The following information is what you need to know about criminal investigations in Pennsylvania, according to a Bucks County criminal lawyer. If you believe you may be under investigation call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
In Bucks County, specific crimes may be investigated prior to any charges being filed. For instance, often white collar crimes—like tax evasion, tax fraud, fraud against the government, unemployment fraud, and crimes that involve federal government agencies—can be investigated for years before any arrests or full disclosures are made in Bucks County or any county in Pennsylvania.
Specifically, in Bucks County, before an individual is formally charged by complaint in any case, the police will often obtain full results of investigations, full blood results if the matter is driving under the influence, or full bank records if the matter involves a paper case, a theft, or some sort of crime involving a paper trail. Bucks County detectives often wait until the case is fully investigated and come to their own conclusions before any major arrest takes place. There are some exceptions to the rule when individuals are merely seen as possible perpetrators to a crime in Bucks County. In those cases, it is imperative that once police make contact with an accused that the accused seeks out the representation of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney.
At that stage, that attorney can sit down with the police and determine what, if any, investigation has taken place. Even from the beginning of an operation, an attorney can work to either exculpate their client and take them out of the complete realm of being arrested or, should a person be a target and should a person ultimately be arrested, minimize the damage to that individual by working with police. Only after seeking the advice of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney can these many questions be answered and the right results come from any investigation that the police undergo.
Having an attorney prior to an arrest prevents evidence from being obtained unlawfully, constitutional rights from being violated. And an individual charged with the crime from giving certain consent that otherwise would not be allowed if the individual is represented by counsel.
Evidence can be controlled from the beginning. Without evidence, there are cannot be and will not be a conviction. So, the most evidence that can be kept out of a case, the better an individual is. Most of the evidence is gathered before an individual is charged with a crime. So, if you receive serious allegations but are not yet charged, that’s the time to seek out the consultation and advice of a qualified Bucks County criminal defense attorney.
In Bucks County, depending on the nature of the crime, legal authorities like the police or their detective agencies can reach out to any person, location, or business that they feel can give them information to support their investigation. In some cases, subpoenas are necessary and in most cases, those subpoenas can be somewhat damaging and humiliating to a person’s character. It is at that point that an individual should reach out to an experienced Bucks County criminal attorney to try to quash a subpoena so that private information will not be disclosed about an investigation.
Any investigation that takes place can be limited by the involvement of a proper attorney. Part of the investigation is potentially to humiliate the individual into cooperating with police. However, part of the job of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney is to prevent that from occurring. If at the outset, an individual is represented by a competent and experienced counsel, then the chances of such a subpoena reaching an employer or other entity that could affect the person’s reputation and character in the community is very limited and very unlikely to occur.
In Bucks County, the authorities have often completed the case before an actual arrest takes place. However, in some instances, investigations are always ongoing. In more complex matters involving, for instance, insurance, fraud, tax evasion, government fraud, or things of that nature, investigations continue even after arrests are made. That’s why it is important to have an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney on your side. That attorney from the outset will protect your rights, protect you from questioning that may or may not be suggestive that you did anything, and protect you from sharing evidence that a crime had occurred and involves you. In all aspects, an investigation is technically still open even after an arrest is made.
In drug cases, for example, an individual can be charged with a crime, be used to cooperate with police, and during that period of cooperation cause other individuals to be arrested. The original accused is then used at that trial to help prosecute the other individuals. However, if the accused does not have the aid of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney, then that individual often lacks the ability to get credit for that cooperation and lacks the resources to make sure that everything is recorded properly. At the proper time, this information could be used to help mitigate any possible sentence that an individual could receive.
In Bucks County, like the rest of Pennsylvania, individuals cannot get public access to other individuals’ phone records without first
(a) Permission from that individual or
(b) A subpoena by a government agency directly to a wireless or other carrier service and an opportunity to answer the subpoena in accordance with the law.
By answering the subpoena in accordance with the law, an individual has the right to block or attempt to block the subpoenaing of their private records, phone records, emails, text, and things of that nature. This would require the services of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney to help prevent those things from coming forward.
Without a subpoena in Pennsylvania, those records are protected, but once a subpoena comes out and a judge signs the subpoena approving that there’s probable cause for such a search, the only way to stop the subpoena is to seek out an attorney with experience in that particular area and attempt to quash the subpoena so that a person’s character and private life doesn’t become a public issue. In Pennsylvania, public records—including phone records—are not considered public; they are considered private. The only exception is if an individual is using their government-issued computer, cell phone, or work cell phone, then those rules are very much lessened, because the individual has much less of a privacy concern because it is not their private phone, private email, or private computer.
David Clark Attorney at Law