Leader

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

When are you required to be questioned by a defense lawyer?

Collapse

300x250 Mobile

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • When are you required to be questioned by a defense lawyer?

    A few years back, a neighbor of mine had awoken to sounds in his back yard. When he went to check on it, a few teenagers wearing distinctive clothing ran off. He then noticed that parts of his lawn (bushes, lawn ornaments, etc) had been vandalized.

    The police were called and they found the teenagers (late teens, all legal adults) nearby and brought my neighbor out to identify them. He did, and the police managed to later get confessions out of them.

    The next day, my neighbor got a voice message from a defense lawyer (probably hired by the parents of one of the teens) demanding that he immediately contact him.

    The message implied that he had to be vigorously questioned by the defense lawyer prior to any trial.

    The lawyer also contacted several out of state family members of his (without his consent) and asked questions about my neighbor. The implication made (without specifically stating) was that he was the prosecutor trying to help my neighbor and not the defense lawyer.

    That neighbor has since moved away, and unfortunately I never found out the ending to that situation since he no longer wanted to discuss it after the lawyer began contacting family members of his.


    Now I am curious, prior to taking the stand as a witness, when are you required to be questioned by a defense lawyer?

    Whenever pressing charges against someone, do you now have to warn family members that they are going to have defense lawyers contacting them?

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    A fairly common tactic employed by some defense attorneys. Unless the attorney in question subpeona 's you, you are under NO obligation to answer any questions over the phone. Additionally, some attorneys will send you a very official looking letter, often quoting a state's Rules of Criminal Procedure, soliciting your response to questions or a series of questions. Once more, unless you receive a subpeona ( for a Deposition)from the Attorney in question, you are not required to respond. The reason for the legal subterfuge I've referenced is an Attorney seeking to avoid the cost of having a subpeona served on you. O T H, once in court, and under cross examination, you would be required to truthfully answer any question(s) the defense attorney asks you. Please keep in mind, that my reply is very general in nature. It would be fully applicable in Alabama. Should the issue arise, I suggest you contact the Prosecutor handling your case for further insight.

    Comment


    • #3
      Anytime a victim is contacted by a defense attorney outside of court, the victim should refuse to answer and immediately call the prosecutor. Depending on the case and it's details such action can get the defense attorney in hot water.
      Today's Quote:

      "The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits."
      Albert Einstein

      Comment


      • #4
        Read both of my colleagues advice above.


        I talk to attorneys only when subpoenaed. Or over drinks at their house. (I have several friends who are attorneys/judges.)
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

        Comment


        • #5
          If a defense attorney or their "investigator" shows up at your door you should demand they leave. If for some crazy reason you feel you must talk you should record it. Any type of "threats" should also be reported.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
            A fairly common tactic employed by some defense attorneys. Unless the attorney in question subpeona 's you, you are under NO obligation to answer any questions over the phone. Additionally, some attorneys will send you a very official looking letter, often quoting a state's Rules of Criminal Procedure, soliciting your response to questions or a series of questions. Once more, unless you receive a subpeona ( for a Deposition)from the Attorney in question, you are not required to respond. The reason for the legal subterfuge I've referenced is an Attorney seeking to avoid the cost of having a subpeona served on you. O T H, once in court, and under cross examination, you would be required to truthfully answer any question(s) the defense attorney asks you. Please keep in mind, that my reply is very general in nature. It would be fully applicable in Alabama. Should the issue arise, I suggest you contact the Prosecutor handling your case for further insight.
            +1

            Comment


            • #7
              LOL, working a GJ case, a PI contacted one of our witnesses, showed him a badge and said "......I'm an Investigator from Jefferson County" Our witness refused to speak to him and called the SO. When contacted he stated he never implied he was with the SO.

              We wound up inditing him as well on theft charges
              "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


              The real deal

              Outshined Pujulesfan Bearcat Chitowndet Sgt Slaughter jthorpe M-11 Lt Borelli L-1Sgt CHP Nikk Smurf Presence1 IcecoldblueyesKimble LADEP ateamer ChiCity R.A.B. Jenners IrishMetal GoldBadge willowdared Monkeybomb PhilipCal pullicords Chit2001 Garbageman Narco CruiserClass Fuzz 10-42Trooper Tex4720 irishlad2nv bajakirch OnThe gurmpyirishmanNYIlliniSgtScott31 CityCopDCcgh6366 FJDave

              Comment


              • #8
                Philip is on the money. You do not have to answer anything from a defense attorney or anyone he sends to ask you questions. The only time is under subpoena or in the courtroom.
                I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well, my reaction would be to immediately contact the defense attorney, like he "demanded," and tell him to go F himself. While improper and annoying, contacting a victim's family members isn't illegal. It my certainly be unethical, but it's not like the attorney requires consent from the victim to investigate his background/credibility.

