Pre-filing investigations often entail a law enforcement officer examining the circumstances of a case to see whether the authority could recommend that the prosecution team file a case against you. During the investigation, law enforcement officers can interrogate you or eyewitnesses in your case, and they could also search your property.
During this stage, the prosecution has considerable leeway in deciding whether or not to pursue charges. This implies that a prosecutor can opt not to pursue the case further or would contact the officers to gather additional evidence if they feel that the law enforcement officers have not delivered sufficient proof.
In the "pre-filing" stage, the law enforcement officer will gather all information and submit your issue to the prosecutor's office, which will result in one of the following:
- The prosecutor will pursue legal action against you
- The prosecutor will determine whether to close the inquiry with no allegations
- The prosecutor will ask the police department to look into the matter further before referring it back for consideration
Law enforcement officers will review all of the evidence and facts in the case during the pre-filing investigation to develop a case and pursue criminal allegations against you. Due to these factors, you must be represented by a competent lawyer who can persuade the prosecution to drop the case or consider charging you with a less serious offense. For example, the lawyer could be able to convince the prosecution to file a misdemeanor charge instead of a felony.
Your lawyer will protect you from law enforcement interrogation throughout the pre-filing investigation and will keep you up-to-date about your constitutional rights while under probe. Keep in mind that any confession you give to the authorities, whether or not you're being held at the time, could be used in court against you.
Even if you haven't yet been placed under arrest and informed of your Miranda rights, you have a right to decline to respond to questions or give a statement.