How to Handle a Pre-Arrest Investigation


It’s difficult to know exactly how you should act when the police contact you and say they want to talk to you. Honestly, in most cases, they are in the middle of an investigation and simply want to talk to you about some aspect of it. They’re reaching out doesn’t necessarily mean they consider you a person of interest. However, that doesn’t mean you should take the situation lightly.

Anytime the police reach out to you, you should plan on handling the matter like it’s a pre-arrest investigation and the police are actively building a case against you. Treating it this way will prevent you from doing or saying something that could backfire on you.

The first thing you should do when the police contact you is to remain calm. Getting offended or acting out doesn’t do you any favors. In fact, a bad attitude could cause the police to think you’re trying to misdirect them, prompting them to take an even closer look at you.

While you want to be polite and respectful to the police, you also don’t want to potentially do or say something that could come back to haunt you at a later date. You also want to make sure you’re civil rights are upheld. When the police reach out and make a connection, calmly tell them that while you want to cooperate, you also want to have your lawyer with you. Do not bend on this issue. Don’t say anything to the police until your lawyer is there.

While your lawyer will make sure your civil rights are upheld and you don’t inadvertently do or say something that the police will deem incriminating, it’s important to understand that even with your lawyer by your side, you need to be honest. Outright lying to the police will only make things much worse.

If you are simply a part of a routine investigation, it’s likely that the police will only speak to you once or twice before turning their attention elsewhere, though you may be subpoenaed to appear at trial. If this is a pre-arrest investigation and the police genuinely suspect that you’re involved with a crime, it’s possible that they will want to speak to you several times. You need to make sure your lawyer is present for each interview.

If the police appear at your home with a warrant to inspect your car or home, you can’t forbid them from doing so. However, you can contact your lawyer, who will inspect the warrant and make sure the police abide by it to the letter.

Have you ever been involved in a pre-arrest investigation? What was the most frustrating aspect of it?