We will initially have you come in to our office for a free consultation and get a good idea of the facts of your case. In this section, we have used a sex offense case to demonstrate the way we try a case and the steps that we go through; however, it is the same for every case big or small. However, some cases are victimless and are property crimes and we do not have as many steps that are available to us that we can go through to discuss your case. When you originally come into our office, we will discuss pros and cons of trying to do what we have developed the pre-indictment packet, possibly a polygraph, and talk with the officer working the case to get an idea of what the actual allegations are at the initial report. We need to find out if any physical evidence is present because we can subpoena clothing and other items and use the defendant’s DNA to rule the accused out as a suspect. This is a very new innovative approach / defense called “touch DNA.” Additionally, we find out where the case is and what prosecutor the case is assigned to because each prosecutor has their own style and system of handling cases. Knowing your adversary, in this case the prosecutor will tell us the approach we need to take initially in handling this type of case.
The second step is the Pretrial Preparation. We get discovery from the State which will give us our initial leads so we can get our own investigator to do independent investigation. In these types of crimes, you do not need to wait to find defense friendly witnesses; we like to immediately get witness statements and start preparing and working to protect your rights because the State already has a head start on us. We subpoena records liberally. The facts dictate what types of records we need. Sometimes, it is medical and psychological records and other times, it is phone records, etc. If the case calls for it as a matter of course we subpoena the Department of Human Resources (DHR), Advocacy Center if a child victim has given a statement, hospitals, medical providers and school records. We cannot just depend on records from the State because they are prosecuting and we are defending so it stands to reason that we need different information.
In some cases victims, will recant and decide to tell the truth about what happened and they will admit that they have lied because of pressure from an adult or other family member. We immediately want to get a signed affidavit or video interview with the child that is recanting, if possible, depending on if the accused is able to see the victim. Sometimes the victim’s caregiver and not the accused is the one who brings the victim in to make the recantation. We prepare many, many Motions in Limine depending on the facts of each case. We make a very organized trial notebook for every case and know every fact in your case. We have to know this so we know what evidence to try and keep out and what additional records we need to subpoena to defend your case. The one thing that makes an offer unreasonable is a prosecutor that knows a defense lawyer will not try your case. We can promise you that when we appear in Court for you, we are prepared and anticipate to the best of our ability everything that the State can use against you. We are very aggressive on these cases because sometimes they are very hard to settle and have to be tried because the legislature has made the law such that there is really no middle ground.