Facing accusations of a crime can throw anyone's life off balance. You may wonder how you ended up in this situation and how authorities obtained supposed evidence that linked you with the crime. Typically, this information comes about during police investigations.
Though investigations are important in getting to the bottom of serious incidents, they are not perfect procedures. It is not uncommon for authorities to believe that evidence found at or near crime scenes points to one suspect, when it could actually have another meaning. Unfortunately, after finding a suspect, investigators do not always dig deeper.
What is involved in an investigation?
If police officers believe that evidence connects you to a crime, you certainly want to understand how they came to that conclusion. Authorities typically take several steps when working to investigate a crime, including the following:
- Arriving at the crime scene and searching for suspicious individuals
- Collecting evidence at the scene to support suspicions and accusations
- Investigating the site by taking measurements, making observations and taking pictures
- Conducting interviews with witnesses to gain information on what might have happened
- Observing various aspects and details of the crime scene or areas that may connect to the event
- Interrogating suspects in efforts to gain information or confessions
Of course, depending on the exact incident that occurred, the specific actions officers take could be much more detailed. Still, if you are a suspect, you certainly want to remember that you have legal rights in this situation no matter how authorities came to believe that you have a connection to the crime. During an interrogation, officers may try to trick you or manipulate you into confessing, or even lie to you, so you may want to remember that you have the right to an attorney and to remain silent.
What if you face charges?
If authorities do bring criminal charges against you, it is not the end of the line for you. You still have the opportunity to create and present a defense against the allegations you face. Enlisting the help of a Washington attorney could help you better understand your options for effectively building and presenting your defense. Your legal counsel can also go over any evidence the prosecution has against you, as well as the actions of the officers involved in the investigation, to determine whether law enforcement followed proper procedures.