Are you Under Investigation? Here’s Why You Need an Attorney Before You’re Arrested in South Florida: A Case Example with BSO Detective Sherry Slagle-Grant
Are police calling you about being a witness in a criminal case in Fort Lauderdale or South Florida? If you’re just a witness in a federal investigation, you should help the police with their case, right? FALSE.
Unfortunately, police may ask you for a witness statement only to suddenly flip the table on you and choose to make you a suspect in a criminal investigation. This happened with a client of Rossen Law Firm recently when Broward County Sheriff’s Detective Sherry Slagle-Grant used extremely inappropriate & manipulative tactics.
Why do I need an attorney if I’m under investigation in Florida?
In this video we talk about the importance of hiring an attorney even if you haven't been arrested yet. Maybe you're under investigation for a crime, or maybe you've been asked to provide Florida police with a witness statement. The moment you’re contacted by a law enforcement officer - you should contact a criminal lawyer. It’s not fair, but it’s in your best interest.
Here’s why - police will approach you as a friend and say that you can ‘help them help you.’ This is always a lie - police have no authority when it comes to "giving you a deal" - only a Florida state prosecutor or a federal prosecutor can help you when it comes to any form of protection, or a deal for cooperation or non-prosecution.
This is one of the many reasons you need a lawyer to help you protect your rights, even if the situation appears "harmless." You have a right to remain silent for a reason, and it's important you maintain that right unless you have an attorney present with you.
How local Broward Detective Sherry Slagle-Grant used inappropriate tactics to target our client as a criminal suspect after he witnessed a crime
Watch the video to learn how our client was a GOOD SAMARITAN and called the police after witnessing a fatal motorcycle accident. He stayed on scene until police and paramedics arrived.
A few days later? Detective Sherry Slagle-Grant was targeting him as a SUSPECT in a vehicular homicide case. Our client did nothing wrong and actually went out of his way to do the right thing.
Now, Broward County Sheriff's Detective Sherry Slagle-Grant is targeting him as a criminal suspect and is using extremely inappropriate tactics to try and get our client to give up his constitutional rights - such as his right to an attorney and his right to remain silent.
Thankfully our client called us immediately so he never had to talk to Detective Sherry Slagle-Grant alone and we're walking with him through this unfortunate event. If he hadn't hired us, Detective Slagle-Grant could have made this situation even more traumatic than it already is.
Find a transcript of the whole video at the end of the article.
Why you should never talk to Florida police or law enforcement if they call you, reach out, or ask for a witness statement
You may think you're just a witness to a crime, or that you were a good samaritan at the time of a crime or even are a good samaritan by helping the police in their investigation.
But you never know when you might actually be a target of a criminal investigation, or when police might turn you into a target because of their desperation or their own shoddy investigation and police work.
There are good cops, there are bad cops - but you should let an attorney help you decide. And there is a way to 'cooperate' with police and give voluntary statements with an attorney present to ensure that police are not encroaching on your rights to try and make their job easier.
Learn more about:
- What to do when Police call you about a crime in Florida
- Your Miranda Rights in Florida and the importance of your right to remain silent and your right to a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney.
Under investigation in South Florida? Schedule a Free Strategy Session with our Award-Winning Attorneys
Police do serve to protect, and many times they are just doing their job - however, when you’re being investigated by police their main job is to protect the alleged victim and to find reason enough to charge you with a crime or reason enough to make an arrest.
If you’ve been contacted by the police for information, about an investigation, or due to a suspected crime in Sunrise, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton - or anywhere else in South Florida - call our office today for a FREE strategy session.
If the police are already calling you, you don’t have that much time to spare.
Call us: 754-206-6200
Learn more about our FREE Strategy Sessions: We listen to the whole story, hear everything you have to say, and then tell you how - based on your unique case - we’d fight to defend your rights and protect your future.
HOW WE GET INVOLVED DURING AN INVESTIGATION AND GET POLICE TO DROP THE CRIMINAL CASE
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YouTube Under Investigation Video Transcript:
I'm here to talk to you today about the importance of being extremely proactive and hiring an attorney even if you have not yet been arrested for a crime or even been contacted by law enforcement.
There are many reasons why it's important not to speak to law enforcement without an attorney. Law enforcement will very often approach you as if they are your friend. As if they're just trying to get a statement to potentially close out their case, to investigate another individual. They'll often tell you that your role -whatever it may be - was minor and that you can benefit yourself.
That is not true. Law enforcement cannot offer you any sort of deal or non-prosecution agreement. That can only be done by a prosecutor, somebody with legal authority. The police use very manipulative tactics in order to coerce you into giving statements. If you don't have an attorney there to protect you then you won't know that.
