A qualified criminal defense team is the key to getting the desired outcome in a criminal case. The most important element of that team is the addition of a skilled private investigator. While the attorneys on the team handle representation of the accused in court, they are reliant upon the evidence available to construct their arguments. Often, the prosecution's evidence is insufficient for such purposes, providing only a narrow perspective of the situation that fits the prosecutor’s narrative. An experienced private investigator can provide the missing details attorney’s need to present a more accurate representation of their client in court, allowing them to successfully have the charges dismissed or the punishment mitigated.
This is especially critical in juvenile cases. If a juvenile is found guilty in court, they may be sentenced to spend time at a juvenile detention facility. Such an experience can add unnecessary, harmful trauma to their life. If the juvenile is tried as an adult, they may be sentenced more severely. They won’t have the benefit of having their record sealed either. Having a criminal record will add significant challenges to their future, affecting their ability to get a job and become a successful member of society.
Disproving Allegations & Getting Charges Dismissed
The primary motivation of any criminal defense team is to have their client found innocent of all charges, as this will have the least negative impact on their future. Meanwhile, the prosecution’s goal is to prove the accused is guilty. Given that the prosecutor is a part of the law enforcement system, that means that the individuals in charge of collecting evidence are likely to be biased in the prosecution’s favor, whether that bias is unconscious or not.
This affects every aspect of the investigation, from crime scene photos to police reports to witness statements. It’s a private investigator's job to meticulously review every piece of evidence supplied by police officers to track down any inconsistency or important detail that may have been overlooked. Despite the amount of focus needed to accomplish such a task, private investigators with years of experience know exactly what sorts of information to look for and scan through the evidence in a timely manner.
In addition to reviewing the evidence presented by the police, private investigators also have the ability to provide additional evidence of their own. If the crime scene is a public area, investigators can revisit the scene and take additional photos to yield critical new information. Another rich source of evidence is security camera footage and bystander camera footage. Footage taken before, during, and after the scene can add critical context that completely changes the narrative, helping to prove your client’s innocence.
Mitigating Punishments and Consequences
In some cases, the client is undoubtedly guilty of the charges, and no amount of careful examinations or revisions of evidence will change that. However, that doesn’t mean there are not legal recourses for them to pursue. Juvenile cases are complicated, as the accused generally don’t pursue criminal activity on their own. There are a wide variety of influences in a young person’s life that can lead them to make a terrible mistake, from absent or abusive parents to gang members trying to recruit youths in the area, and more. That mistake doesn’t have to define the rest of their lives.
Providing character witnesses can show the court the juvenile’s true nature. Sources like teachers, classmates, employers, youth pastors, and other community members can provide valuable testimony that highlights their integrity and potential. Your private investigator can also uncover any information that helps shed light on how the juvenile ended up in this situation. Private investigators at Amatrix Investigations have experience running thorough personal background checks. They can present the criminal defense firm with a detailed history of the juvenile and the various influences in their life. Any evidence of trauma, stress, and pain can help better understand their motivations and clarify whether this is a pattern of behavior or an unusual occurrence.
Trying the Defendant as a Juvenile or an Adult
A key step in the criminal defense cases involving juveniles is determining whether the defendant should be tried as such or as an adult. When tried as an adult, they risk severe punishments if found guilty, punishments that could follow them for the rest of their life. That’s why it’s essential to ensure the defendant is tried as a juvenile whenever possible.
The same kind of research that can help mitigate punishments later in the case can also convince the courts that the child in question should, in fact, be treated as a child and not an adult. Details of their upbringing, testimony concerning their character, and context illustrating their vulnerability are considerations. All evidence supplied by the private investigator will make for a much more compelling argument in favor of the juvenile.
In juvenile court, the goal for judges who find their defendant’s guilty is often reformation. These cases often involve more unorthodox forms of sentencing with the goal of helping the juvenile learn from their mistake and become a productive member of society. When tried as an adult, it is more likely that they will be sentenced to spend years in prison. This path provides no possibility for improvement given the trauma of experiencing prison at such a young age, in addition to the presence of a criminal record that will significantly limit their future possibilities once they’ve served their time.
Working With Amatrix Investigations
Private investigators with Amatrix Investigations have extensive experience handling sensitive cases such as this with professionalism and discretion. Our attention to detail and comprehensive knowledge of local legal practices makes us extremely effective at locating the evidence necessary to exonerate your client when possible and provide them the best chance of a successful future when not. Together we can ensure you have everything you need to present a solid case on your client’s behalf. To get started, simply fill out our online form or contact us by calling (213) 342-1767 today for a free consultation.