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Leesburg Criminal Investigations

When someone has been charged with a crime or is under suspicion for having committed a crime, it is very likely that law enforcement officials will conduct extensive investigations. In Leesburg, Virginia there are a number of law enforcement agencies that may become involved. During investigations, it is the law enforcement officials’ goal to find incriminating evidence against an individual.

This is true regardless of whether the arrest occurs before or after an arrest. Consult with a Leesburg criminal lawyer as soon as possible to discuss what your rights and options are moving forward.

Local and State Agencies Involved

The most common local agencies involved in investigating crimes in Leesburg are the Leesburg Police Department. Their headquarters are located on Plaza Street in the Town of Leesburg.

Other entities that may be involved in the investigation and prosecution of Leesburg criminal offenses include Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and other local agencies, such as the Virginia ABC Board and the Attorney General’s Office.

Due to Leesburg’s proximity to Washington, DC and Maryland, federal agencies also become involved in the investigation and involvement of local matters of Leesburg, Virginia. This may include the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the FBI, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms – ATF and the Drug Enforcement Agency – DEA, as well as less common entities such as the United States Postal Inspectors.

Crimes That Warrant Pre-Arrest Investigations in Leesburg

There are a variety of crimes that tend to be investigated before arrest. The most common are financial crimes such as embezzlement, or sophisticated drug offenses such as drug distribution or possession with intent to distribute drugs. Both of these matters are often subject to extended evidence gathering in which Leesburg law enforcement personnel do not want to tip off the subject of investigation that they are under investigation.

Therefore, there is typically more investigation done prior to the arrest being made versus cases where the arrest is usually made as a result of the incident such as DUI, assault, drug possession, robbery or other incidents of similar nature.

Post-Arrest Investigations in Leesburg

Even if you are arrested the authorities will continue to investigate and try to secure a conviction. If you are arrested and have been charged with a criminal offense in Leesburg, Virginia, The arresting officials may try to speak with you about the facts and circumstances of your case.

If you have been charged with criminal offense in Leesburg, it is never a good idea to speak with law enforcement until you have spoken with an experienced Leesburg criminal defense attorney.

Your Rights During Police Investigations

Your rights during a Leesburg police investigation depends on the circumstances. If police come to your home to ask you questions you have a number of rights. These rights depend on the circumstances that bring the police to your door, whether they have a warrant or whether or not they have a probable cause to conduct a search. If the police come to your door, it is always a good idea to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Leesburg as soon as possible.

It is also a good idea to understand that you do not have to answer questions about alleged criminal conduct under any circumstances. You are required to identify yourself and provide identification as requested by the law enforcement officers. Beyond that you may respectfully refuse any other requests.

Your Rights During Leesburg Street Stops

Depending on the circumstances of the stop you may have a number of different rights depending on the stop on the street. Typically Leesburg law enforcement officers are authorized to stop you on the street and ask you certain questions including background information or to ask for identification. In addition, the officers may conduct a pat down for your safety and theirs. This is known as a Terry stop in reference to the US Supreme Court case ruling in Terry v. Ohio and its progeny.

Being in Custody, Detained, or Interviewed

To differentiate between whether you are being in custody, detained, or just interviewed, it is important to understand two doctrines. These are the Consensual Encounter Doctrine and the Detention Doctrine. There is a fine line between  lawful detention and consensual encounter and illegal or unlawful detention. A Leesburg police officer can ask you questions any time and you can answer the officer’s questions.

This in general terms is known as “consensual encounter” and can lead to a detention if you give answers that will implicate you in criminal activities. However, in a consensual encounter you are always free to leave.

If you ask the officer for freedom to leave or attempt to leave the situation in a normal manner and they prevent you from doing so, either by force, threat, or physically being taken into custody by the officer, you are likely in “detention.” If you are taken into detention by a Leesburg police officer or held in the equivalent status of detention through a show of force that indicates you are not free to leave, your Miranda Rights should be read.

Does Asking to Speak to an Attorney Indicate Guilt?

Telling a law enforcement officer that you would like to speak to a Leesburg criminal defense attorney is simply an exercise of your constitutional right. An experienced officer will respect that decision. Though he or she may ask you more questions and try to ensure that you understand the seriousness of that implication, it does not imply guilt and you are free to exercise your right any time.

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