When a person is accused of a crime, they may not take the allegations seriously because charges haven’t yet been filed. However, charges may still come after a pre-filing investigation during which police try to obtain more evidence. Below are several reasons to hire a criminal defense attorney in Vermont before being formally charged with a crime.
Attorneys May Influence Prosecutors’ Decisions
During the pre-filing investigation, the prosecutor may file charges based on the preliminary findings. Without a lawyer to monitor these actions, a prosecutor can file charges with almost no oversight. An experienced criminal defense attorney will assess the prosecutor’s behavior to ensure no frivolous charges are filed.
Speaking to Law Enforcement Personnel on the Client’s Behalf
Before charges are filed, law enforcement officers may try to talk to a suspect to get additional information about a case. While they may seem like they’re on the suspect’s side, they’ll use anything the person says against them in court. It’s crucial to refer law enforcement contacts to an attorney who can speak to them on the client’s behalf.
Status Monitoring and Updates
The pre-filing investigation may take weeks, months, or years. During such a time, a lawyer will keep the client updated on the case through continued contact with law enforcement and prosecutors.
An Explanation of the Charges
When a person faces criminal charges, an attorney will explain their meaning, the potential effects on the suspect’s life, and what to do during such a trying time. A criminal defense attorney in Vermont will determine whether certain court factors will affect the case, and they will also answer the client’s questions.
Possible Reduction of or the Dismissal of Charges
If a suspect retains a lawyer during the pre-filing investigation, they will do their own research on the case. Before charges are filed, the lawyer will try to convince the prosecutor to drop the case. In some instances, an attorney may be able to demonstrate new facts that lead to a reduction of or elimination of charges.
Experienced Attorneys are Here to Help
If a person is facing charges, it’s important to speak to a criminal defense lawyer right away. Jason J. Sawyer, Attorney & Counselor At Law has extensive experience in handling pre-filing criminal cases in Vermont, and he’ll work to achieve the best potential outcome. Call today for more details or to request a consultation.