Sometimes an arrest happens quickly because the crime happens with lots of witnesses and there's plenty of evidence to be had. However, in a lot of serious criminal trials, investigations are handled slowly and carefully. Police and prosecutors don't rush to make an arrest or even forcibly detain someone until they feel that they either have overwhelming amounts of evidence or need to do so in the interest of public safety and justice. This is what you should know about criminal investigations, why they take so long, and why it's smart to hire an attorney long before you're charged.

Why The Police Don't Rush To Make An Arrest

There are some very smart reasons that police and prosecutors don't hurry to make an arrest when they suspect someone of a serious crime, like a felony. As soon as an arrest as made, the accused's Constitutional right to a speedy trial kicks in. While many defendants will opt to delay their trial for one reason or another, there is the possibility that the defense will insist on their rights—which could inconvenience the prosecution immensely if they are still trying to gather evidence in their case.

In addition, as long as the investigation continues, the police are not required to remind suspects of their Miranda rights—that's only required once an arrest is made or the suspect is forcibly detained. Hearing the Miranda rights being read is often enough to shut down communications between the suspect and the police—which means the police have less opportunity to learn things that could help their investigation.

Criminal Investigations Can Be Highly Invasive

A criminal investigation can go on for months and be highly invasive. You could be subject to repeated "conversations" with the police and, eventually, the police could execute search warrants on your home, office, car, and electronics. 

They can also spend a great deal of time asking questions of your neighbors, friends, relatives, coworkers, and supervisors. In some cases, the investigation itself can be highly damaging to your social life, reputation, and career. People often assume that the police wouldn't be asking questions if there wasn't "a good reason" for their suspicions and may try to distance themselves from you.

Early Intervention By An Attorney Can Help Level The Playing Field

Did you know that the police are legally allowed to lie to you? However, they can't lie to your attorney once you've retained one. An attorney is considered another officer of the court and the police can't bluff or intimidate your attorney with lies about imaginary evidence or witnesses because an attorney can demand to see the evidence.

In addition, once you have an attorney, your attorney will likely insist that all communication with the police go through his or her office, which insulates you from the pressures and games that police often play during interrogations. In many cases, hiring an attorney early can prevent an investigation from continuing because the attorney knows how to guide you so that the police aren't given any further incriminating evidence.

Don't make the mistake of going through a police investigation alone. Consult a defense attorney as soon as you realize you are a suspect.