If you find yourself under investigation for a crime, you may be tempted to go straight to the police to provide your side of the story. That is not a good idea and one that is certain to backfire on you. It is more likely that the police will be able to collect even more information from you and use it against you to expand their investigation.
Instead, you should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as you suspect you are under investigation for a crime. An attorney will be able to ensure your rights are protected throughout the investigation and that you don’t do anything to incriminate yourself. In the meantime, review this post for answers to some of the most common questions we receive from clients who are being investigated for crimes.
The biggest clue that you are under investigation for a crime is if the police ask to “speak with you” when you haven’t been the victim of a crime. This is one way they are able to collect more information to strengthen their case, particularly if you incriminate yourself, even unknowingly. If they can gather enough evidence against you, they will be able to arrest you.
If you are arrested, a judge will determine if bail is an option for you. Bail is money that is paid by suspects to get out of jail while awaiting further court proceedings. Whether bail is set depends on many factors, including the severity of the crime, your criminal history, and if you are suspected to be a flight risk. Once you post bail, you are expected to attend all of your future court dates. If you do not attend all of your mandated court dates, you will not get your bail money back and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
The initial appearance is your first appearance before a judge where you are informed of the charges against you. You will be asked if you have an attorney or if you want the court to appoint one for you. Your bail amount will be set and future court dates will be scheduled.
The preliminary hearing is where the judge hears the prosecution’s evidence against you to determine if the case will move forward or be dismissed. During the preliminary hearing, your attorney can challenge witnesses and question the evidence collected by police.
A plea bargain is an agreement that is negotiated between the defense attorney and the prosecution to resolve the case. Prosecutors often agree to reduce the charges or recommend a lesser sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. If a plea bargain is not reached, the case goes to trial.
During the trial, the prosecution and the criminal defense attorney will give statements, present evidence, and question witnesses to prove the case against you. If you are found guilty, the court will determine your sentence, which can include any or all of the following: incarceration, fines, court costs, restitution, and probation. The sentencing for minor crimes is often set immediately. Sentencing for significant crimes is usually set at a future date after both sides have had a chance to provide input into the appropriate sentencing.
A criminal defense attorney examines the evidence against you, helps prevent charges from multiplying, ensures your rights are protected, that you are given due process, and argues your case at every stage of the investigation, hearings, and trial to have the charges reduced or dismissed.
If you suspect you are under investigation for a crime, you should retain the services of a criminal defense attorney from Eisenberg Law Offices, whether you are innocent or guilty. Our experienced attorneys can help you get bail set, charges dropped or reduced, and a more lenient sentence.
Schedule a free consultation by calling 608-256-8356 or emailing Info@eisenberglaw.org.
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The Information Contained In This Site Is Not Intended To Provide Legal Advice. Please Consult An Attorney To Discuss The Facts Of Your Individual Situation. Eisenberg Law Office, S.C. 308 E. Washington Ave., Madison, WI 53703 USA (608) 256-8356