What should you do if you find out the police are investigating you for a crime and they want to speak to you?
The first thing you need to know is simple: Stop. Don’t need to speak with police. There’s no legal requirement to give a statement to the cops. It doesn’t matter if they insist it’s for their investigation. As defense attorneys, we believe it is rarely in your best interest to speak with the police without legal representation. In certain rare occasions speaking with the police helps your case, but this is a decision that needs to be made with your attorney.
The next thing you need to do is contact a criminal defense attorney. Many people don’t know that attorneys assist before charges against you are even issued. Often, your attorney will contact the police and find out exactly what they’re investigating, what information they already have, and whether your statement will be helpful. Whether you give a statement to police is a decision that should be made after discussing the issue with your defense attorney. Often individuals believe that honesty is the best policy, but that isn’t always the case in criminal proceedings. Once you give a statement, there isn’t any taking it back. All of the criminal defense attorneys at Meyer Van Severen, S.C. provide pre-charging representation. Call us before you proceed on your own.
What happens next?
Police don’t have the authority to charge you with a crime. Law enforcement investigate criminal situations and decide whether to arrest the suspect. Once the police complete their investigation, they refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office. Once referred, it’s up to the prosecutor whether they charge the suspect. At this point, your criminal defense attorney will have direct contact with the prosecutor. Your attorney will likely provide background information about you. He’ll also provide your version of what happened (assuming it helps). Finally, your attorney engages in negotiation with the prosecutor. If it’s not possible to avoid criminal charges entirely, there may be negotiation for a lesser charge.
Nobody wants a criminal charge, which is why it’s crucial you make good decisions from the very beginning. In the event you’re charged, you don’t want your statement coming back to make your case more difficult. You don’t want any of your previous choices making your case more difficult. Hiring a Milwaukee criminal defense attorney helps to eliminate any missteps on your part. A top criminal defense attorney will guide you towards the best decisions.
If you find yourself in this situation, call one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys to help. We represent individuals throughout the entire criminal process. Matt Last, Matt Meyer, and Benjamin Van Severen are available 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.