Law Office of Matthew T. McNally Articles When to Hire a Criminal Attorney

When to Hire a Criminal Attorney

By Law Office of Matthew T. McNally  Sep. 6, 2010 8:45p

Talk to a Criminal Attorney before You Face Formal Charges

"When should I involve an attorney?" This is a question we have come across often in our years of criminal defense counsel in the Atlanta area. You may currently be under investigation by law enforcement or may have been contacted for "questioning." At this point, you may wonder whether you should bother contacting an attorney. Our advice is to at least discuss the matter with an attorney, even if you feel you may not be in any danger of facing criminal charges. You may be right and may not actually need criminal defense counsel, but at least you would have found this out for certain. Not talking to an attorney may actually backfire and leave you in a situation where you are now facing formal charges and may be at risk of imprisonment or other serious penalties upon a conviction.

Cooperating with Law Enforcement

Most people, particularly those who have never been arrested or dealt with criminal charges in the past, want to cooperate with law enforcement. They will agree to answer questions and may even go into the police station or agree to a search of their property. They may know that they have nothing to hide and may wish to cooperate in an attempt to prove their innocence. Unfortunately, this can have negative consequences. Law enforcement officers will be actively looking for information or evidence that proves you are a person of interest in their investigation. They will be looking for evidence to give the prosecuting attorney so he or she can press charges. Your good intentions may result in unintentional self-incrimination.

When you involve a lawyer early on, you can avoid this. Your lawyer can help you if you are contacted for questioning or in the face of a search. This can help ensure you do not say or do anything that actually harms your chances of avoiding criminal charges and a conviction.

Of course, every case will vary depending on the particular situation. To learn more about your unique legal matter and how the Law Office of Matthew T. McNally can provide you with the help you need, contact an Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyer at our firm today.

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