You might think that giving a statement to them is totally harmless. Next thing you know, there's an investigation; there's a prosecution and you've already given up your right to remain silent.
Keeping your right to remain silent and exercising your right to counsel is by far the most important thing you can do during the investigative stage of a case, prior to law enforcement contacting you or afterwards.
A client of ours very recently reached out to us - was very proactive and the entire exposure that he faced to criminal charges changed because of that proactiveness.
This individual was driving home on an average day with his five-year-old daughter in the car. He was behind a motorcycle list and in a very traumatic event, witnessed this motorcyclist drive off the road, hit a pole and unfortunately get an extremely severe accident. It turned out that this motorcyclist lost his life.
What our client did was everything that a good samaritan should do. He pulled over to the side of the road, knowing that his five-year-old daughter was in the car, he exited the vehicle and went briefly to check on the individual. He noticed there were several other individuals pulling over, coming to the road, checking on the motorcyclist.
He decided, because his daughter was in the car, that he would return to his vehicle. He did the right thing, he called 9-1-1, he stayed on scene until they arrived - he saw paramedics arrive, police came and he left the scene. He did what any good samaritan would do.
Next several days later, on his way to work he's driving into the office with his wife and notices that there's an undercover police officer tailing him. He's not sure why but very intelligently decided to contact the Rossen law firm.
He called me, this was about 6 a.m. I picked up, and he said, 'David, there's somebody behind me. I think it's an officer, what's the best thing for us to do? Do I need an attorney at this time, should I speak to this officer?
I told him you absolutely under no circumstances speak to this officer. If they're going to contact you, if this individual is going to attempt to pull you over; you call us first okay - do not speak under any circumstances.
Not everybody makes that move. Some people think that ‘this is related to the accident. I'm being a good samaritan, I must just be a witness here, I don't have any exposure.'
However, what he didn't know is that this detective - Sherry Slagle Grant - was investigating our client for vehicular homicide.
She reached out to him, she approached him at his office and said to him 'I would just like you to come in and give a statement. We believe you might have been a witness to an accident.'
Law enforcement can be very very manipulative. You need experienced attorneys like us in order to sift through when they are generally trying to just have you give a witness statement or whether you might actually be a suspect.
Because our client contacted us, we did not allow our client to go in and give a statement without his attorney present as it turned out as we did our investigation we found that this detective Sherry Slagle-Grant was actually investigating him for vehicular homicide and he was a suspect.
He went in, gave a voluntary statement with us present and then the next day we're contacted by the detective. The detective reached out and she said 'I need your client to be at our office - the detective's - within one hour we have a search warrant for his vehicle.'
I told the detective that one hour was not sufficient notice, can we have more time? The office was not nearby she said 'no you have one hour for yourself and your client to meet us at her office.'
I called my client and I told him to be extra vigilant. I am going to go with you there to make sure that nothing occurs, that they do not question you, that you remain silent, that we did everything on our end and were proactive to make sure to prevent any kind of criminal exposure.
What we didn't know because of detective Sherry Slagle-Grant's extremely inappropriate actions was that the entire time she was waiting right outside of our client's home she called us in an attempt to coerce and to mislead our client into going on his own, OK? So she could make her job easier, right? If his individual had not had an attorney his car could have been searched, taken on the spot. We were able to get ahead of that and prevent that and be there for him so that when the warrant was executed he wasn't in a state of shock , he didn't have his children with him, with his wife, and it was a massively less traumatic scenario.
This highlights why it is so important that there are good cops, there are bad cops but no matter what you have to let your attorney be the one to decide. You have to bring an attorney on [the case] soon. At the Rossen Law Firm we get on quickly, we get on proactively and we can prevent these situations from happening.
One of the most important reasons not to speak to law enforcement without an attorney is because you might think that you're being a good samaritan in a certain situation, such as our client was by stopping by calling the police and the next thing he knew it turned out that he was actually under investigation for vehicular homicide. He would not have known that if not for hiring us, if not for being proactive and calling an attorney. The detective attempted to reach out to him on his own to come in and give a statement.
If he had not (called an attorney), going into an office thinking that you're a good samaritan and that you're just here to help out with the crash investigation - now all of a sudden you're under investigation for vehicular homicide, you can completely expose yourself to severe consequences by giving up your right to remain silent.
At the Rossen Law Firm we come on quick proactively and make sure that if, God forbid the police do contact you or any members of the family, you can tell them we have three attorneys - three brilliant criminal defense attorneys - on our case we will not be answering any questions and all communications go through the attorneys and the attorneys alone.