Due to the unique and sensitive nature of human trafficking cases, an accused person may need to consult an experienced DC lawyer for help. The legal consequences of a charge for human trafficking may be overwhelming. A conviction can also affect a person’s social and professional life for years to come. Speak to a knowledgeable criminal attorney about which defense strategies in DC Federal human trafficking cases may help you clear your name and protect your reputation.
There is typically no specific amount of time that a DC human trafficking attorney needs to prepare their defense strategy. When the attorney first meets the defendant, they begin preparing the defense. That strategy may change as other information is obtained. The development of the defense strategy is a constantly evolving process, and the theory could continuously develop as new facts and information come in.
A criminal defense attorney in a human trafficking case initially meets with the accused person to obtain any information they may have about the charges and begin the case process. While it may be possible that the accused has no information about their charges, they may have some knowledge that relates to the charges.
The attorney could conduct an investigation based on the information and the facts provided by the defendant. Each side participates in the discovery process by exchanging their information and evidence related to the charges. A completed investigation of the information could be used by the DC federal human trafficking attorney to craft a defense strategy for the case.
The defense is under no burden to take action at trial regarding the evidence the government presents. The government typically has the burden of producing evidence that proves a person is guilty of a charged offense. Depending on the defense strategy, the attorney may attempt to create reasonable doubt about the evidence presented by the government. There is typically no burden on the defense to completely refute the evidence. The United States justice system is based on the idea that a person is not guilty until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The defense lawyer is tasked with demonstrating that there is reasonable doubt about the evidence. It is the jury’s duty to acquit or find the defendant not guilty. Showing reasonable doubt may occur in a couple of ways and typically depends on the evidence. If the defense strategy is that the defendant was not involved in the crime, the defense attorney may establish that there is no forensic evidence. This evidence may include fingerprints, DNA, text messages, or emails that connect the defendant to the charged offense. In other cases, the defense attorney may not dispute what happened because the alleged offense did not violate the law and was not a crime.
Constitutional issues that might come up in a human trafficking charge typically involve the Fourth and the Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment primarily deals with search and seizure issues. The cutting-edge issues that may come up in human trafficking cases are typically related to the search and seizure of cell phones. Due to the amount of information that is potentially stored on a cell phone, the Supreme Court imposed restrictions on what could be seized from a cell phone without a warrant.
The Supreme Court has held that people’s entire lives may be accessed in some form or fashion from their cell phones. People keep account information for banks, credit card and social security numbers, passwords, and social media on their cellphones. The ruling is cutting-edge litigation regarding the Fourth Amendment.
The Fifth Amendment applies to human trafficking cases as it relates to any statements the defendant is alleged to have made when they encounter law enforcement agents. In the Fourth and Fifth Amendment context, defense lawyers may attempt to suppress the evidence illegally discovered through a Fourth Amendment search or statements that are made and pursuant to the Fifth Amendment.
Factors and issues used when building a defense strategy in a human trafficking case are typically case-specific since each case is different. A lawyer could look at the available information and develop the strategies identified by the details specific to the case. An attorney could then investigate the facts to determine whether the defense strategy holds up based on the facts of the information received. If the strategy does not hold up based on the additional information, the defense strategy someone starts with may not be the one they use at trial. If you require legal assistance or help with developing defense strategies in DC federal human trafficking cases, contact an attorney today.
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