If you are under investigation for a crime, it is in your best interest to seek skilled legal counsel immediately. Do not wait to be arrested; when it comes to the criminal justice process, every second counts.
To determine if a crime has been committed and who was involved in committing it, police will conduct a criminal investigation. During this investigation, they will attempt to gather evidence to support a conviction in court. This evidence can include fingerprints, weapons, and witness testimonies. As such, a major part of any criminal investigation is asking questions of individuals who may have helpful information, or who might have been involved in the commission of the crime.
At The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian, we have helped countless clients successfully navigate the complicated, stressful criminal investigation process. We will analyze the details of your unique situation to determine how to best protect your rights and position you for a favorable outcome. If you are involved in any type of criminal investigation, even as a witness, you need legal representation. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Innocence Will Not Protect You
Even if you are completely innocent, you can be dragged into a criminal investigation; you can even find yourself facing charges. Police have an agenda—their goal is to find the perpetrators, get a conviction, and close the case. Sometimes this agenda results in unfair accusations and the conviction of innocent people. Investigations usually involve massive amounts of information, much of which is incomplete or ambiguous, as well as conflicting stories and hearsay. Bottom line—never assume that the judge and the Prosecutor will see things your way. Innocent or guilty, seek legal counsel if you are under investigation for a crime.
Your status in a criminal investigation will likely fall into one of three categories—witness, subject, and target. Keep in mind that your status can quickly change as the process moves forward.
If you are considered a target it means that you are a suspect and the prosecutor believes that there is at least a 50 percent chance that you will be charged with the crime at hand. Basically, the prosecution already believes that you are guilty but needs to obtain more evidence to prove it and get an indictment.
At this point, you are not under any suspicion associated with the crime committed, but the prosecution believes you may have information to support its case. Even though you are not a suspect, being called as a witness to a criminal investigation is not without risk. It is not uncommon for people called as witnesses to later become suspects. Consult with an Orange County defense lawyer immediately if you’ve been called as a witness to a criminal case.
At this stage, you are in the dangerous grey area between being a witness and a target. The prosecution may not be convinced that you have committed a crime, or even that a crime was committed. But it does appear that you may have engaged in some type of suspicious behavior. Although better than being an official target, this is certainly not a good place to be. Seek legal representation immediately!
Regardless of what police tell you—Oh, don’t worry, you are just a witness, there is no risk to you—hire an experienced defense lawyer. Any involvement in a criminal investigation carries risk.
You Have Rights
If you are under investigation for a criminal matter, or even if you are simply called as a witness, you have rights. Among them are the right to remain silent, the right to privacy, and the right to an attorney. If you are questioned by police, do not provide any answers other than your identifying information, such as name and date of birth. This is true even if you are placed under arrest. Politely but firmly insist to contact an attorney and refuse to answer any questions until the attorney is by your side.
Furthermore, if police ask to search your home, vehicle, or any other property (including your person) without a search warrant, do not grant them permission. Knowing your rights and how to invoke them can be the difference between imprisonment and freedom.
Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian Today
If you are involved in a criminal investigation, the skilled legal team at The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian can help. Whether you are a witness or a suspect, talking to police without legal counsel by your side is never a good idea. Our highly-experienced, knowledgeable lawyers have been aggressively defending clients against criminal charges for more than 16 years, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining the results our clients want. Do not attempt to undertake this process on your own; a criminal conviction can negatively impact your ability to get housing, a job, certain licenses, or even a loan for the rest of your life. Contact The Law Offices of Bryan R. Kazarian today at 855-918-4253 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.