List of Potential Witnesses
When your criminal defense attorney represents you in a criminal matter, your attorney has to do a lot of preparation starting immediately after getting the discovery from the district attorney. Your attorney does not have the luxury of waiting until he knows your case is going to trial to begin preparing your case. Proper preparation and investigation can greatly assist in getting a good deal for you in a plea bargain with prosecutors.
Furthermore, many (if not most) criminal prosecutions do not have DNA, fingerprint, or video evidence—despite what you may see on CSI. Rather, most cases come down to "he said, she said."
In criminal prosecutions, the main witnesses against you are generally the “victim” and one or more police officers who investigated the case. Juries are usually sympathetic to “victims” and tend to believe what police officers say, even though many officers are not as trustworthy as we would like to believe. Because the witnesses are often skewed in favor of the prosecution from the outset, it is important to provide a complete and accurate list of potential witnesses to your attorney as soon as possible.
Armed with a list of potential witnesses, your attorney and his investigative staff can interview the witnesses early, when their memories of the events are fresher in their minds. After hearing what the witnesses recall about the incident, your attorney can make an informed decision as to whether that particular witness will be helpful at trial and whether the information can help get you a better plea agreement with the prosecution to save the expense, time, and risk of a trial.
If you have been involved in an incident that you fear may make you the target of a police investigation or if you have been contacted by police or arrested already, call a criminal defense attorney at the American Justice Center for a free, confidential, no obligation consultation (then make a list of potential witnesses).