When someone has been charged with a crime in our system, the police work to build the prosecution’s case. But as the defendant, who is gathering evidence to build your defense? Hiring a private investigator means someone is dedicated to finding evidence and information that helps YOU.
What can a private investigator do to help your criminal defense case?
1. Find new witnesses to establish reasonable doubt.
New witnesses could have additional information about the crime, your alibi, or other aspects of the case that contradicts other testimony, or information that casts doubt on the prosecution’s theory of the crime. Any or all of these could create reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury.
2. Re-interview known witnesses for inconsistencies.
Witnesses’ stories can change over time and begin to reveal inaccuracies or inconsistencies, raising issues about credibility and the reliability of their testimony. An expert private investigator knows the right questions to ask and he right way to ask them, spotting weaknesses in their stories and identifying meaningful gaps.
3. Find new evidence that may have been overlooked.
The news frequently features stories about cases where new evidence has surfaced in a major case, evidence that could make a huge impact on the outcome of the case. There could be missing evidence in your case too. Did someone inadvertently film or photograph the scene at a critical time? Did someone post about the crime on social media, indicating the existence of new witnesses or even a different suspect? Police officers frequently handle multiple cases and can miss evidence; an experienced PI can help find it.
4. Investigate witnesses for ulterior motives and credibility issues.
A witness’s testimony can make or break a criminal case, and witness credibility is a huge issue for any jury. If someone testifying against you has a history of lying, the jury needs to know that. The jury also needs to know if that witness may have some ulterior motives to be testifying. Maybe they have some sort of personal grudge against you or maybe someone else is influencing their testimony. These are all issues that should be raised and can have a big impact on the outcome of the trial.
5. Identify potential flaws in police work and evidence.
The police are human, and they make mistakes just like anyone else. An experienced investigator with solid knowledge of police procedures can analyze the body of evidence and identify flaws in the evidence or the way it was collected. Some of these issues could include holes in the case, improper or even illegal collection of evidence, leads they neglected to investigate, or technical mistakes that could taint evidence.