Talking to Police During a DC Burglary Investigation

If the police are investigating an individual for a DC burglary, they do not have to speak to them.

It is important to talk to a DC burglary attorney first to see if it is in the individual’s best interest to speak to the police. If the police want to look around a person’s home or property, they need to have a warrant.

People do not have to consent to any kind of police search of their property, whether it is their car, backpack, or home. Unless the police can show that they have authorization provided by a judge, which is a signed search warrant, they do not have to consent to the police searching any of your property.

Dangers of Talking Without an Attorney Present

There is a natural inclination to want to show the police that a person has nothing to hide. However, people do not have the benefit of knowing exactly what the allegations are against them, such as why the police are following up to question them and search their home.

Without knowing precisely what the allegations are, a person could inadvertently confirm some aspect of an allegation.

For example, if an individual has accused them of committing a burglary because the individual saw them at the specific location or at least saw someone who fits their general description at the specific location around the time that a burglary occurred.

Even if the person has nothing to do with the burglary, if the police think that they are the person who has committed it or they have the right person, admitting to having been at that location gives them some evidence that they otherwise would have been required to prove.

The individual has now taken away any doubt that, in fact, they were present at the location of the burglary or a surrounding area because they admitted such while talking to the police.

Dangers of a Permissive Home Search

The same goes for allowing police to search their home.

For instance, a person does not know exactly why or what the police are searching for. Unless they are 100% positive that there is nothing that could possibly, even theoretically, be used to tie them to some kind of crime or some kind of accusation. The police may say “Aha! Here is a yellow sweatshirt in your laundry basket. We see that there is an accusation that someone wearing a yellow sweatshirt committed this crime.”

This will be seen as evidence to tie an individual to a crime even if they have not committed a crime.

By consenting to have the police search your home, you may have taken away your attorney’s ability to challenge that search later if they did not have a sufficient basis to secure a search warrant or if they did not even have a search warrant.

You should always speak with counsel before agreeing to speak with police or agreeing to let police search any of your belongings.

House Search While in Jail

If an individual is in jail and the police search their house, they are not going to know about it unless, in a very unusual situation, the accused happens to be on a phone call with their family members when the police come and the family members alert them to it.

Whoever is present at the time of the search should ask to see and keep a copy of a search warrant. Also, the police will have an inventory of what was seized and the individual will want to make sure they have a copy of that and that it is accurate.

Do not interfere with the search if they have a warrant.

Even if the search could be challenged later, the people present do not have the right to interfere with the police, because they do not want to subject themselves to possible additional criminal charges by interfering with the police investigation. Make sure to log everything, and if a person has counsel, make sure to alert the lawyers as soon as possible so the attorney is aware and kept up to speed with exactly what is going on.

Early Attorney Representation

Know what your options are with regards to being able to retain an attorney as soon as possible. The vast majority of people do not have money set aside in anticipation of being investigated or arrested by law enforcement. Often firms offer a payment plan if it makes more financial sense for the client.

Often, if they have to wait until they can gather all of the funds, which could be months, it could lead to them foregoing early representation. It is important to get representation as early as possible, particularly in situations where they are being investigated, law enforcement has not already made an arrest, and charges have not been filed. It is at this juncture of a case that you want to make sure you have an attorney properly advising you on what to do and what not to do.

The vast majority of people do not have money set aside in anticipation of being investigated or arrested by law enforcement.

Our firm tries to work with people by engaging them in a payment plan if it makes sense for them. It is important to make sure that they do not have to wait until they can gather all of the funds, which could be months, and as a result, forego early representation.

That is one of the options that our firm always discusses with new clients as far as how can they get good representation as early as possible, particularly in situations where they are being investigated, law enforcement has not already made an arrest, and charges have not been filed.

It is at this juncture of a case that you want to make sure you have an attorney properly advising you on what to do and what not to do. 

Discuss with your lawyer what your options are with regards to being able to retain an attorney as soon as possible.

DC Criminal Lawyer

DC Criminal Lawyer
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Shawn Sukumar Attorney at Law
1826 Jefferson Pl NW
#205

Washington DC 20036