Should You Wait Until You've Been Charged With An Offense To Get A Lawyer?
The police don't always hit people with criminal charges within a few minutes or hours of an alleged offense. Some cases take time, and that can leave folks suspected of crimes wondering whether it would be wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer. Look at why you might want to retain counsel before the cops charge you with a crime.
Protecting Your Rights
Even if you're firmly convinced there is no way the police or a prosecutor could make a case against you, it's a smart idea to talk with a criminal attorney. If the cops are looking into something, it's likely a matter of time before an officer wants to interview you.
An attorney can help you protect your rights if the police do interview or interrogate you. Your lawyer can help you decide which questions to answer and how you might answer them. Likewise, an attorney may tell you the police don't have a leg to stand on and that you should refuse all interview requests.
Similarly, the cops may try to get a search warrant for your house, car, or other properties. It's a good idea to have someone around who understands criminal defense law. They may be able to spot a problem with a warrant and bring it to a judge's attention. At a minimum, making the police aware that you have a criminal defense lawyer should encourage them to walk a tighter line.
Examining the Allegations
Whether the cops are investigating something or you're just hearing rumors of allegations, a lawyer can help you determine how serious the situation is. Also, it may be helpful for an attorney to get a leg up on a case that might be coming down the pipeline. If charges do land against you, your lawyer will already have studied what's happening and may be able to mount a faster defense.
Filing Complaints with the Court
There might come a point where an ongoing investigation crosses the line into harassment. While the cops have a lot of leeway to conduct investigations without charging folks, there does come a point where they have to charge you or let you go.
If your criminal defense lawyer believes the conduct of the police in an uncharged case constitutes harassment, they can petition the court for relief. A judge may take an interest in what's happening and order the cops to explain what's going on. Even if it doesn't kill the investigation, such a petition may shine a light on what the police think they can prove.
Reach out to a criminal defense lawyer to learn more.