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Investigations

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.

West Palm Beach Defense Lawyer for Criminal Investigations

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) 557-8686 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.


Issues in Ongoing Investigations


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Types of Investigations in South Florida

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.


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Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination

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.


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Urgent Legal Assistance For Those Under Investigation in Palm Beach County

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) 557-8686. We are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to assist you.

  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
    Meltzer & Bell, P.A. was an honaree for the Fastest Growing Law Firm In the U.S. award in 2017.
  • National College for DUI Defense
    The NCDD is a professional, non-profit corporation dedicated to the improvement of the criminal defense bar, and to the dissemination of information to the public about drunk driving law and related issues.
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
    BACDL's mission is to assist, support, and strengthen the Broward County criminal defense practitioner in the zealous defense of individuals and their Constitutional rights.
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    Promoting excellence and integrity in the practice of criminal law.
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    NACDL is an American criminal defense organization. Members include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, active U.S. military defense counsel, judges and more.
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
    NORML is an American non-profit organization based in Washington, DC whose aim is to achieve the legalization of non-medical marijuana in the United States.
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    The DDLA was founded on principles of democracy, transparency, and freedom of speech. We provide support, resources and education to the top DUI attorneys nationwide.
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    The BBB, founded in 1912, is a private, nonprofit organization whose self-described mission is to focus on advancing marketplace trust.
  • Law Firm 500 Fastest Growing Law Firms In the U.S - 2017 Honoree
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Broward Association of Criminal Defense lawyers
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Better Business Bureau