Are you being investigated for a DUI in Orange County?
If you are being investigated for a DUI in Orange County, or any of the surrounding counties, we recommend you take immediate action to make sure that you minimize the chances of your rights being infringed upon or to ensure you do not engage in any activity that may hurt your case. The need to protect your rights within the criminal process may begin prior to being arrested or charged with a crime. If investigators are contacting you, it is likely that they are attempting to obtain information and evidence from you before making an arrest. If you find yourself in this situation, timing is of the utmost importance and any mishaps you make in dealing with law enforcement can be hazardous to your case. It is important that you take enough precautions to protect your rights, your case, and that you retain an attorney to represent you prior to answering any questions you are asked.
Law enforcement officers are specifically trained to extract information in order to build a case against you. Due to the stressful atmosphere of police officers interrogating an individual and their expertise in questioning suspects, lead many individuals to disclose information that can be hurtful to the individual’s case. These hurtful disclosures can then be used in court to convict the individual. It is imperative that you do not answer any questions asked by law enforcement officials without acquiring an attorney’s representation.
How can the attorneys at the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm help?
At the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm we offer the service of representing our clients throughout the entirety of the client’s case, including the pre-filing stage to the conclusion of the court stage, if necessary. Usually, a law enforcement officer will contact a client, either in person or through the phone and will ask about a crime that has occurred prior to filing any charges against the client. Law enforcement may also try to communicate with potential witnesses and suspects. Acquiring the representation of an experienced attorney will ensure you are taking the proper precautions to do all you can to avoid being arrested and avoiding having any charges filed against you. Often, the cases that involve a pre-filing stage include domestic violence, hit and run, white-collar crimes (e.g. embezzlement or employee theft), other financial crimes, or any other crimes that require law enforcement to gather witness statements. In some cases, these investigations can be prolonged for months. Having an attorney and knowing that your attorney will ensure your rights are protected and look after your best interests can help alleviate the feelings of stress or anxiety that come with this process.
If you believe that you are being investigated, we encourage you to contact our office. All communications regarding your case are confidential and we will arrange a consultation in the privacy and security of our office to minimize any possibility of others obtaining the information communicated between you and one of our attorneys. Remember, if a law enforcement official contacts you, you can exercise your right to remain silent. Do not hesitate to call our office at 949-377-2280 to schedule a FREE consultation.
The period of time before any charges are brought against you is called the “pre-filing stage.” Usually, depending on the circumstances of the crime, law enforcement officials may take several months to build a case and bring formal charges against you. In this pre-filing stage, law enforcement officials will attempt to contact you, your family members, or any associates of yours. Another possibility is that if police officers obtain a valid search warrant, they will search your property. It is your right to remain silent at any point in this stage if law enforcement officials try to ask you questions. If you believe that you are being investigated for a crime, we highly recommend that you hire an attorney before you are arrested or before charges are brought against you. Our experienced attorneys can begin assessing the facts of your case and will be able to advise you on how to interact with the law enforcement officials attempting to contact you, which can be the difference in being charged with a crime or not.
Also, an attorney is able to contact law enforcement early in this stage to help you avoid being called in for an interrogation, line-ups, fingerprinting, or other techniques law enforcement may use to attempt to obtain evidence against you. A defense attorney will make sure that at every stage of this process your rights are not infringed upon, minimize any allegations against you, and can informally negotiate with law enforcement so that any issues in your case are resolved so that no charges are filed against you. If your prosecution cannot be avoided, an attorney can provide representation to you during the pre-filing stage that can help negotiate a voluntary surrender in order to avoid the humiliation of a public arrest. Moreover, having an attorney representing you during the pre-filing stage can help to minimize any time you may be in custody.
What occurs when an individual is under investigation?
As previously stated, the type of crime being investigated, as well as the available evidence will affect how long law enforcement officials take to build a strong enough case against an individual in order to warrant an arrest. During the period of time law enforcement is investigating the case, you will most likely not be arrested and will be considered a suspect. Even so, law enforcement will most likely still try to contact you, your friends, and family members, in order to question you. For this reason, it is best to minimize the information you reveal to your friend and family. It is important to remember that, at this stage, you will be able to exercise your right to remain silent and not answer any questions asked by law enforcement officials.
The thought of being under investigation and looming arrest can be a stressful and embarrassing situation. Hiring one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys during the investigation can increase your chances at having a strong defense, as well as relieving the majority of these feelings to bring you some peace of mind. For example, your attorney can start to research you case, advise you on when, and how to respond to any questions posed by law enforcement officials. Having an attorney can also make sure that any fingerprinting, line-ups, photo arrays, and other investigative methods designed to gather evidence are properly adhering to the law. Additionally, your attorney can help in resolving your case by negotiating with the District Attorney’s Office prior to any charges being brought against you. This can help in avoiding any punishments that you would otherwise be subject to. Although a pre-charge resolution is the best-case scenario, in some cases that option is not available. If charges are formally brought against you, your attorney can negotiate for you to voluntarily surrender to law enforcement officials, in order to reduce the publicity and embarrassment of an arrest, as well as help will any bail arrangements that will help reduce your time in jail.
