When it comes to a criminal case, a lot of times the investigation started very early, so it’s not just a situation where someone’s arrest and they have charges against them. Sometimes when a person finds out they’re being investigated — either they get a letter through law enforcement, the police call them, the alleged victim calls them or somebody says they’re going to file criminal charges against them — it can come in a lot of different forms as far as finding out that there may be a criminal case that’s going to be filed against you.
When I deal with these cases when somebody comes in, I call this a pre-filing situation, where nothing’s been filed. The person doesn’t want anything filed against them, so they’re basically hiring me to try to help make sure there’s nothing filed against them. I can also act as a buffer between them and the police because sometimes the police will try to talk to them and they may say or do something that incriminates them, so I obviously tell them not to speak to the police. Refer the police to me and then I deal directly with the police. Even when the police call them, I can call them up and say, I represent this person. I want to know why you’re calling them up? What do you want to talk to them about? I’ll listen to what the police have to say and then obviously, I’ll call my client, tell them what the police aid and then my client and I will talk about what the best strategy is moving forward.
This pre-filing intervention, in my opinion, is a crucial part of a criminal case. If you get the opportunity to get an attorney before any case is filed against you, in my opinion, it’s the best move. Because sometimes I’ve been able to avoid filings against my clients in the right circumstances. I’ve been able to make sure my clients don’t say or do anything to incriminate themselves, which is very important. A lot people think they can just talk their way out of everything. They go in there and talk to the police, and the next thing you know, there’s a statement in there that’s being used against them by the prosecutors. I’ll tell you right now, having practiced criminal defense for twenty-five years, some of the best evidence I’ve seen that the prosecutors have against my clients is their own statement, because you can’t get out of that, especially if they audio or video record it or the police officer just comes in an testifies. Yeah, he told me this; yeah, he told me that. And if they don’t tape record it and they’re claiming that you said something that you claim you didn’t say it that way, now they’ve taken something out of context and are trying to use that against you, and there’s not really much you can do about it. You can testify and say, no I didn’t say that or I didn’t say it that way or no, that’s not what I meant, but it’s going to be too late at that point.
So, the point is, don’t even talk to them. Let your criminal defense attorney do the talking for you. Let your criminal defense attorney strategy your case in this pre-filing setting. I’ve done a lot of pre-filing cases both at the state and federal level. I’ve been able to work the case out before anything is filed through talking to law enforcement and then a lot of times prosecutors will get involved who are lawyers like me, and I can talk to them. Sometimes I’ve worked out dispositions. Sometimes I convince them not to file the case. There are all sorts of different angles that can be utilized at the pre-filing stage.
So, in my opinion, it’s a very important aspect of criminal defense. Again, if you get the opportunity to hire an attorney before anything is filed, I think it’s a great idea. I’ve seen it avoid prosecutions in cases. I’ve seen it lessen the damage that could occur by somebody talking to the police when they get scared and are approached by the police. I’ve seen all sorts of different angles that can be utilized. Sometimes the defense can do their own pre-filing investigation and present that evidence to the prosecution in order to convince the prosecution not to file the case.
So, my opinion, if you’ve got a pre-filing situation and you’re thinking about hiring a lawyer, come and sit down with me and we can talk about it. I usually give a free consultation. We can decide whether or not this is the right thing for you to do, and if it is then you would hire me pre-filing and I will start strategizing and helping you with the case right away with an aim of either nothing being filed against you, or if something is filed against you, trying to lessen the blow and do damage control.
For more information on Pre-Filing Intervention In Criminal Cases, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0940 today.