Child Abuse & Neglect Help
Benefits to CASEassistAs the TEAM MEMBERS on a case, we would help with the following:
THE PLAN IN MORE DETAIL
1. MOTION PLAN/DISCOVERY PLAN: Even though the law is somewhat different in all 50 states as well as military courts and federal courts, it is important that your attorney understands the possible legal issues of your case. Look for an attorney with a specialty in the area of law that your case requires. In smaller states, there might not be case law on the issues surrounding your case. Motions for California are available at: http://www.californiamotions.com
Those Motions give you an idea as to the extent of what Motions may be needed and be of help to your attorney with their Discovery Plan of Action. The attorneys we have worked with in the past, felt that the motions on the Accused Web page helped them focus on the issues relevant to a specific case. Once those issues were defined in their mind, they were able to locate the local law and Points and Authorities for those specific issues.
The Motion Plan and Discovery Plan is the backbone of the case. It is designed to help keep out the prejudicial, irrelevant evidence against you. It is also designed to make sure that the defense evidence becomes admissible.
2. INVESTIGATION PLAN: After learning the facts of your case, we help establish a “tentative” Strategy and Investigative Action Plan. The investigation must help answer the questions that the jury will raise: Such as: “If there was no molestation, why is this child making these accusations?” Using the Theory of the Case, we lay out a plan of what witnesses should be interviewed and on what issues. We also lay out a plan of what documents and evidence needs to be gathered. Remember, the ‘W’ questions (Who, What, Where, When, Why and hoW) need to be asked and answered.
Investigations in a child molestation case are more difficult than in other areas of criminal law. This is also true in Family Law where children may be involved. The witnesses may be reluctant to talk about these sensitive issues and often do not want to get involved. Witnesses may have information that is relevant to the relationships between the parties, but do not realize its significance. Cases involving children are sensitive and generally emotionally charged.
Since events occur in a context, you are urged to go to the “FORMS” section of CASEassist and make a copy of the “SAMPLE WITNESS LIST” and “SAMPLE CHRONOLOGY“. Use those sample forms to make your own lists. The Witness List and Chronology are important resources that need to be continually updated.
We would help coach your investigator in the “People Skills” method of interviewing witnesses. Using the Power of Persuasion, as apposed to the Power of Authority, used by Law Enforcement, is often times more effective. The Power of Persuasion interview process is different than police type interviews or interrogation.
A good forensic investigative interview is absent suggestion, contamination, accommodation, implantation, and without interviewer bias. This increases the probability of obtaining the most “Reliable” information. Interrogation of suspects by Law Enforcement is accusatory by design and sometimes coercive resulting in a false confession.
3. EXPERT WITNESS PLAN: After learning the facts of the case by discovery and investigation, one may be able to determine if the prosecution is likely to use an expert witness against you and if you need an expert witness/es for your case. The experts used most commonly are mental health experts, lab experts and medical experts.
The expert witness plan will identify the issues that may be testified to by the prosecution and the defense experts. It is important that your attorney be knowledgeable and skilled in cross examining expert witnesses. Your attorney may or may not have the material in his/her library.
4. THEORY of the CASE: Weak alibis and inconsistent statements do not win cases. The jury is very forgiving of child witness factual errors. They ask themselves: “If it didn’t happen, why is the child saying this?”
This is where the Theory of the Case and strategy comes in. After the investigation is completed, the medical, lab and mental health research done, the motions written and a determination has been made as to what is or is not admissible, is when it is crucial to prepare the final Theory and Trial Strategy for your Case.