How Can a Defense Investigator Help Me?
Let me start with a question, “How can a Defense investigator Help Me?”. A Defense investigator is a person who specializes in finding evidences and assessing the legal process applicable to a case. Legal proceedings take place in two different levels of investigation; criminal and civil. For a criminal proceeding the goal is to uncover evidence that will help prosecutors prove your crime. Civil proceedings take place within normal courts and involve issues such as whether there was due process or an abused right of discovery.
Both are part of the justice system; however discovery is a legal term meaning that one obtains tangible evidence through a process that includes a lawyer, a judge and lawyers of experts who specialize in a particular area of evidence and law. Discovery is designed to provide information that a defendant may use against you. Discovery is considered a part of the court procedure; however discovery does not have an automatic effect on all legal proceedings. Once discovery is received and analyzed, it will then determine if a case should move forward. In other words, it is not a time-box; it is a tool that is used to test the strength of your case.
This is not done randomly though. Discovery is a test; and it is often a difficult one for both the prosecutor and the attorney. In a criminal trial the role of the attorney is to aggressively build a case against their client and present all evidence to prove their innocence. The discovery process occurs at the same time. The discovery phase of legal proceedings takes place in both criminal and civil cases. The objective is to obtain tangible evidence, which can be used against the opposing party.
Often what starts out as a simple request for discovery is later revealed to contain more complex information. In criminal cases the government often pretends to have no evidence against a client, when in actuality they do. It is at this point in the discovery process that the investigator can reveal evidence against the defendant. This often leads to an outcome, the criminal defense would not have been able to win on their own.
In civil cases the defense investigator plays a key role. The ultimate goal of this person is to ensure their clients receive the best legal defense available. They collect documents, interview witnesses, and do personal investigation all part of building a case. They are there to protect the rights of their clients and ensure they have adequate representation. Their work in this area can often mean the difference between a settlement and a long court battle.
In legal proceedings if a discovery is made it is often discovered that some evidence against a client was withheld. This discovery may tip the attorney towards a certain line of questioning or rule out a particular charge. If this evidence is not introduced into the case it could result in a mistrial; or worse yet it may result in the client being convicted of a crime they did not commit.
In instances when a discovery is made the investigator is called upon by either the prosecution or the defense to review the discovery and make a recommendation as to whether or not to present it in court. Often there will be a difference of opinion regarding the discovery. After reviewing the discovery the investigator then prepares a report and submits it to the court. If the recommendation is made then the case will proceed. If not then the case will be continued and the evidence presented will be used against the defendant.
Sometimes a trial ends with a resolution in which the charges against a defendant are dropped. This is often the result of a witness who cannot come forward due to fear of the repercussions of speaking, or of the fact that they want to avoid the stigma of a conviction. If this happens then the case is continued and a jury is selected. If a trial concludes then the defense investigator is often responsible for gathering the remaining evidence, examining it for errors, and then presenting it to the court for their client to look over.