                  The simple rule for it is what has been posted above. Unless you're appearing by command of a subpoena, don't speak to the defense attorney. His job is to protect the rights of his client and ensure that the prosecuting attorney proves his case beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor's job is two fold, ensure that he proves his case and protect the rights of his witnesses (i.e. the victim). If your friend was contacted by a defense attorney as stated above, he needs to immediately contact the prosecutor. Witness tampering or intimidation is very, very serious.
                  Originally posted by K40
                  To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
                  ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sigcopper View Post
                    If a defense attorney or their "investigator" shows up at your door you should demand they leave. If for some crazy reason you feel you must talk you should record it. Any type of "threats" should also be reported.
                    The suggestion that defense attorneys or their investigators contact victims or witnesses with the intent to threaten them is absurd. I spent more than three decades in LE (including about 12 years as a detective) and never heard of such nonsense. It's one thing when a friend or fellow gang member(s) tries to dissuade someone from testifying and something else entirely when the defense is doing their job by getting relevant information and being in a position to evaluate whether or not to proceed to trial (or accept a plea deal).

                    FWIW: Since retiring nearly three years ago, I've done quite a bit of work as a defense PI and met many other retired LEOs that do the same thing. Neither I (nor they) are any less ethical now than when we worked for "the people". The evidence is there or it isn't. We don't make stuff up, try to coerce witnesses or "hide evidence", but we are restricted by law from revealing (to the prosecution) information that's protected under attorney-client privilege.

                    As a LEO, I recognized the necessity to retain, document and make available to the defense potential evidence that tends to show innocence, just as I secured evidence of guilt. The suggestion (made here) that defense attorneys or their private investigators are doing something unethical, unlawful or evil by contacting potential witnesses for legitimate follow-up only validates what some defense attorneys claim- that police officers are often more interested in getting convictions that seeking the truth. (An assertion that I find particularly offensive and you should too.)

                    Final note: I've never "demanded" that potential witnesses talk to me. I don't hide my status as a defense investigator or lead those I speak with to believe I'm working for the prosecution. If you don't want to talk to me, fine. If you (as a LEO) do, that's fine too. Either way, you should recognize that this work is "legit" and if you can't see that now, I sure hope you don't need to learn it's value if/when you need a vigorous defense.
                    Last edited by pulicords; 05-14-2011, 09:13 PM.
                    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      pulicords...Sad to say but the very practice that you have not seen in your career, I have seen more than once in criminal cases here in NY. What Ptlcop wrote was right on the money. Prosecution witnesses in criminal cases need not speak to a defense attorney prior to trial. If that attorney has a reason to requests to know the witness's testimony prior to the witness taking the stand, the defense attorney can make a motion to have the direct testimony done outside the presence of the jury.
                      Last edited by Dinosaur32; 05-15-2011, 07:35 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        pullicords, just because you haven't seen it first hand, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I've taken multiple police reports from victims in criminal cases being harassed by the defendants attorney. The practice of sending them "pre-trial questionnaires" isn't uncommon either, nor is going to their house or business to attempt to require them to answer questions based on some made up "trial rule." Several of my cases have also had defense attorney's removed from them for this same type of unethical behavior.

                        Sure, not every defense attorney does this. Not even most, or a large portion of it. But some do. I've personally known 11 cops who have been fired or arrested for illegal acts, some done while on the job. Not every cop commits crimes, not even most, or a large potion of us. But some do, right?

                        There are bad apples and unethical people in every profession. When your job, and your paycheck, depends on you successfully getting people acquitted, it's often more tempting to do so through unethical means
                        Originally posted by K40
                        To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
                        ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PtlCop View Post
                          pullicords, just because you haven't seen it first hand, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I've taken multiple police reports from victims in criminal cases being harassed by the defendants attorney.
                          I won't deny that harassment can't happen (or hasn't), I've just never seen it in my experience. Obtaining a PI license in this state is pretty tough and few people other than retired LEOs qualify. The requirement that applicants can't even take the test without proving they have five or six thousand hours of paid experience as an investigator really limits who can and can't get licensed. http://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/pi_fact.shtml

                          Just to be clear, I do believe there's a difference between legitimate defense efforts at obtaining information and harassment. Counsel for the defense and their investigators aren't out of line for doing the former.
                          "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The suggestion (made here) that defense attorneys or their private investigators are doing something unethical, unlawful or evil by contacting potential witnesses for legitimate follow-up only validates what some defense attorneys claim- that police officers are often more interested in getting convictions that seeking the truth. (An assertion that I find particularly offensive and you should too.)

                            Pulicords, I find this comment pretty ironic coming from someone who works for Defense Attorneys who notoriously find every loophole and procedural trick under the sun to make sure even a client they know that is guilty is set free... talk about not being interested in the "truth." I would be careful lecturing officers on ethics. By the way, police dont get convictions, that is up to the court to decide. Once a case leaves my hands I have no vested interest in a conviction as I have completed my job with it.
                            Retired 02/01/13

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pulicords, please take off the rose colored glasses. Were you LE in Mayberry? I have even had issues with former LE working for defense attorneys. I had one ask a victim's mother if she was retarded because of how she was answering questions in court. The woman did admit that she may have Asperger’s disease but, had not been officially diagnosed.

                              When you cross over the track can you ever come back?!!?!?!?!?!
                              Stupid has no color or race, everyone can participate.

                              Comment

                              MR300x250 Tablet

                              Collapse

                              What's Going On

                              Collapse

                              There are currently 2736 users online. 150 members and 2586 guests.

                              Most users ever online was 26,947 at 07:36 PM on 12-29-2019.

                              Welcome Ad

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X