Disadvantages of Speaking with the Police
It is important to remember that you cannot be arrested if the police do not have any information incriminating you. The law enforcement’s investigator’s job is to acquire enough information about you to show enough probable cause to warrant an arrest. The 4th amendment of the US Constitution mandates that prior to any arrest warrant being issued, there must be enough probable cause to show issuing the warrant is proper. Probable cause is defined by a showing of specific facts to convince a reasonable person that a crime is being committed, or has been committed. Surprisingly, many individuals under investigation voluntarily provide the law enforcement official with information that incriminates the individual, meeting the standard to show probable cause and making the law enforcement official’s job too easy. For this reason, not communicating with the law enforcement investigator is in one’s best interest. Law enforcement officials are experienced and well trained in the process of extracting incriminating information. That experience can result in the investigator using information voluntarily given to the investigator against an individual in court that assists in an individual being convicted.
Tom, an investigator, was assigned to figure out who collided with a parked vehicle and fled the scene. In this investigation, Tom interviewed the owner of the parked vehicle and the owner’s neighbors. During these interviews, Tom learns that a man regularly drives drunk during the night on the street where the owner’s car was hit.
Subsequently, Tom noticed a car that appears to have been involved in an accident recently. Tom decided to take photographs of the vehicle. Tom then decided to speak with the owner of the vehicle he took pictures of, a man named Dan. In this conversation, it is revealed to Tom that Dan had been drinking the previous night and had been involved in a minor accident. Dan also revealed to Tom that he was drinking at the house of a friend named Albert when the accident occurred. Regardless of this information, Tom is convinced that Dan is responsible for the hit and run. Tom then decides to question Albert, who reveals that Dan was not with him when the accident occurred. Tom’s investigation that produced Dan’s identity, the condition of Dan’s car, and that he lied about where he was at the time of the accident was enough to get a warrant issued. The same day the warrant was issued, Dan was arrested and charged with a DUI hit and run.
1Brinegar v. U.S., 338 U.S. 160, at 175-176
This case is a perfect example of a suspect who voluntarily provides too much information. Dan probably thought that he was helping by providing a false alibi that he was with Albert. However, the alibi only gave Tom another individual to question. Prior to questioning Albert, Tom would not have been issued a warrant and would have needed to acquire more information. Even though Tom would have gotten enough evidence for a warrant, the information provided by Dan made Tom’s job easier and cut into the time where Dan could have hired an attorney to prepare his defense.
Disadvantages of Disclosing Conduct to Other People
The most important reason to not disclose any information about your conduct to other individual’s is that you are not the only one who will be questioned by law enforcement personnel. Investigators are skilled in obtaining information on how to find people who are able to provide any relevant information. Usually, your friends or family may not realize that the answers they provide to law enforcement officials are hurting your case. Investigators know how to present the questions they ask in an innocent manner that makes the information the answers will provide as harmless. Thus, even though you may trust your family and friends, it is imperative that you do not disclose any information that could be harmful to your case. For this reason, we highly encourage you to contact our office in order to schedule your FREE consultation, where one of our attorneys will provide you with advice that will inform you on how to go forward during this stressful period.
If you are under investigation for a DUI, contact the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm today to schedule your FREE DUI consultation.
Law enforcement investigators have received extensive training and know what to ask for in order to obtain incriminating information to help build a case against you. Usually, many people will feel obligated to respond or disclose more information to investigators out of fear. It is important to remember that you have a right to remain silent during these questionings and have no duty to disclose any information to an investigator. If you are arrested and an investigator attempts to question you, remember that you must be read your Miranda Rights that inform you of your right to remain silent and your right to have an attorney. It does not matter when, or how, you are questioned, do not respond to any questions until your attorney is present. Your attorney will apprise you with what measures you should take to ensure your rights are protected during the investigation.
If you are a resident of Orange County, and suspect that you are being investigated for a DUI, or any other crime, we encourage you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm is here to ensure that your rights are protected and offer you a FREE consultation. If you are under investigation, we advise you to avoid disclosing any information or engaging in any conduct that may help the investigator build a case against you. As stated previously, if an investigator is contacting you, and/ or your family, you are most likely being investigated. Do not take this situation lightly, as it has the potential to affect your life significantly. If there is enough evidence obtained against you, there is a high likelihood that you may be arrested and charged with a crime. Hiring the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm early in the investigation process can assure that your attorney will have the most time to prepare a defense for your case, as well as advise you of how to proceed with any contact you may have with a law enforcement investigator.
As you can see by the information provided to you through this article, there are many advantages to hiring a defense attorney during this process. Our attorneys will devote themselves to you, and ensure your rights are always protected and dedicate their time to increase your chances at obtaining a pre-charge dismissal and avoiding an arrest entirely. The attorneys at the Orange County DUI Attorney Law Firm will be right by your side every step of the way during your criminal proceeding, including the pre-charge investigation stage.