The simple answer to this question is, yes! In many criminal cases, a person is arrested either in the act of the alleged crime or immediately after. Other times, however, an arrest warrant comes after a period of investigation. This usually happens with more serious crimes. A person does not always know when he is under investigation, but if he is, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney. Getting a case shelved or dismissed prior to arrest or indictment is a best case scenario in any criminal case.
Benefits of an Attorney
If you discover you are being investigated for a crime, you and your attorney could potentially help the investigation end before an arrest is made or an indictment is sought. One of the major benefits of having an attorney help you, is that your attorney can speak with investigators directly without you having to speak with them. In this way the statements your attorney makes in your behalf cannot be used against you in the same way as when you speak to the police directly and make statements. Even if you do want to speak to investigators directly, your attorney can be present to represent your interests. An attorney can also begin to investigate the case and interview witnesses for your defense. This information can then be shared with the state’s investigators.
Investigating the Case
For very serious cases such as rape or child molestations, there are a number of approaches your attorney can take to investigate the case. This can include speaking with witnesses and gathering statements, obtaining physical evidence, health records, and other documents that could help your case. Where a person under investigation is sure of their innocence, they can pay for a private polygraph test, and show the exculpatory results to the investigators. This will not necessarily always lead to the dismissal of the case, but it very well could. For many criminal cases, polygraph tests are worth the price.
While hiring an attorney when your case is still under investigation will not always lead to a dismissal, there will almost certainly be a better chance of it. An experienced criminal defense attorney can get involved in the case, conduct a separate investigation, and attempt to persuade the investigator not to refer the case for prosecution. Especially for very serious charges, it is important to consult an attorney if you believe you are under investigation of a crime.