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Use a Private Investigator In a Criminal Defense Investigation?
by: David Almeida
The police can be of great service to prosecutors
when it comes to finding witnesses to a crime and to following the evidence to a suspect. However, sometimes the defense is
going to realize that there seems to be key evidence missing or witnesses that have not come forward: the defense attorneys
are going to find a basis for reasonable doubt.
However, in order to know that their assumptions about their client's
innocence are correct, they will need to conduct a criminal defense investigation.
A private investigator serves
an important role in a criminal defense investigation. In this case, that role is to find witnesses and evidence that will
establish reasonable doubt – that will show the jury that there is reason to believe that the defendant is not actually
responsible for committing the crime.
When an attorney uses a private investigator in a criminal defense investigation,
that investigator will take the time to understand the charges and the laws that relate to the crime. Once there's an understanding
of the case in question, the private investigator will go over all of the materials that the defense team has received from
During the course of the criminal defense investigation, the private investigator will go through
routine reports from the police, everyday paperwork as well as copies of evidence, photographs, phone messages and witness
statements related to the case. The goal of this is to determine whether or not there are any inconsistencies from one witness
to the next or between the conclusions drawn and the evidence.
In addition, during a criminal defense investigation,
a private investigator may re-visit the crime scene to see if there was anything that had been overlooked. He or she may also
interview witnesses to see if their stories have changed or to verify that they do not have anything else that motivated their
statements against the defendant.
Inconsistencies and ulterior motives that a private investigator discovers during
the course of a criminal defense investigation may be able to be used as a part of the client's defense. Similarly, if during
the course of the criminal defense investigation a private investigator discovers that there are other witnesses who had not
come forward or evidence that was not considered previously, he or she can then look into these developments further.
In some cases, that may mean that a search is conducted to find these other witnesses. In other cases, it may mean
conducting interviews or doing background searches. In others, there may be other parts of the criminal defense investigation
that are assigned to a private investigator – tasks that he or she is uniquely qualified for and that will keep the
defense team free to focus on the legal proceedings and other cases that they have.
During the course of a criminal
defense investigation, a private investigator can help to ensure that an innocent client will not be found guilty –
all without taking away from a defense attorney's busy schedule. In other words, bringing a private investigator into a criminal
defense investigation, defense attorneys are able to focus on the court system while a private investigator conducts the investigation.
What Your Lawyer
Does and Does Not Do
by: Gerard Simington
Many people hire an attorney without really understanding what this person
will do for them. Understanding what they do and do not do is important.
What Your Lawyer Does and Does Not Do
Most people have an image of attorneys based on what they see on the media. Whether the media comes in the form
of dramas or talk shows with attorneys spouting off about just about anything, the image is generally incorrect. Simply put,
most attorneys are just working stiffs like you and me.
The marching orders for you lawyer are to pursue the best
possible result for you in the legal dispute. He or she is legal charged with representing you as enthusiastically as possible.
Importantly, their role is not to get a just result. The system is set up so both sides should go nuts with the assumption
being that justice will be done. Odd, but true.
It is vital that you understand this is the temperament of your
attorney. For many people, legal issues can end up becoming bigger than they realize. For instance, your divorce attorney
is charged with carving up your ex-spouse as much as possible to get you as much as possible. In the same vein, an attorney
preparing a legal document for you is going to write it in such a way as to favor you as much as possible. If you are looking
for a different approach, you must tell your attorney. If you want a fair divorce or an even handed contract, it is on you
to tell them.
Another area that gets confused is what I call the ultimate decision. At some point in your legal
matter, a major decision is going to have to be made. It could be whether to go to trial, whether to sign a contract and so
on. The decision is yours and yours alone. An attorney will explain your options as well as the benefits and negatives of
each option. At this point, many clients ask their attorney what they should do. The attorney will not give you an answer
because it must be your choice. You are the party involved, not the attorney. Unfortunately, many clients take this as a sign
the attorney is not helping them. This is incorrect.
Understanding what your attorney is going to do is vital
to getting a result you are comfortable with. Unless you tell them otherwise, your attorney is going to go after the other
side as aggressively as possible. If you dont want this approach, you need to speak up at the beginning of the case.
How To Choose The Right DUI Lawyer
As anyone who has seen an episode of LA Law knows, not all lawyers are created equal. Some specialize
in divorce law or estate law, along with a multitude of other specialized law categories. In fact, in todays society, law
has become similar to medicine in the ever increasing number of specializations.
This is important if you've been
busted for DUI or DWI, acronyms, by the way for, driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, and need an attorney.
And you will need an attorney. The last thing you want to do is pull the old Im humble and Il speak for myself act
in order to save moneyand think that the court will show you mercy. You might be one of the lucky few who gets off easy by
doing this, but far more likely, you will get socked with high court fees, poor treatment, charges that will be on your permanent
driving record and increased insurance charges. That for starters. In many states, you can also be ordered to serve a prison
term for DUI.
