For the next few weeks, I will be writing a blog series that focuses on the six stages of a criminal case, and what actions you should take in each stage. Please remember that all cases vary, and stages of a case can happen simultaneously. If you have any questions about criminal charges you are facing, or need a lawyer’s advice, please contact me ASAP for a free consultation. It’s very important to have someone on your side as you are facing the quagmire our legal system. Ensure your rights are protected at all times!

What is the Initial Investigation?

Phoenix criminal defense attorney initial investigationThe initial investigation begins the moment the police know a possible crime has been committed. There may have been a complaint, an accident, a traffic stop, or even a part of a larger police investigation. This investigation can take the form of roadside sobriety tests, questioning by police, photographs of the crime or accident scene, talking to witnesses or others involved. In this stage of the case, the officer is trying to decide if there is enough evidence to charge you with a crime.

If the officer decides there is probable cause that you have committed a crime, you will then be arrested and charged, which is stage two in the six stages of a criminal case.

What should you do if you are being investigated by the police?

First and most importantly, do not talk to the police about your case. Many people believe they can talk their way out of charges, but often the opposite is true. People may incriminate themselves. Remember that police are not required to tell you the truth about your charges and are trained to get you to talk. You ALWAYS have the right to remain silent!

phoenix criminal defense attorney stages of legal caseAlso, make sure to refuse roadside sobriety tests. Always be polite to the police, but do not take balance tests or the portable breath test. Instead, tell officers if you are arrested, that you want legal advice before charges are filed against you. Getting a good criminal defense attorney guarantees that your rights will be upheld through the legal process.

Contact Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Burges McCowan.

Interested in learning more about the stages of a criminal case? Read Stage 2: Arrest & Charges.