Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Section 10 of the Illinois Bill of Rights, you cannot be ordered to provide evidence against yourself in a criminal case. Your right to remain silent prevents police from forcing you to answer questions or make statements that incriminate you. However, the situation is different before you are arrested for criminal charges, when law enforcement may be investigating you to gather evidence. You still have constitutional rights, and it is essential to protect them even in pre-arrest stages of a criminal case. With the help of an Illinois investigation assistance attorney, you can get a head start on your defense and gain the advantage before you have even been arrested.
Pre-Arrest Questioning by Police
Officers are trained in getting you to answer their questions during interrogation, even though they know you are under no duty to answer. Anything you say can be used against you in court, whether you are under arrest or not. If you have an attorney representing you during an interview, police will not be as bold because they know their actions are being scrutinized. They are also aware that your lawyer will fight to have improperly obtained statements thrown out of court.
Addressing Police Reports
Law enforcement officers produce a police report during all encounters, even routine traffic stops. This paperwork may become evidence at your trial if you are arrested. These reports are often biased and one-sided. Officers are motivated to get convictions based upon their arrests, so they may include any information that helps them achieve that goal. An attorney can review police reports and challenge any false or misleading details. It is possible to get a correction or retraction before you are charged with a crime.
Getting a Head Start on Arrest and Arraignment
By retaining a defense lawyer during the pre-arrest phase of a criminal matter, you can begin developing a defense strategy even before police charge you. Witnesses may be more willing to participate in the case and their recollections are fresh.
Trust an Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney to Safeguard Your Rights
Working with a defense lawyer is just as essential during pre-arrest investigations as it is after you are charged with a criminal offense. Police will be pushy and aggressive, so your constitutional rights are at risk unless you have solid legal representation on your side. If you suspect or know that you are being investigated, please contact Glasgow & Olsson to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our criminal defense attorneys will fight to ensure a fair process throughout all stages of criminal proceedings. You can reach our firm by calling 847-577-8700 or requesting an appointment online.
(image courtesy of Nicolas Barbier Garreau)