Under investigation for child molestation. Charges not yet filed. No arrest. Should I retain an attorney on pre-file?

Asked 11 months ago - Sacramento, CA

Having spoken with several attorneys, all suggest I wait on DA action before I retain their counsel. This recommendation is based on the perception that charges may not be filed. However, a few attorneys have given me the option to retain them prior to charges being filed (pre-file). These attorneys offered me this option for peace of mind, but not as a means for pre-file case resolution or dismissal. What are the benefits of retaining counsel pre-file? The funds for this service would be applied toward a proper retainer if necessary. Thank you.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Mark A. Broughton

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'll give you the other side of the coin. Many times, the attorney is able to contact the investigator, discuss the case, the strengths and weaknesses, and whether or not the investigator is going to recommend that charges be filed. The investigator will also be advised that the attorney represents the client, and that the client should not be contacted or interviewed without the attorney being present. When the DA is involved, in many instances, the case can be discussed and negotiated before the first court appearance. In the situation where the case is going to be rejected by the DA, that information can be communicated to the client as well. If charges are gong to be filed, arrangements can be made in to surrender the client into court, as opposed to being arrested on a warrant. Many clients want to have their cases managed by an attorney during the investigation phase for these and other reasons.. Of course, there are no guarantees that hiring an attorney at this time will change a thing in the prosecution of the case, but again, there can be benefits to retaining an attorney early on in the process. It depends on what you, the client, want to do.

  2. Peter John Marek

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are wasting time and money. If the DA does not file you have gained nothing. If the DA does file I assume you have been told what not to say since you have spoken to "several attorneys". I see no benefit until and unless you are charged. Good Luck

  3. Brian K Wanerman

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Hire an attorney. As other lawyers have pointed out there is much an attorney can do for you before the case is even filed. I offer clients of this type a pre-file agreement which reserves my time to do all the things the other lawyers on this post mentioned.

    The response above is not intended as legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.... more
  4. Dan Eugene Chambers

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If you have spoken to some attorneys, then I think you should wait and see what develops. If charges are brought, you can retain counsel to deal with the case. Start putting some funds aside so that if a case is filed, you can get counsel quickly.

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