27 Nov 23

The Importance of Conducting a Thorough Investigation in Long Island Criminal Cases

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Last Updated on: 6th December 2023, 11:06 pm

The Importance of Thorough Investigations in Long Island Criminal Cases

When someone stands accused of a crime in Long Island, New York, the quality of the investigation into that alleged offense can make all the difference in the outcome of the case. As a criminal defense attorney practicing in Long Island for over a decade, I have seen firsthand how critical a thorough, unbiased investigation is to uncovering the truth and determining guilt or innocence. In this article, I’ll explore why conducting comprehensive inquiries is so vital in local criminal matters and how it impacts case results.

Gathering Information & Evidence

The backbone of any criminal investigation is compiling evidence and information related to the purported crime. This includes interviewing witnesses, documenting the scene, collecting physical evidence, reviewing surveillance footage, and more. The evidence gathered during an investigation is what prosecutors rely on to try and prove guilt.

However, evidence is only as good as the methods used to collect it. Shoddy, incomplete investigative work often leads to facts getting misconstrued or important clues getting overlooked. This is why law enforcement agencies have strict protocols their officers must follow when launching inquiries into suspected illegal acts. Protocols that help ensure the integrity of evidence and work products that result.

But sometimes these procedures are not always followed as they should be. When that happens, pieces of the puzzle get missed that could shed light on what really transpired. Evidence gets contaminated or omitted that could weaken the prosecution’s version of events or even prove the defendant’s innocence.

In Long Island criminal cases, I’ve seen firsthand how lackluster investigations by police and other agencies can adversely impact defendants. In several cases, authorities failed to track down witnesses who later came forward with testimony exonerating the accused. In others, officials did not thoroughly comb crime scenes, leaving behind exculpatory evidence that supported alibi claims.

Sloppy investigative work like this allows cases to proceed based on flawed or incomplete information. And it removes leverage defense lawyers can use to get charges dropped or reduced.

Uncovering Overlooked Facts & Witnesses

Thorough independent inquiries allow criminal defense attorneys the chance to dig deeper into the circumstances surrounding an allegation. Unlike law enforcement focused solely on building a case against the accused, defense lawyers only care about uncovering the truth. So they can approach investigations from an unbiased perspective, following leads wherever they go even if it weakens the prosecution’s stance.

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Often some of my most successful case results come from facts and witnesses I or my private investigator uncover that police missed. Like the neighbor who contradicted the claims of the key witness ultimately discrediting their testimony. Or restaurant receipts proving my client was miles away from the crime scene when the incident occurred.

By conducting exhaustive inquiries, I can build a counter-narrative to weaken the district attorney’s version of events. Or assemble enough evidence to justify getting charges lowered or dismissed outright. My clients benefit greatly from having someone double check the prosecution’s “facts” and work hard to secure all existing evidence regarding what happened.

Securing Expert Witnesses

Thorough prep work is hugely important when securing expert witnesses too. Qualified experts can blow holes in the prosecution’s forensic evidence, investigation procedures, and testimony from the state’s expert witnesses. But if the groundwork hasn’t been laid, their impact can be minimal.

Working with a private investigator to meticulously verify backgrounds, credentials, and testimony records of potential experts is vital. You need someone intimately familiar with the case details who can reach out to contacts across different industries to find the best expert for the situation. Who can liaise with them to explain case specifics and prepare them to offer testimony that genuinely punches holes in the prosecution’s stance.

Without exhaustive vetting and preparation utilizing expert witnesses effectively is virtually impossible. The right expert can seriously alter the trajectory of a case. But even world-class experts will falter if not fully armed with what they need to provide impactful testimony.

Supporting Alternative Theories

In-depth digging by skilled defense teams during investigations frequently unearths plausible alternative theories of the crime. Perhaps they discover the eyewitness who fingered your client had reason to hold a grudge against them. Or the physical evidence points to another equally likely suspect that law enforcement dismissed too quickly.

Exploring other probable explanations for how and why the offense happened provides opportunities to instill reasonable doubt of guilt in judges and juries. And potentially shift blame and suspicion onto someone else. But for alternate theories to appear convincing in court, they must be backed up with evidence and testimony.

The fruits of thorough independent criminal inquiries often deliver the sustenance needed to feed plausible alternative theories. Helping transform them from hypotheticals into grounded realities judges and juries feel compelled to contemplate.

Incentivizing Prosecutors to Dismiss or Reduce Charges

In my role defending clients facing criminal allegations, I’ve learned how much prosecutors dislike cases built upon shaky evidence that can easily get picked apart in court. District attorneys want to win cases and maintain high conviction rates so they can get re-elected. Tackling trials boasting massive holes or questionable information risks embarrassment and defeat.

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By conducting exhaustive inquiries that expose flaws in the prosecution’s stance, I gain leverage to secure charge dismissals or reductions during plea negotiations. Prosecutors know juries would have ample reasons to doubt guilt based on the evidence and testimony I’ve assembled. So they become much more incentivized to get rid of these cases through generous plea bargains.

Of course, all the negotiating power lies with the prosecutor. But demonstrating the shortcomings in their position via comprehensive investigative work pressures them to dispose of these matters without trial. Often through attractive plea deals or dismissing charges outright.

Staying A Step Ahead

Thorough inquiries allow me to anticipate moves the prosecution may make and proactively prepare countermeasures. I know what witnesses and forensic analysis they are likely to use against my client based on evidence missing from the investigation records. So I can get a head start lining up solid rebuttals before they even enter the picture.

Maybe I reach out to an expert to preemptively discredit the autopsy analysis I know the DA will introduce. Or start working on a line of aggressive questioning aimed at shaking the resolve of a key witness once I know they’ll get called to testify.

By digging extensively on the front end, I uncover not only facts and evidence but the building blocks of the prosecution’s game plan for trial. Which offers priceless insight into how state lawyers intend to frame arguments and structure testimony. Allowing me to scheme up ways to systematically dismantle their case.

The Value of Diligence

In Long Island criminal defense matters thoroughness carries substantial weight when aiming to achieve the best case resolution. It uncovers information and witnesses police missed. Provides building blocks for plausible alternate theories. Secures high-powered expert witnesses. Exposes flaws that incent plea deals. And reveals the prosecution’s trial blueprint.

But most importantly, diligent digging brings us closer to the truth which is the ultimate objective in any case I handle. That truth can set my clients free. Or it can confirm their role in committing the act they stand accused of. Either way, only by turning over every stone possible can I find it. Which clearly demonstrates why comprehensive investigations hold such importance Long Island criminal cases.