Criminal

Discovering Facts in a Criminal Case

One of the reasons I had to change up my power point a load a bit because they did such a wonderful job yesterday morning, talking about the new discovery laws. So what I wanted to do is to focus on your own investigation and your discovery that you get from your own investigation while incorporating some tricks and tips on how to get the most out of your state, write to your prosecutors. Let’s talk about what happens pre indictment. Your discovery begins when your client walks through that door or when you sit down across from him at the jail. What you need to do is get their version of the facts. Your initial interview, I never ask people, did you do it. Quite frankly I don’t care if he did it or not. I’ve seen what the state says that he did.

I’ve seen what the police report may say already. I want his version of the facts. It could support what the state says. It could be totally different then what the state says but it’s important that they have the opportunity to tell their version. And every time you talk to him, get his version of the facts because every time you talk to him he may remember some more detail. Some little something that he didn’t think was imp before, that is the key to your case. You never know. So every time you sit down, get his version. You need to find out the history between the complaining witness and the defendant. That’s especially important in any kind of assault case, whether it is assault domestic violence, whether sexual assault. Is there history between the complaining witness and the defendant? Because that can lead to more tools to discover whether they complainant has a bias, whether has a motive to accuse the defendant of any of these actions.

You need to talk to your client about whether or not there are any other potential witnesses either for guilt innocence or punishment because, when you look at the discovery tools, you need to remember that you’re just not trying everything for that big not guilty. You have to prepare for the unfortunate often inevitability that your client’s going to get convicted. So everybody wants to hear this two words vertex. You got to prepare for the worst. So get those potential witnesses for punishment as well. It’s also important that you find out the criminal and medical history of each witness. If you have…especially with the compliance and the other witnesses but let’s talk about the defendant first. It’s obvious you need to get his criminal history for purposes of challenging any sort of any enhancement.

Number two you need his medical history. Does he have history med alones in this. Does he have history of any sort of disease that was part of medication? If he doesn’t take that medication how does it affect his mental faculties? If he does take the medication what are the side effects. What are the issues that might come up and in case for a person isn’t taking their medications. Now it’s imp that you know that because if some ones not taking the medication, they don’t always act what they normally act. So it’s important they find out the criminal and medical history of your defendant. Same is with the complaining witness. Does complaining witness have a history of med aloness, does complaining witness have a history of a disease that requires medication. What are the side effects of that medication. What are the interactions? You need to get all of that to the best of the ability that you can. Same holds to the other witnesses. When the defendant walks into your room, when he sits down across your desk and he tells you his version of the story.

Francisco Hernandez

Author Francisco Hernandez

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