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What Is Pre-File Intervention & How Can It Help?


What Is Pre-File Intervention in Criminal Defense?

Pre-file intervention, also known as pre-charge or pre-arrest intervention, is a legal strategy that involves your criminal defense lawyer intervening on your behalf before charges are officially filed against you by the prosecutor.

How can this strategy work?

Here’s an example:

Greg finds himself at the center of a sexual battery investigation. The police have questioned him and collected some evidence, but no formal charges have been filed yet.

As soon as Greg learns about the investigation, he hires a criminal defense attorney recommended to him by a friend. The attorney immediately begins to gather information about the case. He interviews potential witnesses, reviews the evidence collected by the police, and engages a forensic expert to analyze this evidence.

The attorney finds inconsistencies in the alleged victim's statement and uncovers evidence that Greg was misidentified as the offender and was elsewhere at the time of the alleged incident. The attorney presents this information to the prosecutor, arguing that insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Greg committed the crime.

At the same time, the attorney maintains regular communication with law enforcement officers and the prosecutor's office. He works to ensure that Greg's rights are respected throughout the investigation and that he doesn't unintentionally incriminate himself during any interactions with the police.

After reviewing the evidence presented by Greg's attorney, the prosecutor decides not to file charges due to a lack of substantial evidence. As a result, Greg avoids a potentially damaging criminal charge.

This example scenario shows how pre-file intervention can help prevent charges from being filed or lead to lesser charges. However, the outcome of such an intervention depends on various factors, including the case's specifics and the defense attorney's proficiency.

How Can Appel & Morse Help You When Under a Criminal Investigation?

If you are the target of a criminal investigation by law enforcement in the greater Santa Barbara area, seeking legal help as soon as possible is advisable.

Our criminal defense team can take the following actions designed to help you avoid or mitigate criminal charges:

Gather and Analyze Evidence: We can start gathering evidence to build a defense immediately. This includes interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, and assessing physical evidence. Our team can also work with forensic experts to analyze the evidence from a different perspective than law enforcement.

Communicate with Law Enforcement and Prosecutors: We can serve as a buffer between you and the law enforcement officers or prosecutors. Our team can communicate on your behalf, preventing you from inadvertently harming your case through words or deeds. We can also negotiate with the prosecution, potentially convincing them not to file charges or to file less serious charges.

Protect Your Rights: The risk of violating your rights can exist during an investigation. For instance, law enforcement might try to search your property without a warrant or attempt to pressure you to confess without informing you of your rights. A lawyer can ensure that your constitutional rights are respected throughout the process.

Prepare for Possible Outcomes: Early intervention allows your lawyer more time to prepare your defense if charges are eventually filed. We can start strategizing and preparing for trial if it becomes necessary.

Pre-file intervention aims to prevent charges from being filed, mitigate the charges, or prepare the best possible defense in case of prosecution.

At Appel & Morse, our experienced criminal defense attorneys thoroughly understand this strategy and have the skills and resources to apply it on behalf of clients facing charges ranging from DUI to other misdemeanors and serious felonies.

Under investigation? Contact us online or at (805) 467-6060 to request a free initial consultation about how we can help today.