So by all means, if you are charged with DUI, you will want an attorney to help you. And shortly
after getting your ticket for DUI, your mailbox and phone line will be full of attorneys who want to help you get out of your
Does the phrase ambulance chaser ring a bell, here? Because thats the category many of these attorneys
fit in. The first rule of getting a DUI lawyer is to be wary of any attorney who comes looking for you. They are more than
happy to help, yes, but they will generally charge you an enormous fee for the privilege. Many times their work is substandard
at best, even at that high cost, so do yourself a favor and seek out a DUI attorney on your own. You'll save yourself headaches,
money,and possibly even jail time, in the long run.
The second rule of choosing a DUI lawyer is to choose one who
specializes in DUI law in your particular state. DUI law is complicated and demands the lawyer has a high level of expertise
in dealing with it. So question any attorney you are looking to hire to be certain theyre a specialist in DUI law. Dont get
your brother-in-laws best friends wife who usually makes up wills to go to court with you for a DUI charge. Thats just begging
And it's mandatory that the attorney knows the DUI laws of your particular state. There is a broad
range for what's considered legally drunk when it comes to different states. What's a minor charge in one state may be a major
one in another.
There is also a difference just between cities in the states, so you also want to be sure your
DUI lawyer is familiar with the court system in the city or county where you received your DUI charge. What may be perfectly
acceptable in one city's court system may get you in trouble in another, so you want a DUI lawyer who knows the ropes of that
particular area or city.
Finally, even though you have a DUI charge against you which is very threatening and scary,
remember that you are hiring someone to help you. Don't let a DUI lawyer put you in a position of feeling inferior or as if
they're doing you a big favor. You are paying for their services and you should feel you can speak openly and frankly. Most
importantly, you should also feel that your DUI lawyer truly has your best interests at heart;not their own wallets.
I've Been Charged. What Can I Do To Help Myself?
by: Tushar K. Pain
Why me? How could I let this happen? If I could only go
back and undo what I did. It is only natural to engage in this thought process when you've been charged with a criminal offence.
Such sentiments may be echoing repeatedly in your mind. You may even feel that you cannot stop them. However, you must in
order to help yourself.
Begin by recognizing that this thought process creates feelings of helplessness and is disempowering.
If you are reading this, then you are likely seeking to understand your predicament and trying to gain some measure of control
over the situation. This is a major step in the right direction.
Gaining control over your emotions and thought process
is essential. It is the first step in the journey ahead. Doing this will allow you to think clearly and make effective decisions.
Whatever has happened to bring you to this point has already transpired. There is no benefit to re-living it and judging yourself.
Accept that it has happened. You now face a challenge that you must confront.
Take a piece of paper and write "To
my lawyer" at the top of the page. This will preserve the privileged nature of the document. Write down in as much detail
as possible (do not worry about including irrelevant facts) everything that happened during the incident that lead to the
charge. If you feel there is relevant background information then include it. Also, make notes of any questions and concerns
that come to mind. This exercise serves several purposes. It preserves your memory of the events that you may be required
to testify to many months down the road. It gives your lawyer a complete and accurate understanding of the situation. It helps
you clarify and articulate your thoughts.
The next task is to find the right lawyer. This may seem to be a formidable
task. After all, what do you know about the law? Knowledge of the law is not something you need to find the right lawyer.
You are able to determine whether you like someone. You are able to judge whether you like the person's approach. You are
able to assess a person's communication skills. You are able to appreciate how much time that person has or has not spent
with you. Use these factors to guide you. You have a lifetime of experience dealing with people. Rely on it. Trust your instincts.
Keep the channels of communication open. A lack of communication between a lawyer and client often leads
to misunderstandings and a breakdown in the relationship. It is the lawyer's responsibility to keep the client well-informed
and updated on a regular basis. But you can and should pick up the phone anytime you have a question, a concern, an idea,
or just want to know if there's been a development in your case. A good lawyer encourages this type of contact and will make
himself available to his clients. Make sure your lawyer subscribes to this philosophy and take advantage of it. The more communication
you have, the better informed you and your lawyer will be. As a result, your lawyer will be able to provide more meaningful
advice and you, in turn, will provide better instructions to your lawyer. In the end, you will be more satisfied with the
level of service you receive from your lawyer.
Be proactive in the development of your case. Be prepared to be involved
in the building of your defense. As brilliant as your lawyer may be, he does not have a first-hand knowledge of the facts.
You do. You were there. The facts are everything. A good lawyer recognizes this and will set out to master the facts. To do
this, he must involve you in the process. Review the evidence with your lawyer. Comment on what you agree with, what you disagree
with, what you think might be missing. Share your ideas. You may come up with something your lawyer hasn't thought of.
Finally, maintain a positive attitude. Negative feelings will creep up from time to time. This is natural and to be expected.
However, do not let them interfere with your focus. Simply acknowledge them then put them aside. A positive attitude will
allow you to effectively process information and advice from your lawyer; to give proper instructions to your lawyer; to convey
your concerns; and to generally be useful in your defence.
Keep in mind, as bad as it seems now, you will get through