The authorities will certainly continue to investigate after an arrest. Up until you are arrested, law enforcement is gathering enough information to charge you with a crime. Just because you’re charged doesn’t mean that the investigation is going to stop and in fact, once you are charged and the commonwealth’s attorney is brought into the equation, they might have more targeted information and evidence that they need the police to find. Therefore, the police will continue to make a targeted investigation into the facts surrounding your case, into the witnesses, and will continue to interview people to try to compile evidence against you. For this reason a Fairfax criminal defense lawyer is important as they can help ensure your rights are protected and help prepare you for what an investigation might entail.
Once you are arrested and charged with a crime, you should continue to be careful about who you speak to, especially regarding the facts of your case. It is almost always advisable for defendants not to speak with anybody, even their family members, about what’s happening with their case because anybody that you speak to could potentially be a witness for the commonwealth attorney when they are prosecuting you.
There’s a chance that the law enforcement agencies who are investigating you will be continuing to interview people in your life. Your friends, your family, sometimes your employers can expect to receive visits from law enforcement officers or phone calls as they continue to gather information against you.
A lawyer can meanwhile help by limiting the access that law enforcement agencies have to you. Once you have an attorney and you tell law enforcement agencies that you have an attorney, they are not supposed to speak to you outside of your attorney’s presence. The same goes for the prosecutor, so if you have a lawyer, they will stop attempting to get information out of you. An attorney can help you decide what, if anything, you need to turn over to them and when you should turn it over.
Absolutely. Until your trial is finished and resolved in front of the court, the authorities will continue to compile evidence against you in order to make the strongest case possible that you are guilty of the crime with which you are charged.
After an arrest, law enforcement officers could go through your social media accounts, through statements that you’ve made – either on Twitter or Facebook – or any other kind of social media. Sometimes, they are authorized to look at your cellphone records or your e-mail records, depending on your case and what you’re charged with. Additionally, they will continue to speak with your friends, your employer, and until you hire an attorney they might continue to attempt to speak with you.
If you are in jail and you’re not released on bond and you’re concerned about your family speaking with the authorities, you, unfortunately, are not in a position to do much about it. If you speak with your attorney and you mention that you’re concerned about the discussions that your family members might have with the police, your attorney might be able to reach out to the police officers and facilitate some kind of meeting where the attorney can answer questions and make sure that your family members are able to be interviewed by the police but not in a situation where they feel intimidated or harassed.
That said, your attorney’s duty is to you, as a client, so your attorney is not going to be able to prevent law enforcement officers from speaking with your family simply because you do not want them to. However, your attorney can certainly be a valuable resource as far as limiting and controlling the way in which the authorities speak with your family members, while you are incarcerated.
If you are in jail and you are not released on bond and you’re concerned that your assets, your home, and/or your vehicle is going to be searched or frozen or forfeited while you are being held, the first thing you should do is reach out to your attorney and let them know that you are concerned. Let them know why you’re concerned and your attorney will be able to tell you whether or not the police officers have some type of legal basis to search these items or whether or if it’s not likely to happen in your case.
Whether or not the authorities are going to be able to do this, ultimately, will depend on the facts in your case, which is why it’s important to speak with your attorney and let them know why you think a search or a seizure or a forfeiture is potentially in your future.
A criminal defense attorney’s role in helping you deal with the government investigation after your arrest is mainly to facilitate and prevent the government from obtaining information from you without your consent.
Essentially, a criminal defense attorney can prevent anyone from talking to you if you do not wish to talk to them without the attorney present. When an attorney is present, for example, in negotiations with the prosecutor or in meetings, should the attorney feel a meeting with the law enforcement agency would be beneficial to you and your specific case (based on your specific facts), an attorney will be there to prevent questions from being asked that are misleading in an attempt to trick you into a response, and/or to prevent law enforcement officers from misconstruing the statements that you are making.
An attorney’s presence is valuable in these types of meetings, because otherwise you don’t have anybody asserting your rights for you. It’s very important to consult your attorney throughout the course of the investigation, after your arrest and throughout the culmination of your case.