Burglary Investigations in DC

Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of a case, law enforcement may conduct an extensive investigation before there is an arrest or indictment. It is more common to have the investigation happen immediately after the burglary has occurred. During that timeframe, if the suspect is located, they would be arrested. The police will continue the investigation to make sure they have all of the evidence they need to successfully charge and prosecute a person for the act.

Typically, in a burglary situation, the police will want to find any evidence linking the suspect with the location. The police will want to find out if the individual has any of the stolen items on their person or within their property, like their car or home, if the arrest does not happen immediately. They will do an investigation both before and after an arrest to try to get all of the evidence they can to tie that individual to the alleged burglary.

If a person discovers that they are being investigated for a DC burglary prior to their arrest it is important to contact an experienced burglary attorney to ensure that all of their rights are protected, and to begin planning the best strategy possible for their defense.

Conducting an Investigation

In the vast majority of burglary investigations, the Metropolitan Police Department, which is the main law enforcement agency in DC, completes the investigations. Theoretically, it could be any law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction in DC, including the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the Secret Service Police, and the FBI. In the vast majority of situations, however, the Metropolitan Police Department will conduct the investigation unless the burglary is alleged to have occurred on federal property, in which case a federal agency may do the investigation.

Investigations could be as quick as minutes or as long as months, depending upon the information and evidence of the case. If police arrive and are able to make an arrest while the burglary is still happening, their investigation may not take much time at all. If they find out about the burglary or respond to it after the fact and are unable to locate the suspect, their investigation may take days, weeks, or even months to determine exactly who the suspect is, or suspects, and if they have enough evidence to bring charges.

Working with an Attorney

Anytime someone is looking for a DC burglary attorney, they should look for an attorney who practices primarily in criminal defense, and specifically does so in DC courts. Every jurisdiction has different rules of criminal procedure and different criminal statutes, so it is important that the lawyer has extensive experience practicing criminal defense in the specific DC jurisdiction.

The attorney should have experience handling burglary and other felony cases within DC courts. Some attorneys will practice criminal defense. It is important to make sure the attorney you are retaining has experience handling the specific type of case that you have and can help you throughout any pre-arrest and defense investigations.