We believe that every action we take on a case has a meaning and should be in furtherance of our goal to get you the best possible result. Period. But every case is different. Even if two people have the same charges their cases can be vastly different. It would be impossible to list or write about all the tasks that go into defending a case. We do however have our own unique approach to litigating cases.
First, we investigate your case. This investigation starts when you walk through our door. You lived through whatever events took place in your case, you are our number one source of information. We also work hard to obtain outside information which is necessary like police reports, video/audio recordings, phone records, gps data, photos, 911 calls, dispatch logs and witness statements. Sometimes we will visit the “crime scene”, personally inspect the physical evidence or even hire a private investigator if needed. Information is key to every case. And sometimes a lack of information is just as important.
Secondly, we look for what we lawyers call “issues”. Often in drug cases and/or property forfeiture cases the police engage in a search and seizure which is in violation of the 4th Amendment or Article 1 Section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. Sometimes the police forget to read you your rights in violation of the 5th Amendment. These are examples of “issues”. When we identify issues we litigate them through a pre-trial motion to suppress evidence. A motion to suppress is a motion asking the court to exclude evidence from your trial because the police obtained it in violation of your constitutional or statutory rights. These motions to suppress apply in property seizure and forfeiture cases as well as criminal cases.
At the same time we prep your case for trial. This means we identify any defense you might have either legally or factually. We develop a theory of defense and organize witnesses and evidence to support our theory. To do this we may need to depose witnesses (have them testify under oath in our office) and we will always need to prepare you for trial.
Lastly, while we investigate your case, hunt for issues and prepare for trial, we also advise you on the steps you can take while your case is pending to better your position at sentencing in case you plead guilty or are convicted. You must be an active participant in your case if you want the best possible result. We can lead the way but you must follow.by