I Am Under Investigation, But Not Charged
Law enforcement agencies conduct criminal investigations when a crime has been committed to determine the perpetrator. It is often the first step in the criminal justice system. They investigate the crime scene, interview witnesses, examine forensic evidence, and interrogate suspects.
A detective may call you or visit your house or office if they have probable cause to suspect you of criminal activities. A police investigation is not an arrest; in many cases, the detectives claim they “just want to talk” to you. Being under investigation does not mean that you face criminal charges. At this critical point, the police gather information and evidence to identify the alleged crime and the criminal offender.
It is possible to prevent an investigation from proceeding to a court trial, however, with the help of an aggressive criminal defense attorney. Attorney Nicole Blank Becker is a top Michigan criminal lawyer with years of experience as a former prosecutor. She can guide you through the criminal justice system and secure your freedom once you initiate an attorney-client relationship with our law firm, Blank Law, PC.
Nicole can also protect the confidential or sensitive information shared with her and guide you in answering the police’s questions. You can schedule a Michigan criminal defense attorney free consultation by submitting a contact form or visiting our MI office.
I Am Under Investigation, But Not Charged
Getting a call from a law enforcement officer can be frightening, especially if you were not expecting it. During criminal investigations, detectives can be harsh and aggressive, and it is easy to become intimidated. Being under investigation for a crime does not imply that you are guilty in the eyes of the law. In criminal proceedings, remember that the court determines guilt, not the police.
Alternatively, some detectives may approach you nicely as though they are on your side; but remember that the police’s only objective is to find the culprit and press charges against them. As a result, you must be careful about what you say and how you act during a police investigation. It would help if you had a criminal defense lawyer with you when the police are investigating you.
What to Expect During a Police Investigation
Criminal investigations are conducted by local law enforcement agencies or federal agencies, depending on the violated law, the victim involved, and the details of the alleged crime. The state police often investigate crimes like theft, murder, domestic violence, rape, or other sexual assault offenses. Human trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking, and cybercrime are federal offenses.
During a police investigation, detectives typically question you to determine what you know about the alleged crime. They aim to find a perpetrator, so they may employ trickery and deception to extract incriminating information. They may lie to you about what they have or what people have told them.
They may also threaten to press criminal charges against you if you refuse to cooperate with them. Detectives are skilled in advanced interrogation techniques and can coerce suspects into confessing to a crime, even if they did not commit it. In some cases, the authorities may make an audio or video recording of the interrogation. They may present it as part of the evidence gathered against you.
You should also know that the police may investigate you without your knowledge. Therefore, it is possible to be under police investigation without knowing. When operating a covert investigation, the authorities often utilize tactics like wiretapping, surveillance, and accessing a non-encrypted email to gather information against you.
During a police investigation, you may be invited to the police station for a chat. However, you are not under arrest, nor have you been taken into custody. So, your legal rights will not be read to you, but whatever you say or do may be used as incriminating evidence against you.
How Long Can I Be Under Investigation?
Predicting the duration of a police investigation is challenging because the investigation goes on for as long as the authorities need to gather evidence. The investigation process is complex, and the police must carefully examine the evidence at their disposal before reaching a conclusion. Also, the length of the investigation may be affected by the available resources and the agency’s workload.
Detectives rarely let suspects know how long the investigation will last because they often cannot determine the duration. Then, when it is over, they may not notify them either. So, investigations often feel like an endless wait. However, with the aid of a seasoned criminal defense attorney, you can prove your innocence and bring the investigation to an end.
Can I Refuse Not to Talk to the Police During an Investigation?
No law requires you to speak with police detectives during an investigation. However, it would help if you were cooperative because police officers are authorized to question suspects. In some cases, they may obtain a search warrant to search your house and office for incriminating evidence, and you are not allowed to obstruct them.
However, you can refuse to speak with police officers during an investigation. The law permits those interrogated by the police to exercise their right to silence. Therefore, you can remain silent until a criminal defense attorney is present. It is helpful to invoke this right because you unknowingly incriminate yourself during an investigation without proper legal guidance.
Many people assume that the police will find them guilty if they remain silent. Others believe talking freely with the police will help convince the authorities of their innocence. However, you should know that the police are not on your side. Their target is to pin the offense on a suspect. It would help to have an attorney guide you on the best way to interact with the authorities during an investigation.
Do I Need a Lawyer During a Criminal Investigation?
A police investigation is rarely a neutral process. Most times, the police already have a preconceived idea of how the crime was committed and who committed it. Thus, the investigative process is to help them discover evidence supporting that idea.
Consequently, the odds are not stacked in your favor during an investigation. You must do all you can to defend yourself and avoid being charged. The best way to navigate police investigations successfully is by hiring a criminal defense lawyer.
An experienced defense lawyer serves as a middleman between you and the police and advises you on the best ways of interacting with them without your legal rights being violated. When you have a lawyer, the cops will have to go through your attorney to reach you.
Hiring a defense lawyer is essential because police take advantage of suspects when they are most vulnerable, coercing them into making comments that can incriminate them. The choice of information to offer the police or withhold, and whether to speak to the police, is yours when you have a lawyer.
You need a defense attorney even if you are innocent of the offense. Your lawyer will help you respond appropriately and advise you on taking a polygraph test, which may be to your benefit in some cases.
Another reason to hire a criminal defense attorney is that they can go behind the scenes and communicate with the prosecutors on your behalf. This is vital because the prosecutor makes the final decision about whether you will be charged. Typically, the prosecutor bases this choice on the police report, which summarizes the biased “investigation.”
With that said, when a prosecutor is aware that a defendant has proper legal representation, they may demand that the police conduct their investigation more thoroughly. Additionally, a lawyer may be able to present the prosecutor with evidence that the police missed or disregarded, which can impact the prosecutor’s decision to file charges. Criminal defense lawyers often hire private investigators to uncover evidence that may be useful in proving their client’s innocence.
At Blank Law, PC, we provide pre-file representation to those facing police investigations. We help our clients increase their chances of avoiding being charged by guiding them through an investigation. We are also ready to fight for you. This contact form sends information about your case straight to us.
Hire Michigan Defense Lawyer Nicole Blank Becker
If you or a loved one is being investigated in Michigan, they may be prosecuted. Additionally, the consequences might be disastrous if no precautionary actions are taken. You should contact a Michigan lawyer, like Attorney Nicole Blank Becker, as soon as possible to avoid facing jail time. You must start aggressively fighting for your freedom before charges are brought against you.
Once you create an attorney-client relationship with us at Blank Law, PC, we will tirelessly defend you. We have decades of experience navigating the criminal justice system and can guide you through the process. We also handle crimes like domestic violence, retail fraud, criminal sexual conduct, and child abuse.
At Blank Law, PC, our sole objective is to prevent charges from ever being brought against you. We have years of expertise handling pre-file investigations and have helped several clients avoid being charged with a crime. You can message contact us or visit our law firm at our MI Office to arrange a free consultation.