If you are suspected to have committed a criminal offense in Virginia you may be investigated even after you are arrested. With this in mind, the following is what you should know regarding post arrest investigations and how they could impact your criminal case. For more information call and schedule a consultation with a Manassas criminal lawyer today.
Authorities can continue to investigate post arrest and even post-conviction under certain circumstances. Sometimes the authorities in the course of their investigation believe other criminal activity has been committed by the same defendant under a separate transaction or collateral transaction to their current charge. In that case, if they believe there is sufficient evidence they will continue to investigate neighboring additional charges. What this means for your case is that the whole universe of things you might ultimately be charged with or might have to defend against is not necessarily the set of charges that you see at the beginning of the case.
It is not unusual at all for a case to begin with a few charges which the police request, but during the post-arrest investigation the prosecutor seeks additional indictments. The additional charges are either for crimes committed in connection with the initial set of charges, or for crimes which are either collateral to or completely separate from the current set of charges.
A lawyer can help in this scenario by interfacing with the investigators as well as the prosecutor to determine which activities are being investigated, what charges they are contemplating, and to help guide and influence that process. In many cases a lawyer can keep additional charges from being brought at all, or use their influence to persuade investigators and prosecutors to lessen the charges.
When additional investigation and charges are being contemplated by the government, a lawyer can also assist in some cases by making an agreement with the prosecution to not bring additional charges in the future.
Investigations can go on during the pretrial process and during the trial itself. The police and the police investigators never stop collecting information. If they have reason to believe that there is a criminal enterprise ongoing, that other individuals might be charged in connection with it, or that the accused continues to be involved in other criminal activity, then they will certainly continue to focus on that individual. They will use all of the powers they have to investigate and gather evidence for the purposes of determining whether, in their opinion, other crimes have been committed.
Post-arrest investigations typically focus on cases where the prosecutors or the investigators believe one of two things. First, the individual is involved in a criminal scheme that is ongoing such as drug or human trafficking. Second, police or prosecutors believe there are additional victims who have not yet come to light. For example, if a person is charged with a series of burglaries, the government will likely wonder whether there are other unsolved crimes which were committed by the same perpetrator.
The same can be said for sex-abuse cases where a couple of victims have come forward but there is evidence that there may be additional victims. In these cases, they will frequently continue to look for evidence of other crimes and they may ultimately bring additional warrants or indictments.
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