One of the most difficult aspects of being charged with a crime in Manassas is dealing with the investigations process. The government and prosecutors will attempt to access information about you in order to obtain a conviction. When you contact a Manassas criminal defense lawyer, he or she will be able to help you protect yourself during these investigations.
There are going to be a number of options you have during pre-arrest investigations. One of the options will be simply to sit back and wait and see if the government takes any action based on the evidence they have. In many cases, clients take no further steps because it appears there is not sufficient information or evidence for the case to move forward. Likewise, there are no benefits to be had by alerting the police to the involvement of counsel or even that the person investigated knows that they are under investigation. In other cases, taking proactive steps can be helpful. Many times, a Manassas criminal defense lawyer will speak to the investigators or detectives to determine the nature of the investigation. They’ll inquire what evidence the prosecution believes they have and what evidence they are attempting to gather.
In some cases counsel can be helpful in providing additional information to move the investigation in another direction. At a minimum, it is helpful for the person under investigation to gain insight into the investigation itself, how far it has progressed and what the potential charges may be. This kind of insight can only be gained by a lawyer.
The government has access to a large array of different kinds of information during an investigation. One of the first things the government will look at is the criminal history of an individual. In addition to that, the government will investigate by interviewing witnesses and using police resources to discover various activities and aspects of the alleged crimes. Police can also secure search warrants from magistrates or judges, which will get them access to an individual’s computer, smartphone, car, or even their home.
The primary way to limit the police’s access information is to simply not consent to searches. It is often the case that the police will ask individuals for permission to search through their computer, smartphone, home or other things. Individuals frequently are not aware that they have the right to refuse to consent and that the police will then have to obtain a warrant. They will consent to the search because they think their cooperation with the police will show that they have nothing to hide. However, that is a dangerous game to play and can lead to unintended consequences.
In many cases, police are asking for consent because they do not have probable cause to get a warrant. By simply not cooperating, a person can avail themselves of significant protection. In addition to that, search warrants are always challengeable. Under the Fourth Amendment, in order for a search warrant to be issued it has to be supported by probable cause.
If it appears from the documents filed or from other evidence that the warrant should not have been issued because the probable cause is not sufficient, then that warrant can be challenged later in court. If the challenge is successful, anything that was discovered as a result of that search can be kept out of evidence at either a preliminary hearing or a trial.
Having a Manassas criminal attorney present during an interview or consulting an attorney prior to an interview does not show bad faith at all. The Constitution of the United States makes it very clear that individuals have the right not to incriminate themselves. Cases that have interpreted this part of the Constitution make it similarly clear that no court or jury can attach any weight or meaning to a person not speaking to police or availing themselves of an attorney.
If anything, involving an attorney in the process puts the government more on its guard. The government then realizes it is not dealing with someone who is going to be a pushover or a patsy. Even if investigators are frustrated by the presence of a Manssass criminal lawyer at an investigation or interview, the reason is because it makes it more difficult for them to prove their case. At the end of the day it is more important for a person to do everything they can to protect themselves, make wise choices in the investigation, and have the benefit of experienced counsel. These things are far more important than whether the feelings of the prosecutor or the investigator get hurt.
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