How Will You Know If You Are the Subject of a Criminal Investigation?
Interviewer: How would I know if I am under criminal investigation or if I’m being charged or going to be charged with a crime? Is anyone from law enforcement going to let me know that this process has been started?
In Most Cases, an Arrest Serves as the Notice That You Are the Subject of a Criminal Investigation
Paul: I think in most cases, certainly at the state level, the way we know is an actual arrest occurs. Occasionally people will have contact with a law enforcement officer who shows up at their home or place of business, or maybe gives them a call on the phone, and the law enforcement officer or detective will tell that person that they just want to ask a few questions of that person about a situation that may have happened.
If You Are Contacted by Law Enforcement and Asked to Answer Questions, It’s Best to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer Right Away
When these people get a call like that, that’s usually a pretty good indicator that law enforcement is at least suspicious of something in which they may have been involved. That gives persons a really good opportunity to get legal representation involved in the case before charges are filled, but I would say that’s the exception and not the rule.
It Is Always Best to Retain a Criminal Defense Attorney Even before Charges Are Filed
Interviewer: Once a person has started receiving either phone calls or some kind of communication, is it then advisable that even before charges are filed they should be consulting an attorney?
Paul: Absolutely. I tell all my clients the same exact thing. The earlier you have a lawyer involved in a case, the more opportunities that lawyer will have to have some control over exactly how and where the case will proceed.
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