If any member of law enforcement calls or stops by your home or place of employment to “talk” you are part of an active criminal investigation and should NEVER speak with a police officer without an attorney.
There are two types of individuals police investigate, Targets and Witnesses. A Target is suspected of a crime and a Witness is an individual who has information about a crime but is not necessarily suspected of wrongdoing. In both instances, a criminal lawyer should be retained to protect your rights.
In some instances, an individual may receive a New York State or Federal subpoena for documents. Also, in this instance, it is important to hire an attorney. In these circumstances, law enforcement is gathering information and looking for incriminating information.
Why should I hire a lawyer during a police investigation?
The goal of hiring a lawyer during a criminal investigation is to prevent an arrest. In some circumstances the police are acting on a complaint and need to obtain information before making an arrest or sending the matter to the local District Attorney for their review. These investigations can include, theft, DWI, sexual assaults, sex crimes, a hit and run, or other charges.
What are my rights if the police want to talk to me?
You are under no obligation to speak with police officers. They may keep calling you or visiting your home but you are always free to decline a meeting. Police may also come to your place of employment in an effort to embarrass you or convince you to meet. Law enforcement has unlimited resources and can be quite threatening and intimidating.
Law enforcement’s goal is to gather evidence against you to make a strong case against you.
What should I do to have the police leave me alone?
Gather the police officer’s name and telephone number and then clearly state “I Do Not Wish To Speak To You Without My Lawyer Present”. Your next telephone call should be to a criminal defense lawyer. The criminal defense attorney will gather information and immediately begin to advocate on your behalf.
Does not speaking to the police make me look guilty? I have nothing to hide.
Maybe. But there are reasons why some people just do not want to talk to the police under any circumstances. This includes past experiences, mistrust, concern their statements of innocence will be twisted and fear of wrongful arrest.
In many cases the police expect an individual under investigation to hire an attorney because it is the smart thing to do and something they would do if they were in a similar position.
Can you prevent an arrest?
At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP our criminal defense attorneys regularly represent individuals under police investigation as both a Target and a Witness. Below are some examples and the outcome:
- Federal Grand Jury Subpoena – After investigation, client did not have to comply with the subpoena.
- New York State Forcible Rape - After investigation, client cleared of charge without arrest.
- Federal Conspiracy to Commit Larceny – After investigation, client cleared of charge without arrest.
- New York State Forcible Touching – After investigation, client cleared of charge without arrest.
- Federal Tax Evasion, Conspiracy to Commit Tax Fraud – After investigation, client cleared of charge without arrest.
- New York State Sexual Assault – After investigation, client cleared of charge without arrest.
In most cases, if the police do not have or cannot obtain enough evidence for an arrest, especially without an accused cooperation, the police will not charge a Target of an investigation, thereby closing the case without an arrest.
If an arrest can not be prevented, our attorneys can contact law enforcement to arrange for a voluntary surrender in court and in most instances, depending on the charge, immediate release. In addition, this puts the defense in a stronger position to prevent the police from obtaining incriminating evidence.
How do I contact your criminal defense lawyers?
Our criminal defense attorneys are available for a free initial consultation by calling or emailing the office. (914) 946-4808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our criminal defense attorneys are former prosecutors. We have over 20 years of criminal law experience in New York State. We are also published authors in the areas of general criminal defense, DWI defense and Drug Crime defenses.
Our offices are conveniently located in downtown White Plains and Peekskill, New York.