a police investigation, you're not only giving away your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and be represented by an attorney, but you're also making it easier for them to prove their case against you. Without your statement or cooperation, the police might not have a case.
Choose the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
If you're about to be arrested or criminally investigated, or you're currently charged with a crime, you need to be informed and get skilled and aggressive representation.
For your best protection, hire a defense attorney with extensive experience in representing individuals at all stages of a California criminal investigation. A skilled attorney will take immediate action to protect you by preventing you from volunteering any statements to law enforcement.
- An experienced attorney can assess your situation and determine if it is a good idea for you to talk to law enforcement. Then, he/she can prepare a defense to the potential charges and in some cases begin a dialogue with the prosecutor s office in an attempt to settle the matter before it goes to court.
- Once your attorney informs law enforcement that you're represented by counsel, the law enforcement agency must go through the lawyer's office to get to you. Your attorney can begin to gather documents and interview witnesses during the investigative process and before criminal charges are filed.
- A good attorney can also possibly negotiate with law enforcement for you to surrender yourself for the booking process, rather than face a public arrest. In some cases, the attorney can surrender you to the court and make arrangements with the court to release you on your own recognizance (O.R.) without posting bail.
- A skilled attorney will also invoke your Constitutional rights:
- 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
- 5th Amendment right to due Process, representation, and to remain silent
- 6th Amendment right to representation, confrontation and speedy trial
- 8th Amendment right to bail.
The experienced attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help protect your rights and help you before criminal charges are filed. They have represented people successfully on all types of criminal investigations, misdemeanors and felonies.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have been contacted by a detective who wants to interview me. What should I do?
You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney and consult with him. Remember, anything you say to that detective may be misconstrued and can ultimately be used against you in a court of law.
Can a police officer arrest me without a warrant?
Yes! You can be arrested if there is reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe you committed a crime or was involved in a crime.
What are my rights if I am arrested?
You have a right to remain silent. You also have a right to have an attorney present anytime law enforcement wants to speak with you. You have a right to have an attorney represent you in your criminal matter. You also have a right to bail.
Does a police officer or law enforcement personnel have to read me my Miranda Rights?
Your Miranda Rights must be read to you if you are being interrogated and in custody-commonly known as custodial interrogation. Failure to do so could result in the statements made by you being thrown out or suppressed. Failure to read your Miranda Rights does not invalidate the arrest, only any incriminating statements made by you.
Should I volunteer my side of the story to the police officer when I am arrested?
In most cases a police officer is not going to let you go even if he believes your story. If you are arrested without a warrant the police officer is trying to make his case and will use any and all statements against you. In either situation, you are at a disadvantage if you talk to the police officer because the statements you make to him/her could be misconstrued or misquoted and ultimately used against you. Remain silent until you speak with a lawyer.
What if the police officer says that I should confess and he will speak to the prosecutor and ask them to go easy on me?
In most cases the opposite occurs. If you make a full confession then there is no reason for the prosecutor to go easy on you. You have basically made the case for the prosecutor by confessing. You should never speak to law enforcement without an attorney present.
Do I need to hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Yes! A Criminal Defense Attorney can help you understand what to do if you are arrested, how to deal with the criminal justice system and understand the rights you have as a criminal defendant. Criminal offenses are often very serious. You could be facing jail, state prison, probation, fines and restitution and ultimately a criminal record.