The extent to which an investigation is conducted depends on the type of case and the charges. For example, in the case of a lesser misdemeanor offense for reckless driving, there probably will not be any investigation done before the police officer captures your speed and issues you a summons to court. However, if you are charged with something that requires background information, especially if the alleged crime is a felony, it is extremely typical for the government to conduct an extensive investigation before indicting or arresting you. When this happens, it is imperative that you consult with a Fairfax criminal defense attorney to ensure that your rights are protected and that you don’t incriminate yourself in any way. To learn more about your investigation and what steps to take call and schedule a consultation today.
Who conducts the investigations depends on the type of case and how much information has been gathered. For example, it is typical in felony cases that detectives or police officers who are aiding the detectives are going to be interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence against you in your case.
However, in situations where you are charged with a probation violation or a violation court imposed program, those case workers could be the individuals collecting evidence against you and investigating your case. Probation officers can provide the commonwealth attorney with information about your compliance as well as Alcohol Safety Action Program officers.
In some instances, the prosecutor will investigate your case by calling and interviewing witnesses. The victim or complaining witness in your case might speak with the commonwealth attorney multiple times so the commonwealth attorney can gather more evidence to use against you. There are many people who might conduct an investigation for the government depending on the charges.
Law enforcement authorities in Fairfax focus their investigations on providing the commonwealth attorney with evidence that will help them get a person charged. These authorities look at the statute of the crime you are charged with and talk with the commonwealth attorney about what they need in order to prove that you are guilty of that charge. They collect evidence that is specifically targeted to your case. This might including text messages, videos or pictures. It might also be a Facebook post or Instagram post, statements from your friends or family or even statements that you made perhaps unknowingly to a police officer or to somebody investigating the case without knowing that you were under investigation.
One tactic Fairfax law enforcement authorities usually use when conducting their investigation is through casual conversation with friends and family. Law enforcement authorities often act as though they just want to talk about something or they might indicate that they are investigating someone else and ask for your help, but there is no guarantee that they are not investigating you or that the evidence that you give in someone else’s case will not be used to incriminate you.
Sometimes law enforcement authorities tell you that if you speak with them, you will not be charged but they might still gathering evidence against you. They do not have to honor that pledge, they can just pick the information that you told them and use it against you in court.
During an investigation, Virginia authorities will speak to anyone that they think is helpful and who will agree to speak with them. Sometimes this could be a more direct approach where they will approach your family, your friends, and your employers or classmates and they will ask any type of question they can in order to get information about you. Sometimes, the authorities will approach you directly in order to speak with you. In this situation, it is important to have a Fairfax attorney, so you can tell the authorities that you are represented and that your attorney has advised you not to speak with them about the investigation.
They will continue to speak with people throughout the course of the investigation as many times as they can. In some investigations, especially the pre-arrest investigation, the authorities might not be as obvious about reaching out to friends and family members to ask for information about your case, however, they will try to speak with whichever witnesses they can find in order to collect as much evidence as they can to get the prosecuting attorney to convict you.
The time that the Virginia government takes to investigate before they make an arrest definitely depends on the type of case. For felonies, it can be a process that occurs over a long period of time, even a series of years. Detectives can come in and begin to lay the foundation for a case, but want to observe your behavior and collect as many potential charges against you as they can, so they are going to wait until what they deem is the correct moment to arrest you.
For misdemeanor charges, typically the Virginia government is not going to investigate as long as a felony charge because they may not need as much information and also because a violation of a misdemeanor criminal statute requires that the prosecution bring the charge within a certain amount of time.
In a long investigation, there could be a significant amount of information and evidence piled up against you even before you have the opportunity to appear in court to defend yourself against the charges. This is why it is really important to call an attorney immediately if you think there is even a chance that you are going to be investigated or that you are already the subject of a criminal investigation.