I Think I'm Being Investigated for a Crime in DuPage County or Illinois. What Should I Do?
In most criminal law matters, the sooner you can nip a criminal charge in the bud, the better. In fact, as law firm who has decades of experience practicing criminal defense, we always encourage and facilitate our clients to be proactive and aware of what goes on in their case even though we take all the necessary steps to do the same. We strive to stay one step ahead of any legal developments and fight for our clients, but we also take the extra step to make sure they know what's going on. No matter the situation, it's important to stay proactive and informed.
But, what if you haven't been charged, yet you have a bad inkling that something is coming your way? What do you do then? Does this philosophy still apply?
The simple answer is: Yes. If you suspect you are involved with a criminal investigation, you should treat it with every ounce of attention you would give to a formal criminal charge.
Here's one common scenario: you have been arrested in DuPage County or Illinois, but have not yet been formally charged. In these instances, you have information to go on, and being proactive can help you in countless ways. Your best bet would be to schedule a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney who can analyze your situation and offer you practical advice. And if you happen to get to that junction that you need legal representation? You'll have someone who understands your case and is ready to fight for you.
However, there are two other scenarios which are more ambiguous, and those are what we will address today.
Criminal Investigations in Illinois and DuPage County: Two Different Scenarios
When you have not been charged with a crime, but law enforcement is seeking cause to charge you, you are involved in an investigation.
Investigations are very precarious situations because the choices you make during an investigation can directly impact whether you get to continue living your life or get slammed with a life-altering criminal charge. As seasoned criminal defense attorneys, we have represented clients in Illinois and DuPage County investigations which have resulted in no formal charge and our client walking away scot-free.
Typically, there are two common types of scenarios for a criminal investigation:
- You have been approached by law enforcement, who may ask you in for questioning; or
- You have not been formally approached by law enforcement, but have a sense of foreboding that you may be under criminal investigation
Below, we will discuss the difference between these two scenarios and what you should do to protect yourself in these situations.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Approached by the Police?
If you have been approached by the police or asked to go in for questioning, we recommend you seek legal advice immediately. Politely decline to offer any information or make any statements at that time. Make sure you know what police department the officers are from, and their name and badge number if possible. Furthermore, try and remember every detail you can about your encounter with the police, and write them down as soon as you can to avoid forgetting them.
The difficult part of a criminal investigation is that you have no way of knowing what the police already have against you. They may only need one last ounce of evidence before they have cause to charge and prosecute you. Because you have no way of knowing, it's best to offer nothing at all, and promptly speak with a criminal investigation attorney who can serve as a buffer between you and the police.
During a criminal investigation consultation, the attorney will probably ask you for the police department and officer information, and ask you to recount any details you remember. This is when your previous notes will come in handy. Then, based on those notes, a retained criminal defense attorney can communicate with the police department to ensure that your rights are protected. They can get information about the state of your investigation and fight to protect your interests.
What Should I Do If I Think I Am Being Investigated, But Have No Proof?
The second scenario is that you have NOT been formally approached by Illinois law enforcement, but you have a bad feeling. What should you do when your gut is telling you that something bad is looming on the horizon?
First and foremost, don't discount your intuition.
We often sit down with individuals who have no solid proof that they are being investigated, but have a bad sense of foreboding. Something is coming, and they feel it. We take these concerns very seriously because it is often the case that we are witnessing the very beginnings of a criminal case. If that is the case, we have the chance to nip the case in the bud and end it before it even begins.
The first question you should ask yourself is: why do you feel this way?
In most cases, there is something that tips you off. Perhaps something dubious happened recently, or a friend or loved one has caught a whiff of law enforcement asking after you. You've seen and witnessed nothing solid, but something is definitely off.
If you are feeling this way, the first thing to remember is that any criminal defense attorney worth his or her money is not there to judge you for what you may or may not have done. They are there to help you. If you have been involved with a crime or any other matter which makes you believe you may be under investigation, speak to an attorney immediately and be upfront about what is going on. The attorney should listen objectively to the facts of your case, analyze the situation, and offer you sound legal advice and solutions.
Once again, be careful, be vigilant, and be proactive. If the police do end up approaching you, play it smart and make sure you don't inadvertently give them anything to use against you. When in doubt, retain a dedicated and experienced lawyer who will fight for you.
Facing A Possible Illinois Criminal Investigation? Contact Experienced DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you believe you or a loved one are under criminal investigation for a suspected crime, you have options. Regardless of if the suspected crime is a misdemeanor, felony, sex crime, or other, you don't have to face an investigation alone, and help is only a phone call away.
With decades of combined experience defending criminal cases in Illinois and additional experience as former Illinois criminal prosecutors, the seasoned criminal investigation attorneys at Dolci & Weiland know what it takes to face and overcome the most stressful of criminal investigations. We have helped numerous clients throughout Illinois successfully fight their criminal cases and move forward with their lives. We work closely with our clients to form targeted, proactive, and aggressive defense strategies which are tailored to the circumstances and needs of each individual. To schedule a free consultation with us today, just give our law office a call at (630) 261-9098. We are here to help.