Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be issued a citation by a police officer in order to be charged with a crime. After police do an investigation, it is up to the District Attorney’s office to decide whether a person should be charged with a crime. The time between an officer writing a report and a prosecutor deciding to press charges is an important period called “prefile.” Simply put, prefile is when a person hasn’t been charged with a crime but want an attorney to help them avoid charges. An attorney will get a copy of the police report and often talk to witnesses.
Usually, our advice is to NEVER speak with the police. The only reason police talk to people is to have them incriminate themselves. Police are not interested in ‘information’, or exculpating a person. However, if a person speaks to the police WITH an attorney, the attorney will control the interaction. An attorney will protect a person from being tricked, deceived, or otherwise manipulated into incriminating statements.
The best defense is an aggressive defense. If you can prevent charges from evening happening, it is not only less expensive, but it is better in the long run because you’ll never have to set foot in a courtroom.