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What to Do If You Are a Suspect in a Crime

If you are a suspect in a crime, your first step is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help you avoid making incriminating statements that will be used against you by prosecutors in the case.

A lot of people make the mistake of attempting to handle a criminal investigation themselves before contacting a criminal defense attorney. This is a dangerous way to proceed. You should not discuss the matter with anyone other than a Cain & Herren Hawaii lawyer. Any statements you make to friends, family members or even coworkers can be used against you in court. It is also not a good idea to talk to police officers about the matter. In fact, it is best not to speak to law enforcement at all unless you have an attorney present.

The main thing to remember if you are being questioned by law enforcement is that they can and do lie to suspects in order to obtain confessions and admissions. They may tell you that they have eyewitness testimony, DNA evidence or other corroborative evidence in order to pressure you into admitting to something. In addition, they are likely to use “canvas interviews” by questioning the friends and coworkers of suspects in order to identify any contradictory stories or other discrepancies.

You should also know that you can be arrested based upon the sworn statement of another person without any other evidence at all. This is very common in domestic violence, sex crimes and other cases. If you are a member of the military, you can even be charged with lying to an officer under Punitive Article 107 of the UCMJ if you make a false official statement.

Many times a suspect will make the mistake of admitting to an investigator that they did something or was present during a crime because they feel they are being friendly or want to be helpful. This can backfire in court if you are not careful and will only help build the case against you.

In some cases, a suspect will be told by an officer that they should not leave town in case they need to interview them again. This is usually done in order to ensure that you are readily available for additional questions or clarifications of previous answers given during interrogation. Obviously, you do not have to stay and you are not legally required to give them this information.

In the end, you must always remember that a lawyer can do the investigating that the police won’t. A lawyer can run down leads that you and your friends and coworkers cannot. In addition, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to stop charges from being filed in the first place. If you are a suspect in a criminal case, it is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible. By the time a prosecutor decides to charge you, some investigative avenues are closed forever.

Cain & Herren, ALC
2141 W Vineyard St, Wailuku,
HI 96793, United States
+1 808-242-9350
law@cainandherren.com
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