If you know someone has called police and accused you of a crime, or if you have been arrested but not yet formally charged, you are under investigation. There is not yet a formal criminal case against you. Hiring an attorney at this stage can be one of the most critical decisions you make.
Targets of a criminal investigation might be reluctant to hire a criminal defense attorney before they are charged. They may think to themselves that they might be wasting money, especially if they are ultimately not going to be charged anyway. But hiring an attorney at this stage can protect your constitutional rights and even prevent charges from ever being filed.
At Gause Law Offices, we charge a flat fee that covers the entire pre-filing investigation stage. And if you are charged with a crime, that amount may be applied to the criminal case flat fee.
In 2016 alone, Gause Law Offices was able to advocate for clients in the investigation stage and successfully convinced the prosecutor not to file any charges for five different clients. One such client shares his experience below:
The first thing we will do is build a wall of separation between our client and the detectives or other members of law enforcement. Very often, police pressure suspects to speak with them, and that can cause irreparable harm to a person’s case. The Miranda warning is absolutely true – everything you say can and will be used against you. Many people think that they are smooth enough to meet with a detective and talk their way out of charges. The problem with this approach is that police detectives are highly trained in the science of interrogation, and may even use your non-verbal cues to determine whether (in their opinion) you’re lying or not. Even putting yourself in a particular area at a particular time may be enough corroboration for them to be able to file charges against you. Police detectives may catch you unwittingly making inconsistent statements even while if you naively believe that everything is going your way.
Hiring an attorney during the investigation phase immediately puts a wall up between any law enforcement and a suspect. We will contact the investigation agency immediately to inform them that we represent you and that all further communication must come through us. When an attorney advises his client to remain silent, law enforcement simply views this as standard operating procedure, rather than any indicator of guilt.
Then, we will work on gathering information about what the general allegations are, who is making the allegation, and try to obtain police reports. In some cases, it may be in your best interest to sit down with law enforcement and provide a statement with your attorney present. Often, when there are two inconsistent stories and no corroborating evidence, prosecutors cannot meet their burden for filing a charge. Thus, this tactic can avoid charges altogether.
We will present information about you to law enforcement and the filing prosecutor, such as your lack of criminal history, your employment and family ties, and any mitigating information that we gather pertaining to the possible charge itself.
We can negotiate with the prosecutor about what charges will ultimately be filed. The less serious the initial charges, the better a client’s ultimate outcome is likely to be. This can especially be true if we can convince the prosecutor to file the case as a misdemeanor instead of felony, as most background checks are not triggered with a misdemeanor charge in the same way that they are for a felony.
Often, we successfully argue for no charges to be filed at all. Sometimes, this is through the work our own investigation with the assistance of a licensed private investigator.
Those under investigation can greatly reduce their harm or avoid charges altogether if they have the benefit of defense counsel during the investigation phase.
If you are the subject of an investigation, call Gause Law Offices today at 206-660-8775 for a free consultation.
- Someone called the police and accused you of a crime
- You were arrested, but charges have not yet been filed
- Police asked you to submit to an interview (interrogation)
- You have questions about potential criminal liability