When the police come with questions.
Few things in life can inspire as much dread as a phone call or visit from a police officer. The encounter itself is sufficient to cripple you with anxiety, instantly clouding your mind with a flood of scenarios and terrifying outcomes. When confronted by a police officer, you may reflexively answer the officer's questions, thinking that if you are perceived as cooperative, you may get on the officer's good side and avoid getting arrested.
This is almost always a mistake. The fact of the matter is, if you are the subject of a police investigation, you should assume that the officer is not looking out for your interests. Instead, he is most likely looking to obtain incriminating evidence or statements to use against you in court. In the field, you are in the officer's world -- with no judges around to oversee the encounter and no lawyers to protect your interest, you are at your most vulnerable.
Police are trained to use a wide array of tactics in order to build cases and make arrests. They are expert interrogators who are well versed in overcoming your resistances and causing you to make statements against your interest. Worse, if the officer later misrepresents your statements or behavior, the court will almost always accept the officer's version of events over yours.
Unlike what you see on TV, the officer who shows up at your house is often a wolf in sheep's clothing. He will not inform you of your constitutional rights, including your right to remain silent and your right to legal counsel. He may lull you into a false sense of security by minimizing the seriousness of the incident, or suggesting that if you cooperate the legal consequences you might otherwise face will be mitigated. He may persuade you to permit him to enter and even inspect or search your residence.
What he does not want you to know is that it is always in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney at the first sign of a police investigation. Of course, many police officers are just trying to do their job, and do so honestly. But the difficulty is that most people lack the ability to separate the good officer from the wolf in sheep's clothing. For this and many other reasons, a person that contacts our firm at the pre-charge phase of a case obtains a tremendous advantage. By understanding police tactics and the dynamics of a police investigation, we are able to steer the investigative process to the most favorable resolution possible.
How we will do so depends on the unique facts and circumstances of your case. In every case, we will begin by having an in depth discussion with you as to your understanding of the matter under investigation. From there, we will formulate a strategy tailored to your particular case. In some cases, our approach will be to conduct our own investigation, obtaining sworn statements and preserving evidence relevant to the incident. By taking this initiative, we can lock in favorable statements, and prevent the government from obtaining an unfair or biased narrative against you. In other cases, we may negotiate with the investigating officer to resolve a dispute informally and, importantly, outside of court. In still other cases, we may prevail on the police to recognize the weaknesses of their theory of the case, and thereby forego filing charges altogether.
Again, every case is different. What is of utmost importance is selecting a team with the skill, experience and savvy necessary to identify the most effective strategy to resolving your case as favorably as possible, and with as little risk as possible.
As a former prosecutor, Attorney Murat Erkan has participated in countless investigations, and over his career on both "sides of the aisle," has formed relationships with numerous police officials at the local, state and federal level across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Our Firm's reputation for ethical, credible advocacy often grants us unrivaled access to the investigative process, which in turn provides our clients with unique opportunities to resolve their cases with minimal risk and anxiety.
If you believe you may be under investigation, take the first step in protecting yourself, your family, and your reputation. Contact our firm to schedule a free, honest, comprehensive consultation.