What is a criminal Defense Investigation?
A criminal defense investigation is the most essential piece of a defendants case within the criminal justice system. This can help a defendant with many beginning aspects of their case, even helping them to be release(out on bail/bond)while the case develops.
While diligently assisting defense counsel or legal team in uncovering reasonable doubt on behalf of the accused, the criminal defense investigator’s main objective and focus must be to uncover the truth with admissible evidence. Tenacious investigators must remember to remain unbiased during the course of an investigation and to maintain an ample distance from the emotional aspect.
Criminal Defense Investigations is also about finding mistakes and holes in the prosecutions case and presenting strong evidence that refutes those claims. “Exculpatory Evidence” means evidence favorable to the defendant, that exonerates the defendant of guilt, which the prosecution may have not revealed to the defense team.
As the investigator and defendant develop a relationship, the interviews of the defendant should be professional, productive and relaxing. The defendant should understand in the beginning that the information shared with the investigator is confidential, protected usually by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine. A positive relationship between the defendant and investigator is crucial for a successful investigation yielding positive results. It is important that the defendant understand it is in their best interest to develop an open and trusting relationship with the investigator. A trusting relationship will encourage the defendant to share all facts, good and bad, with the investigator that may not be known by the prosecution or the defense. This will allow the defense to address such facts accordingly.
As the case develops the investigator will get a better understanding in what direction the investigation may go. Each case is like a puzzle and the more pieces you have the clearer the picture becomes.
However, in general, all material such as photos, videos, witness/victims names, crime scene and etc. are reviewed and helpful in understanding how the crime was committed and to see if the scene/event corresponds with the evidence provided by the prosecution and witness statements. A background investigation of the alleged victim and potential witnesses can also prove to be extremely valuable during a criminal defense investigation. A background investigation of potential witnesses or alleged victim can reveal negative information which can be used to impeach the testimony of either or. Background investigations can include research of arrest and conviction records, character, reputation, employment, education, social media and behavior-type information from family, friends and colleagues. Witness interviews may be the most important part of a criminal defense investigation, especially in the pursuit of uncovering reasonable doubt. A skilled investigator realizes how delicate interviewing a witness can be and therefore uses all his senses to get the witness to be open and truthful.
During the entire process the criminal defense investigator usually constantly interacts with the defense counsel also, with updates on how the investigation is progressing.
In conclusion, usually a report that includes the work product of the investigator is turned over to the defense counsel for review. At a later date, if the case enters the trial stages, it is then helpful for the defense counsel and investigator recalling specific evidence if the investigator has to testify in court.
The criminal defense investigator is a profession that is very unique. To be successful, requires many different skills and sensibilities at any given time. It’s difficult for many people to remember that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, and that it is of utmost importance to remain unbiased and to allow the evidence to show all the facts. Good or bad.
JL & Associates, Ltd a leader in Criminal Defense Investigations has worked on thousands of criminal defense cases worldwide and can be reached 212–949–6530 or https://www.privateinvestigators.nyc for any comment or FREE Consultation.
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