Regardless of which offense a person has been charged with, it will require some evidence gathering. What type of evidence you gather and the sources you consult with to gather the evidence will depend on the type of offense you have been charged with. Where should you look? What will be admissible? These are questions that require extensive legal knowledge and experience to answer. A Los Angeles Criminal Defense lawyer has exactly the knowledge and experience required to not only prepare a case and argument in your favor, but to gather the right evidence to support your argument.
Each case will require a different gathering of evidence, but most cases will involve an officer’s report. This is often referred to as discovery. The report is generally handed to an attorney or person being charged on the day of their first hearing, which is the arraignment. However, receiving the report the day of the hearing allows very little time for a person to prepare. This is why it is important to retain a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney who has connections with the different courthouses and frequently appears in these courtrooms. Knowing the prosecutors, clerks and Judges, allows the attorney to gather the report efficiently and quickly well before the hearing.
If the attorney has the report prior to they hearing, they are able to assess the officer’s actions and review any shortcomings. For example, in a DUI case and officer must have probable cause to pull someone over before they even initiate an alcohol or drug testing. Probable cause can be any type of traffic violation such as speeding, running a red light or failing to stop when required to do so. If there is no probable cause, the officer cannot stop someone, and in turn cannot conduct an alcohol or drug testing. The officer will state in his report what that probable cause is. This allows the attorney to review the probable cause, and request surveillance footage, or pictures if necessary.
Similarly, there may be other pieces of evidence to gather. For example, in a Los Angeles Hit and Run case, the attorney will review the scene where damage occurred. The attorney may also gather statements that all damages have been paid for or injuries, from the person who suffered the injury or damage.
In a DUI case, the attorney may also request maintenance and calibration records from a breathalyzer that may have been used. These records could potentially lead to a dismissal if the machine was making readings in error.
As demonstrated herein, it is the attorney’s job to gather the proper evidence, and to assess it for it’s strength. A knowledgeable attorney has handled hundreds of cases and knows precisely what to look for to build the strongest case possible. If you find yourself in this situation, the best possible thing you can do yourself is retain a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney as soon as possible.