Criminal Investigations: Time to Lawyer Up!
Criminal charges can be lodged under the following circumstances:
- A crime report is filed which is reinforced by sufficient evidence to support criminal charges without any additional investigation.
- The police officer is a witness to criminal activity and his testimony will support advancement of criminal charges by the prosecuting attorney.
- A criminal investigation yields evidence to support criminal charges.
Law enforcement agencies conduct criminal investigations to collect and gather information which may later support criminal charges against an individual. Law enforcement officers may work with other cooperating local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies to gather evidence. Criminal investigations are accomplished through various traditional and modern techniques. For example, the FBI Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), which maintains a computerized database of fingerprints, makes it possible to compare fingerprints against millions of others in a matter of minutes. Criminal investigations also consist of one or more of the following practices:
- Make direct contact, or by mail, with potential witnesses and suspects for interviews.
- Investigate the crime scene and gather physical evidence for forensic analysis (blood, drugs, fingerprints, video surveillance, receipts, documents).
- Conduct undercover police operations to infiltrate criminal enterprises.
- Give leniency to individuals for cooperation and or to act as informants.
- Use search warrants and subpoenas to compel production of records (bank statements, cell phone records, etc.).
- Evaluate data from cell phone towers, home and public video systems, motor vehicle Event Data Recorders (EDR).
- Use undercover decoys to scour computer sites, chat rooms, and flush out sexual predators.
- Utilize computer forensics experts to identify and preserve digital evidence, including deleted files or images, on computers.
- Encourage individuals that deny wrongdoing to take a polygraph.
Upon conclusion of a criminal investigation, the case may be closed
Contact ABDO LAW for a FREE CONSULATION and SAME DAY APPOINTMENT if you are the subject of a criminal investigation or charged with a misdemeanor or felony. Phone: 586.412.5555. Email: Contact@abdolawfirm.com.
We specialize in criminal defense everywhere in Macomb County. Our community pages cover specific aspects of the courts and geographic areas where we are active:
- 37th District: Warren, Centerline
- 38th District: Eastpointe
- 39th District: Roseville, Fraser
- 40th District: St. Clair Shores
- 41-A District: Sterling Heights
- 41-A District: Shelby Township, Macomb Township, Utica
- 41-B District: Clinton Township, Harrison Township, Mount Clemens
- 42-1 District: Romeo, Washington Township, Armada, Richmond, Ray Township
- 42-2 District: New Baltimore, Chesterfield Township, Lenox Township, New Haven
This is the most important thing that you should know if you are ever confronted by the police and accused of a crime or asked to make a statement:
Pursuant to the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the accused party or defendant in a criminal prosecution has an absolute right to remain silent and is not required to make any statements or confessions to any other person or law enforcement officer and is not required to testify at trial or any other proceeding. A person's silence cannot later be used as incriminating evidence in a subsequent criminal proceeding.
We understand that it is awkward to “brush off” the police when they appear to be “just doing their job”. However, you should not assume that you can explain things to the police and that criminal charges will be dropped. Your own words will often be used against you and can implicate you in ways that you do not understand by talking to the police. The police use proven interrogation tactics to gain the upper hand in an investigation. The police also use an interrogation as an opportunity to get admissions, place you at the crime scene, establish motives, and set up a polygraph examination when the allegations are denied. The police may also discourage you from obtaining a lawyer.Things You Need to Know and do if the Police Contact You
Here are a few things that police have been known to say when attempting to get a statement:
- Why do you need a lawyer if you didn't do anything wrong?
- You should have no problem passing a polygraph if you are innocent.
- We just want to talk and clear up a few matters and you will be free to go.
The police start sizing you up and working you over the moment that you open your mouth. There are too many factors against you when you talk to the police. You can wind up hanging yourself with your own words. Furthermore, if you get caught lying to the police, you can face a felony that can carry up to 4 years in prison. Here is what you should do if you are confronted by the police and asked to make a statement:
- Do not resist the police or attempt to flee the scene.
- Please act calmly and as politely as possible.
- You should provide your name and identification.
- You should ask the police officer for a business card, or at the very least obtain his or her name, badge number, and contact information.
- You should disclose if you have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) and are carrying.
