Citizens in Norwalk CT interact with police and law enforcement on a daily basis. Often, these interactions are straightforward and pleasant. Even when the police are investigating a crime, your conversations and communication with the police can be informal and candid.
However, there are times when the tone and structure of an investigation change, and you should be aware how your interactions with law enforcement might be used later in an investigation. In situations that leave you feeling uncertain or uncomfortable, a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer can provide excellent advice and explanation. Here are five instances, when police conduct or events indicates a need for criminal law advice.
During a criminal investigation the police may ask for records, information, documents, or other physical evidence from your home or business. In searching for this evidence, the police may ask to look around your home or business. These informal requests can seem innocuous and unimportant, but if the police want access to your home or business, there is a specific, if not obvious, reason.
When the police don’t have a warrant, you can refuse them entry to your home or business. If you decide to cooperate with this police request, you may want to speak with a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer before the search to understand how the police should treat your property, where they can look and search in your home, and what evidence police may be looking to collect.
Police gather a huge amount of evidence from eyewitnesses, neighbors, and other individuals in close proximity to a crime. You might be among the people with valuable information in a police investigation, and you may choose to speak with the police when they visit your home or business. However, the relationship between you and law enforcement changes significantly if you are asked to answer questions at the police station.
In the event an officer asks you to engage in formal questioning, even if you aren’t under arrest, you should contact a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer. A knowledgeable criminal lawyer can guide you through this process and let you know if some questions are better unanswered. At the very least, you can meet with a local lawyer before speaking with the police and receive advice on the type of questions likely to be asked.
When a crime is committed, the police usually engage in the process of investigation and questioning and arrest. In Connecticut, law enforcement wants to gather sufficient evidence against a suspect and ensure the prosecution can win a conviction in court. However, detection and arrests for OUI are much different.
If you are pulled over on suspicion of OUI and an officer reasonably suspects that you are under the influence, he or she can request you take a breath test. You can refuse this test, but you will incur administrative penalties for such refusal and the officer can arrest you for OUI without the results of a breathalyzer.
Results of a breath test are usually all a prosecutor needs to proceed through charges and arraignment for OUI, making this one of the few situations where you may not think to contact a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer before court. But after the initial hearing and formal charges, even if this is your first OUI offense, you should speak with a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer about your situation and options.
If there is going to be one clear and obvious sign that you are under arrest, it is being read your Miranda Rights. This well-known list of rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney, might be most famous from their dramatic portrayal in films and television. However, being told your rights at the time of arrest is a legal requirement under the U.S. Constitution, and law enforcement in Norwalk CT must fulfill this requirement to make a legal arrest.
Once under arrest for a criminal offense in Connecticut, you will likely be questioned further and held at the police station. During this time, you have the right to contact a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer. When you make this request, law enforcement must cease questioning you until a lawyer from the Law Offices of Alexander Schwartz arrives at the police station and is in the interview room with you.
Many defense clients at the Law Offices of Alexander Schwartz can pinpoint the moment their interactions with the police transitioned from informational to suspicious. You may notice a change in the officer’s tone or sense hostility on the part of a detective. Other defendants describe changes in body language or notice that police questioning becomes much more precise and focused, rather than general and conversational. You shouldn’t ignore these changes in tone and treatment by law enforcement.
If your gut feeling says that you are under investigation, rather than a source of information, related to a Connecticut crime, then it is time to contact a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer. Even if you can’t determine the reason for police suspicion, you can speak with an experienced criminal lawyer about the questions asked, timing of those questions, and possible police motive.
Uncertain if you need a Norwalk CT criminal lawyer? At the Law Offices of Alexander Schwartz, we provide a free, confidential consultation to every new client. Therefore, if you are uncertain about the necessity or extent of your legal needs, you can sit down with one of our Norwalk CT criminal lawyers at no cost and determine if you need a Norwalk defense lawyer.
To schedule an initial consultation, contact the Law Offices of Alexander Schwartz at (203)-255-9829.
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