Winning A Texas Self Defense Case: 6 Preparation goals
To win a Texas self defense case the criminal lawyer must extensively prepare by locating witnesses and gathering supporting documents to prove the client acted in self-defense. Here are 6 more goals of case preparation the criminal attorney should pursue when he begins working on a self defense case.
1. Locate and interview all witnesses who have witnessed previous violent incidents involving the state’s “victim”. The incidents may be admissible at trial and the witnesses must be prepared as soon as possible.
2. Locate and interview ex-spouses and girlfriends of the “victim”. These witnesses will often have had violent encounters with the victim which could be admissible at trial. Search civil and family law records for old protective orders and accompanying affidavits. These are the types of witnesses which may get cold feet as a trial nears so it is a good idea to lock their story down through affidavits or recordings.
3. Obtain every police report that involves the arrest of the state’s “victim”. These records could provide names of additional witnesses. The criminal attorney can obtain these records through open records request prior to indictment and by subpoena after indictment.
4.If the victim was on probation at the time of the incident subpoena the entire probation file. Violations of conditions of probation could be admissible at trial for impeachment and bias purposes.
5. If the victim was a member of a criminal street gang the criminal attorney should subpoena the gang file from the police department that has handled him. The file can provide the names of police officers who may be testify to the “victims” reputation for violence.
6. Subpoena school discipline records of the “victim” These records can lead to teachers, principles and students who have had violent encounters with the “victim”. School officials can be very compelling witnesses for the defense.