When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney?

The best time to hire a criminal defense lawyer is as soon as you know that you are suspected of doing a crime. Clearly if there’s been an arrest or if there is a pending arrest warrant, then a defense lawyer like Robert Hambrick in Clearwater, Florida will need to be on the case quickly so that he can begin an effective defense for you.

What would Clarence Darrow think of Florida police investigations and arrests?

An effective defense in criminal law will have the following attributes:

  1. An intense focused investigation into all of the facts of the alleged offense.
  2. An immediate investigation into every possible witness. Finding witnesses, then using information to exploit any inconsistencies among their versions of the relevant facts of the incident.
  3. An appraisal of any victim statement with a review of the victim’s motives, aims and prejudices.
  4. Finding other evidence consistent with a lack of probable cause for the arrest.
  5.  Framing of the incident in such a way that minimizes criminal conduct.

When officers make an arrest they do so believing that they have what is known as probable cause. Probable cause means that they have more than a mere suspicion that a crime occurred and that the arrested person committed the crime. Typically probable cause exists when there is physical evidence of a crime combined with other compelling evidence, such as fingerprints, video or witnesses that places the defendant at the scene of the crime. Whenever there has been an arrest for a crime time should not be wasted in securing the services of a criminal defense lawyer who will mount an exhaustive thorough defense as soon as possible.

But what if there is no arrest yet? In any criminal investigation even where there is not yet an arrest, hiring a defense lawyer is necessary to make sure that the chances of criminal charges being filed are minimized. The goal is to make sure that there is never probable cause to secure an arrest in the case.

In federal court in the Middle District of Florida an investigation itself can result in criminal charges in unexpected ways even when there is insufficient probable cause to make an arrest. For example, government agents from the FBI often ask a potential target of a federal charge questions. If the target agrees to speak with the agents without the presence of defense counsel FBI agents may arrest the target for the federal crime of obstruction by not telling them the truth. A criminal lawyer would prevent the questioning or at least warn the target of the potential criminal charge that can come even when cooperating with federal agents.

These charges may seem unAmerican, but they are in fact unlawful acts for which someone may face an indictment by a federal grand jury. Because of the complexities of the law it’s very important to hire a Clearwater defense lawyer as soon as you have knowledge that you are being investigated by federal or state authorities.

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