Pre-Filing Intervention In A Criminal Case In Los Angeles
When it comes to criminal cases, pre-filing dismissal process can be important. There can be the pre-file investigation done. There can be pre-file negotiations done with the prosecutor and police. So, if you have a case where nothing’s been filed against you, but you know something is coming down the pike, or you have gotten some contact by law enforcement or somebody has told you that you’re being investigated, or even the FBI has come to knock your door down, they’ve served a search warrant – there are all kinds of different ways that you’re going to get tipped off to the fact that you’re being investigated for a criminal case at the pre-filing level. You have to get to an attorney immediately.
I do these cases all the time. Sometimes we do investigations on the cases. Sometimes I will call the police and find out why they’re trying to get ahold of my client. You have to be careful because you don’t want to make some statement pre-filing that incriminates you. That’s one of the biggest weapons that the police have – they can front people with things – and when they are investing a criminal case and the try to get them to say something that incriminates them. Even when people don’t say something to incriminate them, I’ve seen a lot of things over the course of the last twenty-five years, taken out of context, and I talked to my client after and said, why did you say that? Why did you even talk to them about it? They’re like the guy got right in my face. He was accursing me and I didn’t say it exactly like that. He took it out of context. It doesn’t matter.
So, definitely pre-filing – if the police are trying to talk to you – it’s always my advice not to talk to them. Get to an attorney first. Do your talking to the attorney under the cloak of the attorney/client privilege. Let the attorney advise you. Let them tell you whether you should talk to them or not, and what I typically do first, I will call the police up first and I will play dumb and say listen, I’ve just been retained on this case. I don’t know what it’s all about. Why do you want to talk to him? And then I’ll sit there with my pen and paper ready and take notes. I’ll ask appropriate questions and I’ll ask them if there is a prosecutor assigned to the case that I might be able to talk to? Because I know prosecutors kind of on a level with me, a lawyer who does criminal cases maybe it’s somebody that I know and I can really get down to the nitty-gritty pre-filing of the case. Maybe we can prevent a filing in the case. Maybe we can give them some information so that if they do file something, it’s not as serious as what they were going to originally file.
A lot of times I see a rush to judgment to a degree where the prosecutors don’t have all the information. The police aren’t lawyers, so they’re just taking information that’s given to them. Once they make up their mind that someone’s done something wrong or criminal, they tend to just go after all the bad stuff related to that person. They don’t tend to try to get the good stuff. They don’t try to find other witnesses that might help the defendant.
So, if you have a pre-filing case, you need to do some pre-filing investigation. You need to get an attorney involved right from the beginning and make the right moves because in both state and federal cases, I’ve been able to keep people out of custody. I’ve been able to get the police not to come and grab someone at their job or in their neighborhood where all their neighbors can see. They either send a letter where they report to the court and we deal with it or they call us and the client goes down to the police station and turns themselves in. We use a bail bondsman and get him out. Sometimes we can just turn ourselves in court. There are all sorts of different options when you do things pre-filing in a criminal case. You do it the right way and think it out. You’re prepared.
So, if you’ve got a pre-filing situation and you think a criminal case might be coming down the pike. You think you might say or do something that’s going to incriminate you, before making any stupid move, get in front of a criminal defense attorney like me who has been down this road before, can guide you, can help you and can get you in a position where maybe the case isn’t filed pre-filing, or if it is filed, we can do some damage control. We can control some of the bad things that can happen to you related to a criminal case. So pre-filing is the best time to start doing stuff. Don’t put your head in the sand. Don’t wait and hope that they don’t get you. Make sure you take pro-active moves to help yourself and the best way to do that at the pre-filing stage is to get with a criminal defense attorney who has done this before, who has seen this scenario, who has had successful results and can guide you the proper way through your criminal case at the pre-filing stage.
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