Winning A Texas Self Defense Case: 6 Goals In Preparation.
In order to win a self defense case the criminal attorney must begin preparing the case at the moment he or she is retained. Gathering the facts from the actual incident and then developing additional facts which will build the self-defense case is essential. Texas criminal law is favorable to self-defense evidence. Dallas criminal lawyers know that if they are prepared they have a better chance of convincing a judge to allow their self-defense facts into evidence. Here are the first 6 goals a criminal lawyer should try an achieve when they are retained on the case.
1. First and foremost the criminal attorney must meet and interview the client at the earliest opportunity. If the charge is murder or aggravated assault then there is a strong likelihood that the client is sitting in jail. The criminal attorney must get to the jail as soon as possible and meet face to face with the client. It is also essential to instruct the client to not speak over the jail phone to anyone about the facts. Almost all jails record jail phone calls and make them available to prosecutors.
2. During the first interview with the client the criminal attorney should explain in detail the law of self-defense. It is essential that the client understand when force is justified and what evidence is admissible at trial. The client almost always testifies when self-defense is the issue and that preparation must begin with the first meeting.
3. Have the client explain every fact that he can recall regarding the incident. Keep in mind that the client may not recall all details surrounding the incident right away. Studies by memory experts have shown that individuals who have been involved in a traumatic event such as a shooting need at least 72 hours before they can accurately recall the events. Because of these studies the Dallas Police changed their policies and don’t allow there officers who have forced their weapons to be interviewed by investigators until 72 hours have passed. The client must be interviewed numerous times over the next few months.
4. If the client and the victim knew each other then the criminal attorney should find out every bad fact the client knows about the victim. Under Texas self defense law bad facts known by the client about the victim can be admissible at trial. It is extremely important to have the client recall every violent incident he has known the victim to have been involved in, such as fights, threats and gang membership. It does not matter that the client knows these facts through hearsay under Texas law they can still be admissible.
5. Have the client make a list of every person who may know about violent acts committed by the victim. This can lead to the discovery of more witnesses and incidents that can be admissible at trial.
6. Hire a private investigator to assist you in preparation of the case. In order to successfully prepare and present a self-defense case witnesses must be located and interviewed and the criminal lawyer needs a good investigator to accomplish these goals.