There is no area of law that captures more public attention and is the subject of more television reality and fiction than the area of Criminal Law.
There is also no area where governmental resources are more broadly utilized than the detection and prosecution of criminal activity. However, there are two classes of victims when it comes to criminal activity: one is the victim of the actual criminal act and the second are those accused and prosecuted by overzealous law enforcement and governmental attorneys.
In many cases, and accused person is in fact guilty of a crime and must answer for their conduct. However, in todays competitive law enforcement climate, this is not as plain and simple as you might think it is. Many law enforcement agencies follow a statistics based enforcement model, meaning that unofficially they seek arrest quotas and become less concerned with the quality, completeness and depth of the underlying police work.
In todays world, it is very easy to be wrongfully arrested and wrongfully charged with a crime, and even easier to be OVERCHARGED based upon some criminal act you may have committed.
Once an arrest and booking is made, even if charges are never filed, you have a permanent record that you must explain to just about every business, governmental agency and even significant others that you may encounter in life. The government has no duty to correct or “unbook” you…and this is all based solely on the word of a police officer, who in a great many cases is the only witness against you. Like all humans, police officers make mistakes and in some cases even deliberately falsify records.
The laws of the United States clearly favor Law Enforcement. Keep that in mind when you consider what to do when interacting with Law Enforcement or, if accused of a crime, your plan of action in protecting yourself from undeserved criminal charges.
When a police officer arrests you, the government kicks into high gear to support the arrest and stand behind it. While it is true that many arrests never result in formal charges being filed, the government can still consider an uncharged arrest later on in making a decision whether to allow you a professional license, a security clearance, or other government controlled function, or in consideration of a subsequent accusation.
The system is complex, full of unwritten rules and can be very unforgiving to the unwary. A Criminal Defense attorney is often the only resource an accused person and their family have to prevent an injustice, or in many cases to correct an injustice that has occurred.