Once a client has retained your services to handle a criminal case, there
are a number of common steps that most attorneys will take:
1. Inform their client to not speak to anyone except the attorney and/or
an investigator hired by the attorney.
2. Procure discovery from the district attorney including, but not limited
to, police reports, taped statements, photographs, medical records, and diagrams.
3. Bring motions for disclosure of informants, search and seizure violations,
delay in prosecution, etc.
4. Subpoena records from other witnesses.
5. Interview witnesses.
The above notwithstanding, there are other things often available to criminal
attorneys that could also prove meritorious. For example, does the defendant
also have a civil action against them for the alleged misconduct? If so,
the defense attorney can avail themselves of the civil discovery process
(depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions and subpoenas).
Civil actions associated with criminal cases may include domestic violence
claims (divorce, employment and civil restraining orders), or the suspension
or termination of a license, certificate or clearance. For example, are
you representing a teacher accused of misconduct, or an employee of a
national security contractor accused of drug violations?
In addition, can a defendant accused of a crime bring a civil action? Although
we are not suggesting that a defendant file spurious civil lawsuits, it
is clear that many criminal defendants believe that they are innocent,
and that their respective rights have been violated.
A civil action will not only allow for the range of discovery tools noted
above (which will only provide more information for the criminal case),
but also give the defendant a sense that someone is being proactive rather
than merely on the defense. Even a small claims action can open up the
civil discovery avenues.
It's important that criminal attorneys think "outside the box."
If you have been convicted of a crime,
contact the Law Offices of Karlstrom & Krebs today!