People often often ask me when they should contact an attorney in a criminal action. The answer is really quite simple. As soon as you possibly can. The second you think you are under investigation by law enforcement it is helpful to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney to begin assisting you with your case. You would be surprised how much competent counsel can assist you early in the process.
Q: When should I contact a lawyer?
A: At the first possible moment.
The earlier you contact a lawyer the better your prospects are for avoiding a conviction. Most criminal defense lawyers use answering services during their off hours that will contact them at home in the event that a client needs emergency assistance. The first few hours of an investigation or following an arrest can be critical. During their initial investigation, the police may have settled on an individual that they believe committed the crime. However, in an effort to postpone giving that individual his rights – possibly prompting him to call a lawyer – the police will claim that they had not yet reached a decision to arrest the individual. Believing that he can still talk his way out of this jam and feeling that by contacting a lawyer he will only heighten the suspicion he’s under, the individual refrains from retaining a lawyer and just keeps on talking. Only when he has securely fitted the noose about his own neck and can do himself no further harm, will the police inform the suspect that they are placing him under arrest.