Before Charges Are Filed: The Investigation Stage

Before charges are filed, there is a great deal of work an attorney can do in order to have an impact on whether charges are eventually filed on a particular case. The police often are called out to the scene of a crime and interview the alleged victim and form an opinion that the suspect is guilty before interviewing anyone else. They then may prematurely pass the case on to the prosecutor and request that the case be filed in the court system. Once a case is filed, even if it is eventually dismissed or the defendant is acquitted, that individual will still have those charges as part of their permanent record unless they petition the court for an expungement down the road, which could be a significant cost in and of itself. And even if an expungement is granted, until it is granted, the individual will have a criminal record which can adversely affect employment, high security clearances, gun possession, privileges to drive and coach children’s sporting teams, voting, etc. It is best to get an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney right away in order to increase the chances of charges not being filed with the court. Let Utah Freedom Fighters fight for your freedom and get involved as soon as possible to ensure this result.

Police Investigation

Police officers are supposed to be fact gatherers. However, what often happens is that law enforcement interview the alleged victim and then form a conclusion based on this sole interview. Whether this is a result of being lazy, or a result of a hidden bias, an effective defense attorney will expose these biases or this laziness and use it to the client’s advantage in persuading the detective to drop the case, or at least interview additional witnesses and evidence in order to make the investigation more fair and balanced. Often times Attorney Druyon successfully persuades law enforcement not to send the matter to the prosecutor’s office for screening and filing of a criminal charge. If charges are filed, those charges remain on the person’s record, even if the case is eventually dismissed or the person is acquitted at trial, until the person successfully obtains an expungement. Having a charge on a person’s record, even if it shows a dismissal, can be embarrassing if you apply for a job and they ask for a background check, or law enforcement pulls you over for a speeding ticket and they pull up your history and question you about the previous charges.

Prosecutor Screening

Once the police have concluded their investigation, they will submit the evidence to the prosecutor. The prosecutor will review the witness statements, forensic evidence, and review any audio/video interviews the detective has conducted with the suspect and any other witnesses. If any of the evidence is unclear, the prosecutor may contact the detective to follow up to either clarify the evidence, or will instruct the detective to gather more evidence to determine whether the case is strong enough to at least have probable cause. Effective prosecutors will not file a charge unless they have a good-faith belief that the case is not only meritorious, but that the prosecutor will most likely prevail should the matter proceed to trial.

Avoiding an Arrest Warrant and Bail Issues

If the prosecutor is adamant to file charges, then an effective defense attorney will persuade the prosecutor to either not execute a warrant for your arrest, or, to lower the bail. An effective defense attorney may also persuade the prosecutor to file the charges as something less than he initially was going to file. For example, many times Attorney Druyon is able to get a prosecutor to file a felony sex abuse case as a misdemeanor battery charge. A battery charge is not a charge for which sex offender registration is required. Effective defense attorneys will also negotiate terms of release with agencies such as Pre-Trial Services (PTS) that will permit a person an opportunity to avoid being arrested without having to post bail or be incarcerated for days until the court schedules a bail hearing, which can take up to a week. Attorney Druyon has handled hundreds of cases where bail was negotiated down or eliminated altogether. He has successfully negotiated Pretrial Releases for hundreds of clients, or connected his clients to the best bail bonds companies in the State, preventing his clients from serving any/excessive jail terms.