Criminal Defense Investigations

Criminal Defense Investigations

Criminal Defense Investigations

How Private Investigators can Assist Your Law Practice

Criminal Defense Investigations, Criminal Defense Investigators, Private Investigators

Private Investigators can play an important role in your law practice with regard to your ability to provide a comprehensive criminal defense for your clients.  This isn’t to suggest that if you don’t use a private investigator that you are doing a disservice to your clients, because the truth of the matter is that not every case requires a criminal defense investigator.  That being said, if you provide criminal defense for cases involving narcotics, property crimes, serious assaults, sexual assaults, and homicides; your law practice could leverage the experience of a private investigator to provide a comprehensive criminal defense to level the playing field.

Allow me to elaborate on the matter.  A private investigator’s primary role is to conduct their investigation in a manner which validates and verifies what the police department has done in their investigation and that their actions are compliant with policies, procedures, and applicable laws.  It is an audit of sorts to make sure that the arresting agency has followed the rules during the course of the investigation.  At a minimum, it is imperative that the private investigator has experience in conducting criminal investigations as it will be necessary to view the case from both sides.  How can an investigator audit the police department’s responsibilities if they have no experience in what the police department should be doing in the first place?  The private investigator in support of your criminal defense case must review reports from arresting officers, supplemental reports, evidence chain of custody sheets and departmental policies and procedures, and ensure that policies and procedures were followed.

The investigator must verify and analyze every piece of evidence obtained against your client.  To conduct an evidence review, the private investigator will review crime scene photographs, drawings, etc. to ensure that the claims are consistent with the evidence, and that they (the prosecution) are truthful in their assertions.  A competent criminal defense investigator will rely on experience conducting criminal investigations to identify any disparity that could be beneficial to the defense.  For example, if the prosecution claims that a victim was shot by a particular caliber of handgun, the investigator will compare that claim against the evidence recovered at the scene, the evidence documented in chain of custody, and through a thorough analysis of the evidence itself.

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Additionally, the defense investigator will re-interview every witness that law enforcement has contacted to ensure consistency and accuracy.  An experienced criminal defense investigator will be able to draw upon experience and training in conducting interviews to aid in the identification of deception or inconsistencies.  Inconsistencies discovered during the re-interview process could significantly benefit the defense.  As the inconsistencies are discovered, often times new or additional information is gleaned and can be pursued as a new lead.  An experienced private investigator will further assist the defense by trying to identify or develop additional witnesses beyond who initially spoke with law enforcement, and follow those leads to exhaustion.  In some cases, those witnesses may be reluctant or difficult to locate.  An experienced private investigator will know where and when to look and present themselves in a non-threatening way to obtain a statement from those additional witnesses that may be of benefit to your defense.

Interviewing and identifying witnesses are only half of the equation.  It is critical that these witnesses are able to be located and subpoenaed in order to testify if necessary on behalf of your defense.  A criminal defense investigator should be well versed in obtaining information either through proprietary databases, social media, or through old fashioned detective work.

Speaking of providing testimony, your private detective shall, if called upon, provide factual testimony as to their actions during the course of their investigation, and in no way conduct themselves in a manner that could be detrimental to the defense.

In short, hiring a competent private investigator for criminal defense investigations will level the playing field for your clients.

Chris Kaszak Private Investigator

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Christopher Kaszak is a partner at Brown, Kaszak, & Associates, a licensed private investigations firm in several states.  He is a 22 year industry veteran and has conducted numerous criminal and civil investigations during his tenure in law enforcement and in the private sector.  Brown, Kaszak, & Associates has been featured on Dateline and TrueCrime for their investigations into a cold case homicide

Criminal Defense Investigations, Criminal Defense Investigators, Private Investigators

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