The epic courtroom showdowns between prosecutors and criminal defence lawyers dominate legal dramas. But much of their work unfolds far from the gallery lights and camera flashes. To establish reasonable doubt and unravel the government’s case, savvy defence teams proactively launch exhaustive extrajudicial inquiries through creative investigative techniques before trials ever commence. Many criminal cases hinge on police securing damning evidence against defendants through searches, surveillance, forensic analysis, and suspect interviews. However, improper evidence gathering, mishandling, or reporting by law enforcement invalidates critical proof when exposed.
Skilled defence investigators closely scrutinize all links in evidentiary chains for violations or inaccuracies. They independently trace physical evidence like weapons, biological samples, and technological devices from origin through forensic testing to ensure unbroken custody. Any hint of tampering or unreliable analysis gets exploited. They also confirm crime scenes and investigatory re-enactments reflect original conditions. Additionally, possible Miranda rights violations, coerced confessions, witness influence, or unconstitutional searches by police come under the microscope via attorney investigations. Suppression motions serve as a common remedy for deficient evidence tied to official misconduct.
Deploying private detectives
experienced defence solicitors in London analyze the prosecutor’s legal arguments and evidence submissions, outside private detectives, conduct boots-on-the-ground sleuthing to solidify counter-theories. Seasoned criminal defence teams maintain dedicated investigators or firms aiding their case-building efforts. Private detectives revisit crime scenes hunting for overlooked clues, perform neighborhood canvasses questioning potential witnesses unknown to police, and use skip tracing to find informants who moved pre-trial. They may stage undercover operations to capture damning admissions or utilize hidden trailing, tracking gear, and surveillance to gather visual counter-evidence. Investigators also research alternate suspects with deeper motives, opportunities, or local feuds explaining the criminal acts.
Data mining and online open-source intelligence
- The digital transformation now colors all aspects of criminal defence investigations. Mining social media accounts has become routine not just for defendants, but also for police officers, witnesses, jurors, prosecutors, and judges for impeachment evidence or bias exposures.
- Lawyers utilize advanced analytics software to reveal relationships within massive document databases like prior convictions, gang affiliations, and crime location patterns. Defencing warrants even pull GPS data on all devices present in an area during criminal acts for comparison.
- Online open-source intelligence aids pre-trial preparations immensely as well. Potential juror backgrounds get scoured while case evidence, legal documents, criminal codes, news reports, scholarly publications, and expert biographies all reside primarily online now for deep case studies.
Leveraging forensic sciences and specialists
Modern defence teams include forensic accountants dismantling complex financial fraud evidence, DNA specialists rebutting identification claims, social media analysts tracing online evidence trails, and computer forensics experts extracting cell phone data favourable to defendants. Highly technical criminal enterprises in fields like environmental violations, securities fraud, and anti-trust allegations necessitate niche scientific competence to defeat charges. In some cases, years pass between indictment and trial while attorneys assemble brains to trust specialty units. Their intensive domain research cultivates pivotal witness testimony or identifies scientific testing oversights unravelling entire counts.