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Assault Investigations in Frederick County

Assault cases are generally more civilian-driven than police-driven and the evidence-collecting process is a bit different from other criminal cases. A police officer has a duty to investigate, report, gather evidence, preserve evidence, take photographs, videos to compile evidence for the State to use at the time of any court hearing.

When it is civilian-driven, the alleged victim, not a law enforcement officer, must gather evidence independently. This evidence often includes:

  • Cell phone records
  • Social media records
  • Medical records
  • Anything else of that nature
  • Speaking to witnesses.

All of this evidence must also be thoroughly researched by a strong assault defense attorney to start building a strong case early on. All evidence to be used will be exposed during the discovery process before trial, but knowing everything upfront could help your attorney build a better case. If you are currently facing an assault investigation in Frederick County, it may be time to call a lawyer and get the legal advocacy you need to protect your rights and future.

The Beginning of the Investigation

The very first thing a defense attorney will do is consult with the defendant do learn what happened, what evidence may or may not be available, and based upon that interview, the attorney will know what steps to take to preserve and gather whatever evidence they need. It is important to be honest with an attorney up front. From the initial consultation moving forward, anything a defendant says to them is private and cannot be divulged due to attorney-client privilege, so telling them everything is essential to building a successful case.

How are Domestic Violence Investigations Different From Assault Investigations?

Many criminal investigations are purely police officer-driven. The defense attorney will gather evidence and the police reports. However, assault investigations involve civilians because police officers typically do not speak to the defense attorney. In assault charges, a defense attorney is permitted to speak to witnesses because oftentimes witnesses are more inclined to speak to a defense attorney or an investigator that may work for the defense attorney. They will also gather evidence of any kind that may be helpful to the defense such as subpoenaing cell phone records, social media records, or anything else that may assist the defense attorney prepare their defense strategy. They must gather for themselves the information that would otherwise be gathered by police and produced outright in most criminal investigations.

What Rights Does a Defendant Have During a Frederick County Assault Investigation?

Individuals who are accused of committing an assault have the right to counsel and they have the right to remain silent. A defendant has no obligation to say anything and that silence cannot be used against them to infer guilt or otherwise. The judge or jury will decide their verdict based solely on the evidence presented and not on the individual’s election not to testify. It is in the defendant’s best interest to say nothing more than they are required to during an investigation and call an attorney immediately. After an attorney has been hired, that lawyer could guide the defendant through what they should and should not say to investigators.

Once a person is interviewed by the police in Frederick County as part of an assault investigation, they cannot take back what they say. Everything they say can and will used against them in court or taken out of context for the benefit of the prosecutor. Once charges have been filed, the police officers are just intermediary. Unless an individual has substantial evidence that contradicts the allegations, there are dangers in dealing with the police independently. Even if there is evidence, it is best to be presented through an attorney who can protect the person’s interests rather than speaking directly to law enforcement.

An Attorney Could Shield You During Assault Investigations

Typically, assault charges are filed quickly. All a person needs to do is go to the Commissioner’s Office and file an application for charges. If there is a basis for an assault in that application, charges are filed, and then a court hearing is scheduled. The prosecutor will take over the investigation and decide what to do as the court date approaches.

Because this process is so quick, it is all the more important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are aware of an assault investigation. By working with a lawyer, you could ensure that you do not say anything that could incriminate you, potentially leading to a conviction. To learn more about your rights during a Frederick County assault investigation, call an attorney today and schedule a consultation.