- Do not make any aggressive moves or gestures that could be misconstrued.
- You should ask the police why they are seeking a statement.
- You should kindly say that you will not be making any statements and will pass the officers contact information along to your attorney.
- DO NOT CONSENT TO MEET THE OFFICERS AT THE STATION OR TAKE A POLYGRAPH.
- DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH OR ALLOW THE OFFICER TO VIEW YOUR CELL PHONE.
- Do not give up cellphone or computer passcodes.
- If the officer gets aggressive, do not continue to talk, or give up any information. Kindly ask the officer to respect your decision to remain silent.
As experienced Macomb County Criminal Defense lawyers, we will provide you with immediate legal representation if you are the target of a criminal investigation or if you have been called upon by the police to make a statement. We will make sure that you do not incriminate yourself or make other common mistakes that will lead to serious criminal charges. We may also need to warn you about the hidden dangers if you submit to a polygraph. Don't worry if you have already made an appointment to meet with the police for an interview or polygraph. We can do damage control and preemptively cancel any commitments that you may have made with the police without any repercussions charged to you whatsoever. ABDO LAW will protect your rights, get the police off your back, and set the record straight if you are the subject of a spurious investigation or criminal charges.Criminal Investigations: Direct or Indirect Evidence
In a criminal investigation, law enforcement officers attempt to obtain sufficient legally admissible evidence to support criminal charges. Evidence may consist of direct evidence or indirect (circumstantial) evidence. Direct evidence is direct proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what that witness seen or heard. Circumstantial evidence is indirect evidence, that is, it is proof of one or more facts from which one can find another fact. Circumstantial evidence includes people's impressions about an event that happened which they didn't see. For example, seeing someone commit a crime such as a robbery is direct evidence. Seeing someone flee from a crime scene is circumstantial or indirect evidence. The following are examples of evidence obtained in the process of a criminal investigation:
- Retail Fraud: Obtaining the in-store video of the checkout area to determine if someone failed to scan merchandise. The video would be direct evidence.
- Domestic Violence: Obtaining statements from neighbors that heard arguing would be indirect evidence. The testimony of eyewitnesses of an assault would be direct evidence of domestic violence.
- Drunk Driving: In Michigan, you are considered legally intoxicated if you operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 or greater. A person's BAC may be measured by a blood test, which is considered direct evidence, or breath test, which is considered indirect evidence of alcohol contained in the blood.
- Embezzlement: Recent material acquisitions or bragging about being able to afford valuables is considered circumstantial evidence of someone accused of a financial crime such as embezzlement.
Just because something is considered evidence in a criminal case does not necessarily mean it is reliable. Eyewitness testimony is especially dangerous and not always accurate. The reliability of an eyewitness can be affected by eyesight, lighting, personal biases, stress factors, outside pressure to make an identification, or suggestiveness by the police.When a Criminal Investigation Leads to Criminal Charges
The accused party is not entitled to any of the information derived by the police pursuant to an ongoing criminal investigation for many reasons. There is an overriding concern during an ongoing investigation that a leak of any kind could jeopardize the investigation before the case is handed over to the prosecutor. However, once an investigation is complete, the prosecutor is required to disclose the government's file/evidence to the defendant. The prosecutor has an equal right to request disclosure from the defendant. The process of exchanging information between the prosecutor and defense attorney is known as discovery. Not every case goes to trial. The discovery process may enlighten the respective sides and lead to a resolution, or plea bargain, of a criminal matter to a lower or lesser crime.
In Michigan, a criminal offense is classified as a misdemeanor or felony.
- Misdemeanor: A crime punishable by up to one (1) year in the county jail. All misdemeanors are handled in the district or municipal courts.
- Felony: A crime punishable by more than one (1) year up to life in the state prison. After preliminary examination, all further proceedings for felony cases are handled in the circuit court.
No Jail! No Felony Record! A person convicted of a felony loses many rights including the right to own or possess a firearm. ABDO LAW has succeeded in avoiding jail and getting 1000's of felonies dismissed. Call Now: 586.412-5555.
If you need a Macomb County criminal defense attorney for a criminal investigation, warrant, recent arrest or if you have been contacted by the police or have received a court date notice: Contact ABDO LAW for a free consultation and legal representation.