Under Investigation for a Crime? Here’s What to Do.

October 24, 2016

Be Proactive and Get Legal Help While Under Investigation


In certain situations, you may need to speak with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer before you are even charged with a crime. This is necessary when a crime is committed and police suspect that you or a loved one were involved, but the evidence to actually move forward with an arrest is specious. arrest-cuffs


Probable Cause Needed

Probable cause is essential for a police officer to make an arrest or obtain an arrest warrant from a judge. A showing of probable cause is vital to ensure that police cannot randomly arrest citizens with no adequate basis for showing they violated the law. This is why police conduct investigations, but may not arrest a suspect – they are missing a key element needed to move forward.

You may be asking yourself, “How much information is needed to present to a judge in order to obtain an arrest warrant or to justify an arrest without a warrant?” The answer is: It depends. Probable cause requires more than a mere suspicion that you committed a crime. There must be some evidentiary basis (e.g., eyewitness, DNA evidence, lack of an alibi, etc.) to support the arrest. But police do not have to have all of their proverbial ducks in a row when they arrest you. Probable cause does not require evidence proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

As you can see, probable cause is a fairly malleable legal standard. This is why courts assess probable cause on a case-by-case basis.


Do Not Sit Idly By While Police Investigate You

Remember, the intent of the investigation is to gather enough information from you and people who know you in order to provide police with enough evidence to eventually arrest and charge you with a crime. This is why you need to be proactive and contact an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney right away. The more time you provide to police to conduct their investigation without the guidance of a criminal defense lawyer, the stronger you make their case against you.


Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Sooner Rather than Later

Investigating officers may try and convince you that disclosing information to them will help you in the long run. They may claim that “cooperation” could result in a favorable plea deal or reduced charges. Do not fall into this trap. Your Los Angeles criminal defense attorney will advise you that you have the right to remain silent. There is no legal obligation for you to assist police in their investigation of you.

Never forget that when a police officer suspects you of committing a crime, all they are concerned with is obtaining enough evidence to charge you with that crime. Any statement you make to an investigating officer could potentially be used to charge you with a crime.


Protecting the Rights of Those Under Investigation

The Law Office of Peter Berlin is comprised of experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorneys who are on the cutting edge of trial practice in the California court system. Our firm offers a free initial consultation as well as 24/7 contact availability. Take action and contact our firm right away. (310) 289-5418.