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When Should I Contact a Criminal Lawyer?

Criminal Defendants do not get to pick and choose when the police come and place them under arrest. However, sometimes the writing is on the wall and you know what’s coming. Either the police are looking for you or attempting to contact you, or your employer is asking questions and you know that you may be in trouble. Either way, you should reach out to an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There is no down side to talking to a criminal lawyer as soon as you think you may be in trouble so you know what to do when (and if) the time comes.

Sometimes, talking to a criminal lawyer early ends up becoming the most important decision you make. If you talk to the police before talking to a lawyer, you may end up making a mistake that you will not be able to recover from. Talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney early on, will give you some idea of what you are facing and what you should do if the police start asking you questions or want you to come down to the police station. When you are initially contacted by the police when they are conducting an investigation, the police have a tremendous advantage over you. You have no clue what the police are doing, have done, who they have spoken to, what evidence they have, and what their intentions are when coming to talk to you. Talking to a criminal defense lawyer before talking to the police will give you some protection from what’s to come.

Signs That You May Need a Lawyer

Most criminal defendants were arrested around the time that they committed the crime. In cases like that, there’s no way you can talk to a lawyer before you are arrested. However, some criminal defendants have plenty of warning that they are about to be arrested and be subject to criminal prosecution. If your employer contacts you and is asking questions which are accusatory and worrisome, you should talk to a lawyer before talking to your employer. The rights that are afforded to the criminally accused in the constitution only apply to the government. If your employer is a private company, they do not have to conform their conduct to the constitution. They can question you without a lawyer, they don’t have to read you your rights, and they don’t need a warrant to search you, your desk, or your locker. Any evidence may be turned over to the police, and since it was obtained by the private employer, and not police and prosecutors, your lawyer will have a very hard time getting the evidence thrown out. Be careful before talking to your employer. You should talk to a criminal defense lawyer before sitting down and having a discussion with your employer.

Store security is not the government. Just like a private employer, if you are stopped by store security officers, you should remember that they do not have to give you your constitutional rights and you cannot challenge the prosecutors case because store security violated your constitutional rights. Like I said, store security does not have to give you your constitutional rights. Any evidence obtained by store security can be turned over to the police and prosecutors and your lawyer cannot challenge the evidence obtained by the store security officers because they didn’t have a warrant or because they didn’t let you talk to a lawyer before taking a statement from you.

Another sign that you should be talking to a criminal defense lawyer is if you are contacted by the police and asked to talk to an officer or go to the police station to talk to the police. If this happens, you should immediately talk to a criminal lawyer. You are in serious jeopardy of being arrested and facing criminal prosecution. While the police have to honor your rights, the police are free to lie to you and trick you into making a statement that could be used against you in court. Since you are at a disadvantage because you don’t know what the police know, if you talk to the police, you are rolling the dice and placing yourself in serious legal jeopardy. You should never talk to the police without a lawyer present, and you should not voluntarily make contact with the police and their investigators without having talked to a criminal lawyer first.

What Should I Say To The Criminal Lawyer

You should tell the criminal defense lawyer everything about the case. The criminal lawyer cannot help you, or give you sound legal advice, if you do not tell the criminal lawyer everything about what happened and everything you may have done. The lawyer is bound by certain ethical legal obligations so whatever you tell the lawyer will stay between you and the lawyer. I suggest that before you pick up the phone to call the criminal attorney, you make a list of important subjects for you. Think about what you want to get out of your discussion with the lawyer. Make a list of questions you want to ask the lawyer before calling. As the questions are asked and the answers are provided, check the question so you don’t waste the lawyers time by asking the same question again. This may be the only chance you get to talk to a lawyer before you are arrested or are taken down to the police station for questioning. Remember to stick to the facts of your case and avoid confusing the lawyer about facts that to not really apply to your case. You should also talk to the lawyer about retaining the lawyer if you are arrested and have to go to court. Talk to the lawyer about fees and have someone be prepared to contact the lawyer if you are arrested and need the lawyer to appear in court.

James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, criminal defense lawyer, with over 28-years of experience handling criminal cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County. Recently, James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois for the Years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021” by the American Society of Legal Advocates. James Dimeas was named a “Best DUI Attorney”, a “Best DUI Lawyer in Schaumburg”, and a “Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by Expertise. James Dimeas was named a “Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers. The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Attorney Award for the State of Illinois”. James Dimeas is rated ‘Superb’ by AVVO, 10 out of 10, the highest rating possible for any criminal attorney in the United States. The American Society of Criminal Law Attorneys named James Dimeas a “10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction”. Attorney and Practice Magazine gave James Dimeas the “Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Award for Illinois”.

If you are facing criminal charges you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can talk to James Dimeas personally by calling 847-807-7405.

Additional Blogs:

What Happens If You Are Arrested?, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, April 3, 2018.

Do the Police Have To Read You Your Rights If You Are Arrested, by James G. Dimeas, Chicago Criminal Lawyer Blog, September 5, 2017.