Post Arrest Investigations in Washington, DC
In addition to a pre-arrest investigation, a post-arrest investigation may also take place in certain cases. The following is important information on these types of investigations and what an experienced DC criminal defense attorney can do to help. For more information pertaining to your specific case, call today.
Investigations Following An Arrest
Authorities often continue to investigate crimes even after they have arrested a suspect. As an example, if a person is arrested for an allegation of sexual abuse, law enforcement can speak to new witnesses even after the arrest has been conducted or can attempt to get new DNA evidence. The arrest itself is not the end of the case, it’s just the beginning. When someone is arrested, the situation in their case can change very rapidly. If a new witness, or new physical evidence is discovered while the case is ongoing, it is important to have a lawyer who is flexible enough to be able to respond to sudden changes in the status of the investigation.
A good defense lawyer knows how to respond when a new witness or new evidence surfaces. If a new witness turns up new information, is there a possibility of countering that new information or challenging that new information? New witnesses or new physical evidence are not uncommon after an arrest takes place, especially in more complicated cases such as embezzlement or investigations where new DNA evidence is obtained. This kind of evidence very frequently doesn’t exist at the time of an arrest, but appears later on because the prosecutor on the case continuously works to bolster their evidence and find new information to give them a greater chance to get a guilty verdict for the client.
Steps An Attorney Can Take To During a Post Arrest Investigation
If a person is in jail while their case is pending, there is little that can be done to prevent law enforcement from speaking to family members or friends. In addition to that, any attempts by a suspect or by a defendant to talk family members out of cooperating with law enforcement agents or investigators can be considered obstruction of justice.
It is important that the defendant doesn’t create additional witnesses or evidence against them while they are held in custody. This is something that comes up very often when people who are in custody while their case is pending make phone calls from the jail to family members and end up further incriminating themselves. Phone calls made from the jail are always recorded. If you discuss your case with family members or friends over a jail phone, you have possibly created huge problems for your case.
A person who is in custody does not want to create additional witnesses against them. That person does not want to make their situation worse by being accused of obstruction of justice. Law enforcement agents are free to conduct their investigation. The lawyer may provide information to a client’s family members informing them about their constitutional rights and that they have the right to consult with an attorney before speaking with any law enforcement agents. A lawyer cannot to tell a person to not talk to law enforcement or ask them to specifically make certain statements to law enforcement. Family members have to make those decisions on their own regarding their actions without interference from a defendant or his lawyer.
Protecting a Person’s Assets While Their in Jail
There is little a person in jail can do regarding any searches by law enforcement agents who are acting pursuant to search warrants or valid subpoenas. If the law enforcement agents are conducting their investigation, the best thing that a defendant’s lawyer can do is challenge any possible illegal searches or illegal seizures after they’ve been conducted. That means challenging the admission of illegally or unconstitutionally obtained evidence, the validity of search warrants, or the validity of searches that may have gone outside of the limitations of a valid search warrant.
Unfortunately, for the most part, criminal laws are mostly responsive. That means the best way to challenge any search is after the fact. There is very little that a person who is being held or that person’s lawyer can do to prevent law enforcement agents from searching or seizing property as part of their investigation.
Role of An Attorney During a Post-Arrest Investigation
If the government continues their investigation, by continuing to execute search warrants or subpoenas, the attorney can analyze any evidence the government obtains, either by search warrants or other means and help their client challenge the admissibility of any illegally obtained or unconstitutionally obtained evidence to make sure the client’s constitutional rights are protected at all stages of the process; that includes before their arrest, during their arrest and after their arrest and even after their case is concluded.
The attorney can also file motions with the judge to exclude illegal evidence or to force the prosecutors to turn over evidence that may be favorable to their client.