Montgomery County Defense Investigations
In many defense cases, criminal lawyers conduct their own investigation into the allegations, in addition to the state’s investigation. A defense attorney may do so by first reviewing what the prosecutor’s investigation has revealed, preparing that information with what is shared by the defendant, and then collecting their own evidence respond to the material that the government’s investigation has turned up.
The government typically does not have the words of the defendant to go on when conducting their investigation, which gives Montgomery County defense investigations an inherent advantage.
What a Defense Attorney Looks for in an Investigation
Defense lawyers are going to look for certain evidence depending on the fact patterns of the case. The first thing that they may look for is constitutional issues, to see whether the investigation was conducted properly or whether any of the clients’ rights during the investigation were potentially violated.
In addition to those constitutional issues, a lawyer could then examine other evidence that may counter the prosecution’s narrative of the case. For instance, if a defense attorney finds a verifiable alibi, establishing that the defendant was not at the scene of an offense when the offense occurred, that could be crucial to securing a dismissal of the case or an acquittal.
What Resources Does a Defense Attorney Have?
Important resources that defense attorneys might use would include private investigators, law clerks and, of course, the knowledge that the client brings during consultations. When the client can share their version of events with their lawyer, it often assists them in viewing the case from a different perspective and embarking on a different sort of investigation.
A defense attorney may strategize their investigation against the resources and information that the state possesses. The statements of the defendant can help the defense attorney prepare an investigation with a completely different viewpoint, one of looking at the cases from the defense’s perspective and finding opportunities, witnesses, and evidence that the prosecutors might not have known to look for in an effort to try and respond to the prosecutor’s investigation and get a better or best result possible for their client.
Discovery Rules as Part of the Criminal Process
Generally speaking, the government gives the defense access to almost all of their investigation or evidence by way of the Maryland discovery rules. Discovery rules in Maryland are generally thorough. They require the prosecution to turn over significant amounts of information that are pertinent to the case and a lot of information that may not necessarily be pertinent to the case against a defendant.
A prosecutor’s obligations for discovery are generally considered open-file, meaning the prosecutors share with the defense everything that they have so that there are no surprises and there are no concerns on behalf of the defense that they are not being provided adequate information. If there are any violations of discovery rules, they can result in sanctions against the prosecutor, which could result in a dismissal of the case entirely
Because criminal cases are situations where a person could be deprived of their liberties, it is extremely important that everybody take discovery principles very seriously and their obligations as far as discovery is concerned very seriously when they are investigating a criminal case and providing discovery to the defense.
Contact a Defense Attorney for Help Conducting an Investigation
If you have been charged with a crime for which evidence may exonerate you, you need experienced legal representation. A lawyer could have the resources, experience, and connections to mount a serious Montgomery County defense investigation and counter the prosecution’s claims. Call an attorney today.