It’s often said that prevention is better than cure. This adage holds when it comes to the criminal justice system in the Cincinnati area. If you or a loved one are under investigation, have been accused of a crime, or have already been arrested, it’s crucial to act quickly and wisely.
It may be possible to prevent formal criminal charges from being filed against you with effective legal representation. Whether presenting compelling evidence or communicating effectively with prosecutors and law enforcement, a knowledgeable and aggressive criminal defense attorney can make all the difference.
Act Fast. Don’t Just Hope for the Best Regarding Criminal Charges
Many people think of defense attorneys as professionals who only appear in courtrooms. The truth is attorneys engage with various parties, including law enforcement officials, witnesses, and prosecutors, long before a case ever reaches a courtroom. Acting early in the process by engaging an experienced criminal defense attorney could save you time, stress, and financial resources.
No matter the allegation, if you’re worried about charges in or around Cincinnati, reach out to Luftman, Heck & Associates. Attorney Brad Groene and Juliea Crumes will review your situation, discuss your options, and work tirelessly to resolve your case without formal charges.
Call (513) 338-1890 for a free, confidential consultation 24/7.
Arrested vs. Charged: What’s the Difference?
- You Were Arrested – Being arrested means that law enforcement takes you into custody based on probable cause that you have committed a crime. Although detained, you are not yet formally charged with a crime.
- You’re Criminally Charged – This is the stage where formal charges are filed against you by a prosecutor. This filing can happen through a complaint, information, or indictment. Once criminally charged, you are officially accused of a crime and must respond in court.
8 Ways an Attorney Can Prevent Charges from Being Filed
Navigating the criminal justice system can be complex and daunting. Here, we will explore the various ways an attorney can help prevent criminal charges from being filed against you in the first place. From early intervention and dialogue with prosecutors to conducting independent investigations, your criminal defense attorney can be your best asset if charges are pending.
01. Early Intervention
The most opportune time for a criminal defense lawyer to work on preventing charges is as early as possible, sometimes even before an arrest. Consulting an attorney right away can make a significant difference if you find out you’re under investigation.
Let’s say you’ve discovered that you’re under investigation for embezzlement at your workplace. You consult a criminal defense attorney immediately instead of waiting for the hammer to fall. The attorney contacts the investigators to let them know you’re represented. By doing this, your attorney may manage to negotiate a private resolution or even show that the suspicions are based on a misunderstanding before criminal charges are filed.
02. Protect You During Questioning
One of the most immediate roles of a criminal defense attorney is to prevent you from worsening your situation, particularly when you’re under investigation. The attorney will advise you not to speak to anyone—especially law enforcement—about the case. Keeping away from social media and avoiding discussions with anyone purportedly involved in the alleged crime can also prevent charges from being filed.
Maybe you were questioned about a sexual assault. The police request to search your apartment and begin asking about your whereabouts and connection to the victim. By quickly consulting an attorney, you’ll likely be advised to limit your answers and not to consent to a search without a warrant. Your attorney also warns you to avoid discussing the event on social media, as it could be used against you. This type of immediate, professional advice can help you navigate the situation carefully, minimizing the risk of self-incrimination and potentially preventing more serious charges from being filed.
03. Communicate with Police & Prosecutors
Before charges are filed, a defense attorney might establish a line of communication with the arresting officers or prosecutor. This dialogue allows the attorney to present evidence or arguments that could discourage the police from forwarding your case to the prosecutor or convincing the prosecutor to file charges.
Imagine you’re accused of child endangerment, and the police are called. No one is arrested at the scene, but an investigation is initiated. Your lawyer could contact the officers or prosecutor to discuss the incident. By providing evidence such as text messages, witness statements, or video footage that shows a different side of the story, your attorney may persuade those involved not to file any charges.
04. Conduct an Independent Investigation
Defense attorneys often launch their investigations to gather evidence that may exonerate their clients or lead to reduced charges.
Suppose you are a suspect in a hit-and-run accident. Your attorney might hire a private investigator to gather evidence like traffic camera footage or eyewitness accounts that prove you were nowhere near the scene at the time of the incident. This evidence could then be presented to law enforcement, possibly leading to your exoneration before charges are filed.
05. Challenge Insufficient Evidence
It’s essential to remind prosecutors of their high burden of proof: guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced attorney will engage in strategic discussions with the prosecutor, showing that not filing charges can benefit both parties. If the evidence against you is insufficient, going through with the charges wastes time, money, and resources for everyone involved.
Maybe you’re accused of burglary, but the only evidence is blurry security camera footage. Your attorney will discuss the case with the prosecutor and argue that the unclear footage is insufficient to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer may even suggest that proceeding with such weak evidence would be a waste of time and resources for both the court and the prosecution. This can potentially persuade the prosecutor to drop the charges before the case goes any further.
06. Highlight Legal Technicalities
If evidence against you has been illegally obtained, a skilled attorney can file motions to exclude such evidence from the case.
This could be the case if you’re arrested on suspicion of drug possession, but the police didn’t have a proper search warrant when they found the drugs. Your attorney could file a motion to suppress this evidence due to the illegal search, which could lead to the charges being dropped before your case goes to trial.
07. Negotiate Alternative Resolutions
In some instances, particularly for non-violent or first-time offenses, negotiating a civil resolution like restitution or fines may be possible instead of facing criminal charges.
For instance, if you or your child are accused of vandalism, like spray painting graffiti, an attorney can pursue other outcomes rather than criminal charges. Your attorney could negotiate with the property owner and agree to a civil resolution in which you pay for the clean-up costs and any additional fines, thus showcasing your remorse and desire to rectify the matter so criminal charges become unnecessary.
08. Seek Diversion Programs
Certain offenses may qualify for diversion programs that can result in charges being dropped upon successful completion.
This is often possible for first-time offenders arrested for minor drug crimes, shoplifting, underage drinking, etc. Your attorney can help determine your eligibility and apply for the applicable diversion program. The program often involves education classes related to your offense and community service. Upon successful completion, the charges against you may be dismissed.
Be Proactive. Get a Lawyer to Prevent Charges
The justice system is a complex labyrinth that often overwhelms and confuses people. In Cincinnati,Ohio, a criminal defense attorney plays a pivotal role at every stage, particularly early on. Don’t wait until it’s too late. With a multifaceted approach, you can help prevent criminal charges from ever being filed. Or, if cases do move forward, you’re in a better position to defend yourself.
With tactics ranging from early intervention and negotiating to challenging the evidence, aggressive legal representation can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
Contact a Cincinnati Defense Attorney at LHA Right Away
Don’t leave things to chance if you’re facing potential criminal charges. Attorneys Brad Groene and Juliea Crumes of LHA pride themselves on their dedication, skill, and experience in securing favorable results in cases like yours. Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates at (513) 338-1890for a free, confidential consultation 24/7, and let our attorneys help.