An independent investigation is critical to criminal defense and can make the difference between a verdict of guilty or not-guilty, or whether a case is dismissed prior to trial. The prosecutors have all of the power and resources of the government at their disposal -they have law enforcement personnel, from the patrol officers to the detectives who are assigned to any given case. They have investigators who work in their office helping to build a case against you, and they have the benefit of crime labs and experts who can testify for them on any topic. When they need resources they need only make a call or sign a slip of paper to get the funding they want.
The police, detectives, and prosecutors are collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses with the goal of obtaining evidence that they can use to get a conviction. There may be key elements of your defense that are missing, evidence that has been "overlooked," and witnesses that were not located or questioned. An independent investigation by your criminal defense lawyer is not just a luxury - it is your lawyer's duty to conduct an independent investigation, and numerous reported appellate opinions from the state and federal courts have found that it is ineffective assistance of counsel when a defense lawyer does not conduct an independent investigation.
We have found that police reports are rarely accurate, and that witnesses often have a story to tell that is quite different from what is stated in the reports. Your attorney has an obligation to locate and interview any and all witnesses in your case and should never rely solely on the information that is provided to the attorney by the police or prosecutor. In some cases, background checks are essential and in other cases it is necessary to locate potential witnesses who do not want to be found.
Mark Thompson's investigative and interviewing skills, and his extensive working knowledge of criminal law as well as court processes, makes him a valuable asset to our firm and our clients. In most cases, there are no additional fees required for the investigation that we do. It is not extra - it is necessary to effectively handle many cases, and the cost of our investigation is included in the attorney fees that you pay.
If you have been charged with a crime and are concerned about whether your attorney will conduct an independent investigation of the facts in your case, call the Thompson Defense Firm at 843-444-6122 for a free consultation.