Montgomery County Defense-Side Investigations
When a Montgomery County criminal defense lawyer conducts an investigation what they look for is to get as much information as they can. The first point of information is to contact the client and get facts from them on what they understand took place in their particular case. A lawyer will likely ask their client to tell them exactly what they recall happening and compare that with the initial statement and probable cause in the police report. Then, a lawyer will make their own list of witnesses and physical evidence that they will need to collect in an effort to develop the best defense possible for a client.
Police Investigations in Montgomery County
Many people believe that just because a criminal investigation is conducted by the police it is going to be an investigation that was done appropriately. However, that is not a theory that the defense should accept moving forward in a criminal case. In some criminal defense attorneys’ opinion, police investigations will always be skewed in the favor of the prosecution because they work for the same side. In order to uncover things that will benefit the client, a Montgomery County criminal defense attorney will understand that it is imperative to conduct a separate defense-side investigation.
Advantages for Prosecution in Investigative Process
Although the prosecution gets an earlier start on the investigation, it is not really an unfair advantage because it is the government’s burden to prove the criminal charges against someone. Therefore, it is their responsibility to investigate the case and essentially their responsibility to do the legwork on gathering information and evidence.
From the defense’s perspective, there are discovery guidelines that require the government to share information that they have and intend to use, or even do not intend to use, during the course of the criminal prosecution. The defense also has the ability to ask the court for more time and opportunity to gather and collect information that is needed to defend a client in a particular criminal case.
Often this information is presented by the government itself. A criminal defense attorney in Montgomery County can file motions with the court to exclude that evidence or to impose other sanctions against the government during the particular case, all the way up to requesting they dismiss the case if they provided evidence that in some way prejudices the representation of a client or conducting a defense-side investigation.
Brady information is information the government is required to provide to defense counsel during the course of a criminal prosecution. This is information that they have that is inculpatory, which means information that would tend to prove that the criminal act that they are alleging actually took place, as well as exculpatory, which is evidence that would tend to prove the innocence of the client or that the crime did not take place.
Additionally, they are required to provide information on the expert witnesses they plan to call and the qualifications of those witnesses, as well as information on the regular witnesses they plan to call. Some of the information that must be provided is the qualifications of those witnesses, the credibility of those witnesses’ criminal records, impeachable offenses that are on their records and things of that nature.
Brady is probably the most important rule that exists in Montgomery County criminal cases in terms of how they are prosecuted or presented to the court. Violations of Brady could cause some serious consequences for the government, including dismissal of the criminal prosecution which they are seeking.