Many people call our office wondering if it’s a good idea to hire an Indianapolis criminal defense attorney before they are officially charged by the prosecutor’s office. They have a million questions about what could happen and what has already happened. The majority of those questions revolve around what a lawyer can provide during that stage of the process. This blog will address the questions here.
First and foremost, having a lawyer onboard ahead of time gives you a tool in your pocket you wouldn’t otherwise have. Assuming they are available 24/7/365 like our firm, you can contact them at any time when you have a question rather than guessing or checking google. If the lawyer is available to you, it can be a huge peace of mind when you are feeling anxious and need a quick bit of advice to calm down. If you don’t have that, it’s common to feel alone and vulnerable.
Secondly, you are going to protect your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. When you hire an attorney, they become your voice. They will be the point of contact between all the parties: detectives, officers, DCS/CPS, investigators, prosecutors, feds, etc. If there are statements or information coming from the attorney, those statements cannot be used against the Defendant. This protects the defendant from making a statement that could hurt them down the road.
Thirdly, with an attorney, most detectives and/or investigators will share information with counsel more than they would with the client, pro se (unrepresented). They will often share what details they have gathered already, what charges are possible, whether they want a statement, if that statement will help, how likely they are to hand it over to the prosecutor’s office, what evidence they are looking for, and will often promise to keep the attorney apprised of what will happen if charges are brought. This information can help you make an informed decision as to what steps to take. Without counsel, you may not know. This can also help you decide whether to give a statement with counsel or participate in the investigation. Some detectives will tip their hat to the attorney that if the client will just make a statement they will close out the investigation with no further action. That may not be something you would know unrepresented.
Fourthly, with counsel you can prepare for what will happen post charges. They can communicate with a family member or friend in case you get arrested without the ability to make a call from jail or in custody. They can help facilitate a bail bond through a bondsman or can file quickly pre-trial motions to try to get you out of custody, lift no contact orders, property related motions, etc. If you don’t have counsel and you get arrested, you may be scrambling while in jail to try to accomplish this…all while trying to have family hire someone and file things belatedly. This can cause you to sit in jail longer than necessary.
Fifthly, having an attorney onboard a head of time allows you to share the details of your case for if and when charges get brought. They can then hit the ground running rather than scrambling to figure it out after you’ve been arrested and things are at stake. We at Banks & Brower apply any pre-charge fees to our additional fees post-filing of charges. This allows you to double dip so to speak. You get the help pre-charge, and if charges get brought, it comes off your bill — at least that is how it works at our firm.
Lastly, having a lawyer on board may allow you to cut the prosecutor’s case off at the knees. Evidence can be given to the State to show charges shouldn’t be brought, etc. Also, having an attorney can show the other side that you are taking this seriously and may be fighting the charges aggressively. This may make them pause before taking any action or choose not to file on a close call.
Many people ask if having an attorney during this stage actually hurts you as it might make you look guilty. The answer is absolutely not. The opposing side actually expects responsible parties to do so. Honestly, they would too if they were being investigated. Moreover, we, as attorneys, if 100% innocent of a crime would still hire counsel to protect our rights, despite being able to handle it ourselves. It is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do if you are facing criminal charges.
So, if you or a loved one are facing serious allegations, don’t go at it alone. Choose an experienced Indiana criminal attorney to protect you during all stages of the process. You won’t regret it. We at Banks & Brower are here to help you 24/7/365 at email@example.com or at 317.870.0019. Find us online at www.banksbrower.com.