When conducting a defense side investigation for someone charged with a criminal offense there are a number of different steps that must be taken in order to ensure that the strongest possible defense can be built. The following is information on these steps and how it can impact your case. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with an Alexandria criminal defense attorney today.
When a criminal defense lawyer is retained for an Alexandria criminal case the first step is always to speak with the client. It is important to have an initial meeting with the client and together talk about what the client is charged with and, very specifically, if there are any details in the warrant or the charging documents that could help shed light on the situation. A defense attorney and the client can then look at those details together and then try to brainstorm what needs to be found out.
After this initial meeting, an investigative plan must be formed which usually consists of a list of witnesses that need to be talked to, whether or not they will be helpful and what they know, if they know anything. The plan also includes a list of documents that may exist and may provide evidence that the defense needs, as well as a list of any videos and/or places that can be asked to find out if there was any video and how to get those videos or recordings for the defendant.
Additionally, the plan includes a list of names of anybody that could have been involved, either the complaining witness in the case, other defendants, or anybody else who may have been involved. Attorneys will look these people up on their every social media account in order to see if they’re talking about the case or if they made any statement.
Finally, it’s important to listen if there is community gossip surrounding the incident and what’s being said. This can provide some type of lead for investigative purposes and can lead to other evidence that can be used in the courtroom.
Witnesses can also lead to other types of evidence, for example sometimes when looking through some type of written evidence an attorney will see that it speaks about a person that the defense didn’t know existed before. When that happens, the attorney would reach back out to the client and talk to them about finding out information from this new witness or this new person. In this way, a very thorough checklist based on the initial client conversation can be done, but it changes based on what is found and what is still needed in order to provide the most comprehensive defense package possible for the defendant.
Defense attorneys can have a private investigator. Often private defense attorneys have investigators on staff whose sole job is dedicated to finding out information and these investigators can be a very valuable resource because they are used to working for information that will eventually need to be used in court.
Defense attorneys will also have contacts and relationships with individuals who are in the court system or even within the police department or other areas. If attorneys are familiar with a certain county or a certain location, they develop professional working relationships with individuals who would be in charge of the labs that would process evidence or who would be in charge of the videos that would need to be demanded from the court to be used in your case. Therefore, good defense attorneys will already have these existing relationships and can make the process a lot easier and can also find this information out a lot more quickly than attorneys who do not have investigators or do not have connections or relationships within the particular county you’re charged in.