art2oct2012When you are accused of a crime what is the first thing you should do?  If you have been accused of wrong doing at work that could threaten your job what should you do?  When you receive notice that you are being sued in civil court, what should you do?  Any time you are the focus of criminal, civil or administration action you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible.  But he or she is going to ask you to tell the facts of the case as you know them.  A good attorney will want to know what the evidence is that led authorities to believe that you are responsible.

I would suggest the first step is to have an experienced investigator review the facts normally developed in an investigation of some kind that serve as the basis or foundation of the allegations made against you.  He or she should obtain a copy of the report of investigation (if there is one) and thoroughly analyze it.  He should have a detailed interview with you, his client, to offer insight as to what happened and your involvement.  He must conduct a detailed investigation from the moment the incident was reported, to the response, investigation at the scene of the incident, identification and interview of witnesses, and conclusions.  Why is this important?  Why should this be done immediately?

It must be done immediately because the case is still new and it isn’t getting any newer.  Evidence that has been over looked may still be available to be documented and retrieved.  The details spoken of by witnesses are still fresh in their mind.  Plus the statements made to them by the initial investigators are in the front of their memory.  The longer you wait to review the case against you the more difficult it is to alter the facts.  Remember all investigative reports conclude that you did it so there is no time like the present to find information and evidence to change the conclusion.

Here are some of the findings we discovered this year:

  1. The police report said that they did not keep the 911 call, the basis of their case.  The investigator obtained a copy of the 911 call just before it was erased.  Subsequent calls that revealed they found the perpetrator but arrested and accused another person.

  2. Police respond to a burglar alarm to find controlled substances in the home.  They trash the house and confiscate nearly every item of value without any knowledge that controlled substances were being sold.

  3. Witnesses told investigators lies to retaliate against a third party.

  4. Statements by the investigator were found to be impossible when the scene was examined.

  5. Police respond to a disturbance where they speak to the party causing the disturbance because they knew him.  The person who called the police was arrested.

If you are accused or believed responsible for criminal, civil or administrative acts it is imperative that you have a knowledgeable and competent investigator re-examine the incident scene to verify details reported.  Failure to do so could result in the hearing forum accepting fiction as fact; allowing a false report to become gospel.

Don’t let this happen to you!  Call Cadfael immediately at (763) 694-6086 to conduct an incident scene analysis.

--Cadfael.