If a court date has not been issued, and a criminal case is still in preliminary investigation, should I be talking to a criminal defense lawyer?

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If a court date has not been issued, and a criminal case is still in preliminary investigation, should I be talking to a criminal defense lawyer?

I was told by one party that they could not help me until a case was filed with

the DA’s office.

Asked on August 30, 2018 under Criminal Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

What an attorney can do for you is very limited until charges are filed against you, since until the exact charges are filed, it is all hypothetical: the attorney cannot determine how best to defend against a charge without knowing what crime you are accused of, for example, since each crime has different elements which must be proven (and so which the defendant can try to disprove).. There is no need to retain a lawyer until and unless charges are actually filed against you, though you should retain a lawyer as soon as they are.


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