Why should you hire your attorney immediately? Some people will advise you that you don’t even need a lawyer. Others will tell you that you should wait to hire a lawyer so you can see what you are actually charged with or if you are charged at all. I would tell you that waiting to hire your attorney can be a big mistake. Here’s why.
When you get in trouble with the police, reports are written. Witnesses are interviewed. Decisions by the police are made and then reports are forwarded on to the District Attorney. The District Attorney reads the reports and decides what charges to file against you. What information does the District Attorney have? The answer is only the information that the police give him. This can lead to charges being wrongfully filed against innocent people. It can also mean that more serious charges can be filed than would otherwise be filed if your lawyer talked to the District Attorney and gave him information that could help lead to a fair evaluation of the all the evidence BEFORE filing charges.
If you hire your lawyer immediately after contact by the authorities, your lawyer can give information to the police which could lead to your exoneration. The information your attorney forwards to law enforcement can cause them to re-think the strength of their case. In most occasions, even if the police are not convinced that your information exonerates you, the information you have given them will be forwarded to the District Attorney at the same time as the police reports and can lead the District Attorney to question whether the case should be filed.
Why can’t you give this information to the police yourself? The answer to that question is that your lawyer is a trained professional who can evaluate the circumstances of your situation and decide if providing the information to law enforcement will benefit you. If your attorney is a California State Bar Certified Specialist in Criminal Law you have an extra assurance of his ability to do this. Obviously, no information should be divulged to the police without it being carefully analyzed to make certain that the information will benefit and not hurt you. If the documents or information you possess could possibly damage your case then certainly it should not be turned over to the prosecution. Therefore these decisions must be evaluated carefully.
Under the right circumstances, I have successfully stopped criminal cases from being filed by contacting the District Attorney before the case is sent to court. This has saved the client embarrassment, money, and possible conviction, all because I intervened immediately with the District Attorney. The same is true with regard to investigations and information being supplied to the law enforcement agency before their investigation is complete. Careful analysis with full attorney /client consultation can lead to very successful conclusions when the client hires the attorney immediately.