Pre-Charge Investigation

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How to Handle the Pre-Charge Investigation Phase in Michigan

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If the Grand Rapids police or other law-enforcement agency in the Kent County area have asked you to come down to the police station for questioning, if you are aware they are searching for you, or if they have arrested and released you without a charge or citation, then you are currently in the “investigation stage” of a criminal case before there are actual criminal charges filed against you. It is at this stage in a criminal case that a defense attorney can help you. 

If you are in the investigation state of a criminal case, a criminal lawyer may help you avoid charges entirely. Here at Tanis Schultz there are a number of things we can do to help you during the pre-charge stages of a criminal investigation.

What to Do If You Are a Suspect in a Crime 

Do Not Speak to the Police

First a foremost, do not talk to the police. If you are a suspect, the police will call you and request that you come down to the police station to talk to you – question you – interrogate you. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during any police questioning. 

Generally speaking, the police do not want you to have an attorney present because that makes it more difficult for them to extract a confession from you or get information from you. The police may try to convince you to talk to them by saying that they will help “clear your name” after you talk to them or that they will “straighten everything out” for you. These are common tactics to try and get an unsuspecting person to speak to the police without an attorney. 

It is never a good idea to talk to the police without an attorney present. Even if you are innocent, without the advice of counsel, you could give statements that could be interpreted as incriminating without you even knowing it. This could then give the police an opportunity to place you under arrest. 

How We Can Help You During the Investigation Stage

The first thing an attorney can do for you during the pre-charge stage is be the intermediary between you and the police. Our attorneys contact the police and let them know that you are represented by counsel and all further communication should go through your attorney. Additionally, we let them know that you will not be speaking with the police outside of our presence. 

Our firm can discuss with you the pros and cons of any requests by the police to interrogate you, acquire a DNA sample, execute warrants, and otherwise investigate you. We will advise you and help you make the best decisions to try and avoid criminal charges. A criminal defense attorney will also communicate with the detective on the case to try and convince the police not to file any charges or to file lesser charges. 

During the early stages of the investigation, an a attorney can help gather evidence in your defense. If you are falsely accused of a crime, we may suggest that you take a polygraph examination. The results of the polygraph examination can then be presented to the police detective for consideration. This may convince the detective that the alleged victim or witness is not credible and that no charges should be brought against you. 

If you were to hire us, we can also discuss the possibility of hiring a private investigator to do research into your case, talk to potential witnesses, and help gather evidence. A private investigator could uncover useful information to help your case such as the accuser has a criminal history of making false allegations. A defense attorney can then bring this to the attention of the detective to try and keep you from being charged. 

Prior to felony charges being issued against a defendant, the charges must be reviewed and approved by a prosecutor. Our criminal lawyer can attempt to contact the prosecutor prior to any changes being filed to attempt to convince them not to file the charges. If there is strong exculpatory evidence, evidence that shows your innocence, we can communicate that evidence to the prosecutor’s office on your behalf. This evidence may have been discovered during our own pre-charge investigation and it may not even be in the police report. If the prosecutor learns of the evidence they may be persuaded not too press charges or to issue lesser charges than the police requested. Even if the prosecutor decides to issue charges against you despite the best efforts of your defense attorney, we can ask the prosecutor to serve us with the Complaint (charging document). The prosecutor generally agrees to this and will allow us to turn you in to the police instead of you being arrested at home or at work. 

Who To Call When You are Under Investigation

If you learn that you are under investigation for a crime, it is important for you to get in contact with a skilled pre-charge criminal defense attorney immediately. Tanis Schultz, PLLC can discuss your options with you and determine what may best help your specific situation. Even if you already spoke with police, it is never too late to contact a lawyer to help keep charges from being filed against you. 

Contact us today at 616-608-7149 or use our contact form to discuss your options with a free confidential consultation. 


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