Defense Side Investigations in DC Federal Cases
When building a defense for almost any federal charge it is important that your DC federal defense attorney conduct an investigation of their own. This involves both looking at the evidence that has already been compiled from a different point of view, in addition to finding new evidence that might discredit the government’s case. Anything from witnesses to pictures to financial documents may be taken into account in a defense side investigation depending on the type of case.
For this reason, it is important that if you are charged you consult with a defense lawyer as soon as possible so they may begin their investigation in order to build the strongest defense possible. Call today.
Defense vs. Government Investigations
The government has an unfair advantage in that it may have many years to investigate a case. When it is ready to proceed, it begins charging people. That may put the defense attorney and the defense team on their heels a little bit. However, there are ways to extend the amount of time to pursue the investigation on the defense side.
Defense counsel can use the services of their own investigators and experts to analyze information. If there is foreign evidence, the defense attorney may be allowed to conduct depositions of the foreign witnesses. There are also other actions a defense attorney can take depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Access to The Government’s Evidence
When a person is charged with the federal crime, it’s most likely charged through the US Attorney’s Office of the district in which the case resides. Each US Attorney’s Office has a different policy regarding the evidence or discovery they share with the defense counsel. Some have open file discovery policies where the nearly the entire investigatory file is given to the attorney.
But other US Attorney’s Offices have a more controlled discovery process where they don’t share the information. They share only the parts of the information that are necessary at various points of a case. Other US Attorney’s Offices withhold a lot pre-trial discovery and only offer favorable plea agreements at the earliest stages of a case or investigation to pressure defendants to plead guilty without a complete picture of the government’s case. Defense counsel must then fight for the information in court.
The government should not use evidence in this way. There should be open file discovery from day one. When a person becomes a target of an investigation and is charged, they should be allowed access to all of the information pertaining to their case. That way, the person can make an intelligent decision as to whether to plead guilty or to proceed to trial.