My house was searched by the local police with a search warrant. I believe my previous employer thinks that I stole some electronics and sold it online almost a year ago. Police took most of my electronic devices and want me to come into their office to talk next week. Do I need to hire an attorney before I talk to them?
5 Answers from Attorneys
Without a doubt, talk to an attorney before you say a word.
First - there may be some real issues with the validity of the search warrant. If these allegations were from a year ago, what in the world makes them think it was still in your house? Aside from that...
The police don't want to get your side of things - they're hoping you'll make an incriminating statement that will help to build a case against you. Don't help them out and talk your way into a criminal charge.
Depending on the specific allegations, you could be facing a lengthy jail sentence and a theft conviction that could haunt you for years. For those reasons alone, it's time for a lawyer.
In a word, yes. Most criminal lawyers give free consultations. Take one or two. Decide for yourself which one you like, but ask them about the wisdom of NOT having a lawyer in that situation. If you matter is in Los Angeles, don't hesitate to call me for a free consult. Good luck. Steve Mandell 310 393 0639
YES, YES, YES, It is crucial that you have a lawyer. Do not talk to the police without having a lawyer. You may be in big trouble whether you are guilty or not and you need to have a lawyer. Do not talk to the police without a lawyer. Do not answer there phone calls until you have a lawyer. Police officers will try to talk you out of getting a lawyer but they are trying to get you to make an incriminating statement and they know that a lawyer will protect you.
That would be a really good idea.
You face felony charges and prison time if convicted.
A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to police or anyone about the case except with and through an attorney.
When charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or statement be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or elsewhere are going to effectively help in a legal defense. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney who does, who will try to get a dismissal, charge reduction, diversion, programs, or other decent outcome through motions, plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. I’ll be happy to help fight and get the best outcome possible, using whatever defenses and sympathies there may be.