The most important time for you to hire an attorney is when the case is still under investigation. A skilled Minneapolis criminal defense attorney can have a direct influence on the decision by a police officer to refer the case to the prosecuting attorney for formal charges. A simple polygraph test may do the trick. If the criminal lawyer can convince the officer not to refer your case for prosecution, the case goes no further than the facts recited in a police report resting calmly at the bottom of a police file drawer. A criminal lawyer who is retained at the pre-charge stage of the case will immediately notify the investigating officer that he is representing the suspect and advise the officer that no further communication should occur between the officer and client. This tactic will prevent police calls to your home or work and stop the police from dropping by unannounced for a "friendly" interview. The pre-charge criminal defense attorney may also be able to work with the prosecuting attorney to negotiate a favorable resolution of the case at an early stage of the proceedings and avoid the time and expense of a formal prosecution. If a prosecutor does decide to proceed with formal charges, a pre-charge criminal attorney may be able to convince the prosecution to issue a summons instead of a warrant for your arrest as private counsel has been retained and the likelihood of a nonappearance by a defendant in court has been significantly reduced. If you are a target in a criminal investigation, you should hire a skilled Minneapolis criminal defense attorney to protect your rights. For more information and tips for suspects in a criminal case, please go to my website at http://www.criminallawyerminnesota.com/.