When police, prosecutors or other law enforcement officials believe or suspect a crime has taken place, they investigate. The investigation could take minutes, hours, days or years. Some investigations are undercover or involve sting operations, but, in most cases, you will know that you are the subject of an investigation. Anything you say or give to police might be used as evidence as against. It is incredibly important to be extremely cautious in this situation.
If you are the subject of a criminal investigation, it is never too early to acquire legal representation. A skilled attorney can advise you at every step of the way. Making good choices during this process could make the difference between you being put behind bars and prosecution not being pursued for want of evidence.
At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we can take on your case in Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County or Broward County, no matter what stage it is in. The earlier we can start working on your defense, the better. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers will seek for charges to never be pressed, and to minimize the evidence against you.
Call us today at (561) 283-3259 to set up a free consultation. We are based in West Palm Beach and represent clients throughout the area, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, Juno Beach and Lake Worth.
To convict a person of a crime, prosecutors must present evidence that proves all elements of their case beyond reasonable doubt. During the investigation phase, this evidence is collected. Once prosecutors or police have sufficient evidence to show probable cause, a standard meaning that, more likely than not, the suspect committed the crime, they may seek a warrant for the suspect's arrest.
The way an investigation works will depend on the type of crime alleged. Some are very simple. For drunk driving, a West Palm Beach police officer may suspect a person of being intoxicated and ask for a breath test. This is an investigation.
Investigations typically involve talking to witnesses of the crime. They may involve scientific forensic research at the scene. It could involve reviewing papers, financial records and computer files.
Federal officials have vastly more resources than a typical Palm Beach County State Attorney, and can conduct lengthier and more expensive investigations, typically into fraud or drug trafficking.
In colonial days, the British would sometimes force people to confess to crimes they did not commit. To protect against this injustice, our nation's founders included the Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights, which states that no one shall be "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself."
This means that you are never required to give evidence to police without a subpoena. You also may refuse to permit law enforcement officers into your home or other place where you have a reasonable expectation of privacy without a search warrant. You may also refuse to answer any questions from police.
A criminal defense lawyer can advise you on what to tell or not tell officers. Giving any information must be a careful decision, and must be strategic. You don't want to say anything or give anything aware that could later be used to take away your liberty.
If you are being investigated by federal officials, the State Attorney for Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade County, local police or any other law enforcement agency, it's important to act quickly. In many cases, the sooner you act, the better your outcome. Call a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. today at (561) 283-3259. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to assist you.
...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.
I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!
I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.
I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!
Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!