It is not controversial to note that success in the courtroom is contingent upon wise and thorough pretrial preparation. A large part of that preparation involves the discovery process and ascertaining which facts are going to be presented in court for evidentiary review. Aside from deftly maneuvering the rules of criminal procedure, any criminal defense attorney knows that pre-trial preparation comes down to thoroughly investigating all aspects of the alleged crime. That’s where Inter-State Investigative Services comes in.
Our investigators understand what goes into effective criminal defense, in general, and specifically into effective discovery. We keep in mind rules of evidence and procedure as we gather the facts to any given case. Experience has shown us that a great percentage of cases reach their result before trial. Still, we always proceed knowing that a thorough investigation of the facts for the maximum preparedness for trial is imperative. We work closely with defense counsel and the rest of their team every step of the way.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW?
Discovery is one of our passions. While our 25+ years of experience working with criminal defense attorneys in Arizona and around the country have given us valuable experience, we always keep an open mind with every new case we investigate. Our fact-finding is grounded in objectivity. At the same time, by working closely with counsel, we have a firm grasp on what conclusion the attorney is hoping the trier-of-fact will draw from the evidence and what evidence they need to do it.
To figure out what we don’t know about a case during the discovery process, we begin with nailing down what we do know. It may sound cliché (clichés are bred directly from repetitive truth) but we establish the “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How” of the case. In determining what happened, we always keep in mind the probative value of any fact. There’s little use in expending resources on evidence that has no chance of ever making it into the courtroom.
GETTING INFORMATION IS ONE THING, KNOWING WHAT TO DO WITH IT IS ANOTHER
Police reports, medical records and other documents require keen observation and a discerning intellect to parse the salient information that will help your client. Our efforts don’t end when the information sought via discovery arrive in counsel’s office. Knowing what to look for in a police report or a witness’ statement only comes with the kind of experience found at Inter-State Investigative Services. We’ve seen enough crime scenes investigative reports to know when there’s been shoddy work or contradictory evidence found.
EMBRACING THE ADVERSARIAL NATURE
As much as we pride ourselves on discovering all facts pertinent to the case at hand, and understanding their role in the discovery process and at trial, we also honor the process of engaging with the prosecution. Understanding what evidence they are going to present and how it forms their overall case is of paramount importance to us.
We have earned our reputation for hard work on behalf of our clients, fair play during the course of discovery, and respect for the both the prosecution and the court throughout it all. We abhor cheaters and anyone bent on denigrating the pursuit of truth and justice. The presentation of any information during discovery for deceptive, or even supercilious, reasons disgusts us. We believe wholeheartedly to the right to counsel. Effective discovery is a key ingredient to any effective defense.
WHAT TO EXPECT, I.E., IT’S BETTER TO BE PREPARED THAN WITTY
Obviously, every case is different. But one constant runs through most – counsel’s need for more time and resources to put together the perfect case. Inter-State Investigative Services knows all too well the real-world constraints that attend to defending a case. We always aim for the best plan possible, while keeping in mind what is the most realistic. All the while, we keep counsel abreast of any developments that may impinge successful discovery. Being prepared, working tirelessly, and understanding all of the limits we face, be they evidentiary, physical or temporal, comprises the backbone of our approach. Over two decades of experience assisting defense attorneys has proven to our clients that this approach is highly effective.
Generally speaking, Inter-State Investigative Services travels two roads in discovering the information upon which the prosecution is basing their accusation(s): informal and formal. Both of these require agility, persistence and the expertise that only comes with over twenty years of investigating on behalf of defense attorneys.
As mentioned above, we operate with utmost professionalism when dealing with the prosecution. This is especially important during informal discovery, which requires cooperative communication with the opposition. Keeping one’s enemies close is the best way to pick their minds. Prosecutors, as a rule, aren’t generally forthright with the plan for their case. But they also can’t take every case to trial. And they are loath to put themselves in a situation where they have to respond to a plethora of formal discovery requests.
So, we have found that most have a spot somewhere in between a stringent, hardheaded approach to discovery and a realistic, fight-the-right battle manner where they can informally provide us with information about their case. This is especially true in a legal community where we have consistently worked ethically and earned the respect of even the most aggressive prosecutor.
DID WE MENTION WE PLAY HARDBALL WITH THE BEST OF THEM?
Sometimes, when it comes to discovery, the prosecution isn’t interested in anything but hardball. At Inter-State Investigative Services, we say, “Bring it on.” We’ll match our hardball with anyone’s. Our knowledge and experience with the courts, rules, procedures and personnel in the Arizona legal system, facilitate our ability to help defense counsel get the prosecution to formally reveal information. Whether it’s a working understanding of the Brady Rule in federal court and the prosecution’s withholding of evidence, or knowing whether a city court prefers motions by PDF, our experience has its benefits.
We have also developed countless connections throughout the southwest who help us on many cases, especially during the discovery phase. If you could see the look on the faces of the prosecutors who thought they knew something we didn’t, you’d know there are reasons the best defense attorneys in Arizona call on us.
If you’re interested in having the best criminal defense investigators in Southern Arizona assist your case, please click the “Submit a Request” button at the top of the page, or call IISAZ now at (520) 882-2723 or (602) 358-7759.