Are You Under Investigation?
How do you know if you are under investigation?
If police or investigators have contacted you and are asking for an interview, they most likely believe that you are either a suspect or a witness in a crime. What should you do?
A lot of people think that, if they don’t cooperate and answer questions, they will look guilty. Or, they are confident that they can explain things to the police and clear things up. Why is that usually a bad idea?
Should I Talk to the Police?
In far too many of the criminal cases I handle, the prosecutor’s best evidence was handed to them by my client. They thought that they had nothing to hide, they thought that they could talk their way out of it, or they allowed the police to pressure and frighten them into talking.
Surely, most people have heard that you should not talk to the police without an attorney. I suspect that so many do it anyway because they don’t really understand the reasons why it’s a bad idea, and they think maybe, just maybe, this will all blow over…
Here’s just a few reasons not to talk to the police until you have met with your criminal defense lawyer:
- You don’t know what they are thinking or the real reason they want to talk with you;
- They can and do lie to suspects during interrogations, including about evidence they have and statements other people have made;
- If you are a suspect, they may already have probable cause and an arrest warrant – they are just looking for you to make their case better;
- If you are a suspect, they may not have probable cause to get an arrest warrant – they are looking for you to give it to them;
- If you think you are a witness, they might think you are a suspect. Also, police will sometimes threaten to charge you or others if you do not cooperate; and
- Investigators are trained in psychologically coercive interrogation techniques – you most likely are not.
If I Don’t Talk to the Police, What Should I Do?
Call your criminal defense lawyer immediately. Don’t call a real estate attorney, probate lawyer, or car wreck attorney. Call a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with investigations, interrogations, and the local law enforcement agencies. Call a criminal defense attorney who knows how to handle a “pre-file” case.
I can’t stress enough that the best time for your attorney to get involved in your case is before you get charged.
We can advise you as to what your rights are, and, depending on the circumstances, we can speak to law enforcement on your behalf, do an independent investigation to collect evidence for your defense, help you to avoid criminal charges, or make arrangements for your bond hearing if police do seek an arrest warrant.
Criminal Investigations Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC
There is no question that, if you are under investigation, you need a competent and ethical attorney advising you.
Charleston criminal defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone’s experience as a former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in SC has given him the knowledge and experience that he needs to help clients who are under investigation avoid criminal charges or maximize their chance of winning their case if they are charged.
If you believe that you may be under criminal investigation in South Carolina, call now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to talk with a criminal defense attorney before you speak with police or investigators.