I have been contacted or investigated by the police, but no charges have been filed. Should I hire an attorney?
Representation prior to the filing of formal criminal charges can be absolutely essential. It is important to have an attorney at this critical time, because your actions can have later consequences on your case. "Pre-filing" representation can also provide peace of mind and get you answers to your urgent questions about the criminal justice process.
Even if you are hoping to get the services of a court-appointed attorney, your right to legal representation doesn’t begin until after your first court date. This can leave someone suspected of a crime without an avenue to ask legal questions or get advice about what to do during the criminal investigation.
The Law Office of Jessica Agnich offers these invaluable pre-filing legal services. Benefits of hiring an attorney before charges have been filed include:
- Arranging bail payment
- Giving legal advice during police questioning
- Contacting law enforcement agents on your behalf
- Ensuring preservation of important exculpatory evidence (surveillance videos, witness statements, etc.) that may no longer be available by the time charges have been filed
- Contacting the District Attorney to potentially dissuade them from filing charges or explain why lesser charges would be more appropriate
- Handling media requests
- Answering questions about what will happen at your first court date, and your other pressing questions related to the criminal justice process