Avoiding The Filing of Formal Criminal Charges
When it comes to a criminal case, the investigation often starts very early, so it's not just a situation where someone's arrested, 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 hiring me 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 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 is, and then my client and I will talk about the best strategy 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 claim 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 made sure my clients don't say or do anything to incriminate themselves, which is very important. A lot of people think they can talk their way out of everything.
Don't Make Statements to Police
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 statement because you can't get out of that, especially if they audio or video record it or the police officer comes in a testifies.
Yeah, he told me this; yeah, he said to 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 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 issues both at the state and federal levels.
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 speak 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 an essential 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 pre-filing investigation and present that evidence to convince the prosecution not to file the case.
Retain a Criminal Lawyer for Help
So, in my opinion, if you've got a pre-filing situation in Los Angeles, San Fernando, or Van Nuys, CA, 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, you will hire me pre-filing. I will start strategizing and helping you with the case right away with the aim of either nothing being filed against you or, if something is filed against you, trying to lessen the blow and do damage control.