Police Investigations: Should I Obtain Criminal Defense Attorney Representation?
“Should I consult with an attorney, or hire an attorney, if I am being investigated by the police for a criminal offense?” The answer is yes, and yes. Do not speak to police officers prior to consulting with an attorney.
This is one of the more common questions that I receive. I answer in the affirmative for a very simple reason that you may already know the answer to: because everything that you say to the police can and will be used against you as they build a criminal case against you. This includes conversations with police officers at the scene of the crime, conversations with police over the phone (or text or email), conversations with officers in your home or outside of your home, and conversations with police officers at the station. (When I use the word “police” it applies to any local police officers and federal government agents.)
Just because the police officer did not read you your Miranda rights, does not mean that your statements cannot be used against you. In fact, the rules guiding Miranda warnings are very specific and apply only when they are questioning you while you are in their custody (such as under arrest, or not free to leave). You can read more about Miranda rights and self-incrimination here.
Remember, a police officer’s or Federal agent’s job is to investigate an incident or a crime, to bring the appropriate charges, and to arrest the suspected culprit. Their job is not to help you. Police officers use lawful tactics in order to obtain information from you (which normally leads to charges and then a conviction based on your cooperation). These tactics range from saying supportive and caring things to make you feel comfortable, to intimidating you into talking to them based on threat of arrest, to scaring you into a confession by accusing your loved ones or friends of the crime and creating an opportunity for you to clear them and incriminate yourself.
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This article is written by top rated criminal defense attorney Marina Medvin – law offices in Alexandria and in Fairfax Virginia. She successfully represents individuals investigated by the police in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Vienna and Falls Church. Please call for a consultation request.
What Will My Attorney Do During the Police Investigation?
To begin with, your attorney will invoke your rights. We will then investigate the case, speak to the police or federal agents on your behalf (if deemed appropriate), and decide how to proceed. Every case requires unique analysis and every case will have it’s own appropriate course of action. Cooperation may be appropriate in one case, while complete stonewalling may be appropriate in another case. Sometimes a carefully crafted mix of the two tactics is most appropriate.
Virginia Police Departments
We have experience with Northern Virginia police departments:
Common types of charges investigated by police officers through investigation:
Federal Conspiracy Charges – Drug Distribution, Wire Fraud, Etc.
Political Crimes / Election Fraud (we have defended Democrat and Republican politicians)