The Criminal Process: Pre-Indictment Criminal Investigations in New Mexico

Often times, if you are suspected of a crime, a criminal investigation will begin. In some cases, particularly in cases of economic crimes, the case will not be referred to the prosecutor until the investigation has been completed. These investigations can be very lengthy so there is time to act prior to the referral to the prosecutor.

In the case where a criminal investigation is started against you, a law enforcement investigator will typically contact you for purposes of an interview. The request may come by a phone call or even a letter.

This situation can be very stressful. It can also be hazardous for your rights. You should proceed very cautiously in this situation, and you should immediately contact an attorney.

You do not want to ignore the investigator if there is possible resolution of the case prior to referral to the prosecutor. This could result in an immediate referral of the case to the prosecutor.

Once the case gets to the prosecutor, you have an entirely new set of problems. If there is any chance of stopping the referral of the case to the prosecutor, then you should consider hiring an attorney for purposes of working out a resolution of the case with the investigator.

It is typically unwise to attempt this on your own since during the course of the “negotiations”, you may make harmful admissions that will later be used against you should the case be referred to the prosecutor.

You should understand that these cases are typically going on to the prosecutor and the investigation is purely for purposes of building the case against you. You do not want to contribute to the evidence against you by making ill-advised statements to the investigator.

If you are contacted by an investigator concerning possible criminal charges against you, you would be wise to contact an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, then you should politely decline to give a statement to the investigator.

You should make it clear to the investigator that you do not want to speak with the investigator and make it clear that any statements if any will be made through an attorney which eventually you will have you private counsel or the public defender‘s office.


Related Reading:
Target Letters: Criminal Defense at Grand Jury in New Mexico
Pre-Indictment Delay: How Long is Too Long in New Mexico?
Felony Criminal Process: Pre-Indictment

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