Most people are unaware of the true ways in which a criminal investigation takes place. Law enforcement officers can and do record people without their knowledge, often utilizing “pretext” phone calls, which are calls placed by alleged victims to the perpetrators in order to gain a confession – these calls are being guided by law enforcement officers and are being recorded. It’s a bit frustrating, as a defense attorney, when I get a call from a potential client who says they were arrested two months earlier, and their court date is within a week. In the meantime, either nothing has occurred on their case or investigators have done follow up and the client has not been protected.
The reason for that is they’re in an area that is completely foreign to them. Having been a prosecutor for several years with the district attorney’s office and practicing defense for well over a decade, I have a very good understanding of not just how the court process works once the case is in court, but also the filing decisions that are made. Early on in my prosecutorial career, I worked within a special victim’s prosecution unit that analyzes, investigates and prosecuted sensitive cases such as sex crimes and family violence. If a person is arrested of such a crime, the law enforcement agency will reach out to their own detective to do follow-up, but then also to a special prosecutor within that specific unit to help guide them in the investigation.
So while the investigation is occurring, it’s being done with the oversight and knowledge of an experienced prosecutor who is helping to gather information and evidence with an eye on how that information will be presented in court. Police officers are generally involved in the case when it is hostile, volatile, and their job is to bring peace to a situation that needs immediate resolution – i.e., make an arrest. It is different however when that is also being done with the oversight of a prosecutor who knows how the investigation is going to affect a court case later on. It is a much more intensive and qualified approach to conduct an investigation because it’s being guided by the prosecutor who’s actually going to have the case in court.
So with an understanding of how that process works, it can be extremely vital to have an attorney who knows that process to step in and help someone who has been arrested for either sex crimes, domestic violence or narcotics-related offenses, and to begin protecting that person’s interests at the outset before an arrest or charge has been brought. Put another way, law enforcement officers like to have prosecutors help guide and oversee an investigation before the case is filed in order to ensure their arrest is going to result in a conviction, the same would be true and should be true on the defense side. The earlier a defense attorney can get involved, the more understanding we have of how to put some structure to a defense and provide information to law enforcement that may be helpful to the client.
Without that information being provided by the defense investigation and the oversight of a solid and experienced defense attorney, that prosecutor’s case is going to look much stronger than it would have had an experienced defense attorney presenting mitigating evidence and put a more comprehensive structure in place that would benefitted the client/defendant.
Helpful Tips About Seeking The Counsel Of An Experienced Attorney
With sex crimes, drug investigations, and white collar and theft crimes, it’s always important to have an experienced attorney on-board, as early as possible, because we are able to have an understanding of what prosecutors are going to analyze for filing decisions, and we can start putting some context to a defense prior to them making a decision. In fact, we can oftentimes prevent filings and the disruption that such a situation brings upon a client.
For more information on Attorneys Making A Difference Early On, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (626) 714-3112 today.
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