Our office is regularly contacted by individuals who have reason to believe criminal charges may soon be filed against them. The question these individuals always ask is, "Should I hire an attorney now or wait until charges are filed?" While each situation is unique, generally, it is best to get an attorney on your side as soon as possible. There are several reasons for this.
If an attorney is hired before criminal charges are filed, he/she may be able to prevent charges from being filed or make sure the charges filed are of lesser severity. When a client hires Fisher Law Office while he/she is being investigated for a crime, we often contact the investigating law enforcement agency and/or district attorney's office with information that is helpful to our clients. For example, we often provide law enforcement or the district attorney's office with names and phone numbers of witnesses that have information that is helpful to our clients. Usually, the investigating officer/district attorney has only heard one side of the story. It is our goal to tell the other side of the story as soon as possible so that charges can be avoided. In situations where criminal charges cannot be avoided, our help may still result in the district attorney filing charges that are less severe than what the district attorney was originally going to file.
Another benefit to retaining an attorney prior to the filing of criminal charges is that the attorney can prevent law enforcement from coming to the client's home or place of business in an attempt to question the client. It can be an extremely disruptive and embarrassing experience to have law enforcement come to one's home for questioning. This can create uncomfortable situations in the neighborhood. Matters can get much worse if law enforcement shows up at a person's place of business for questioning. An experienced attorney will keep law enforcement from making such intrusions.
An experienced attorney may also be able to help the client avoid being arrested. If the attorney establishes a relationship with law enforcement and ensures them that the client can be trusted to appear in court and that an arrest is not necessary, the traumatic experience of an arrest may be avoided. An attorney can also assist the client in arranging the posting of bail.
While each situation is unique, it usually is best to have an attorney on the case before criminal charges are filed. If you or someone you care about is concerned that criminal charges may be filed, contact Fisher Law Office. Get professional help sooner, rather than later.