What factors can compromise a criminal case?

Many defense attorneys often wonder: what makes a criminal case strong? As they uncover the answer to this question with each practicing experience, professionals must also examine the different factors that can hurt a case. Did you know that 10 factors are common to most wrongful criminal convictions? A study, performed by American University in Washington, D.C., identifies the following factors as relevant or common to erroneous convictions:

  • False statements by non-eyewitnesses
  • The culture of the death penalty in a particular state
  • The number of executions in a particular area
  • The vitality of the defendant’s case
  • The strength of the prosecution’s case
  • Legal violations related to evidence (Brady v. Maryland)
  • Forensic mistakes
  • The defendant’s age
  • A suspect’s criminal history
  • Intentional misidentifications
  • Family witnesses (testifying for the defendant)

What Else Do You Need to Know?

While these factors are deemed the most common, this does not mean other pieces in an investigation or trial are not significant to a criminal case. If any player in the criminal justice scheme is not diligent, this could compromise an innocent person’s future.

The research analyzed 460 erroneous convictions and cases involving acquittals or dismissals from 1980-2012. The examination of data pointed to 10 factors that suggest when a wrongful conviction is more likely – especially in comparison to acquittals or dismissals.

The data is alarming as these factors could be the difference between guilt and innocence. Legal experts note that many of these factors can be eliminated in the initial investigation stage. For example, if police officers utilize extensive checklists, this can help ensure thoroughness – that officers are examining all pieces of a case. Legal experts also recommend forensic testing, which is conducted early in the case. Furthermore, trained and experienced professionals should perform all evidentiary tests.

While we want to believe that the actors in our criminal justice system are reliable, sometimes, this is not the case. For this reason, it is important for a criminal suspect to retain the assistance of a qualified defense attorney. Adequate legal representation is essential to case. An experienced lawyer can help ensure that people (for example, the police officers and court personnel) are doing their jobs in accordance with the law.

Contact Our Team Today

When you’re in need of a criminal lawyer in Newark or the surrounding area, it’s important to seek a legal team that has plenty of experience. The good news is that at the Law Offices of Robert J. DeGroot, our principal attorney has nearly five decades of experience in dealing with all types of cases. No matter the situation, if you’re in need of help, we want you to know that you can reach out to us for an initial consultation.

If you have been charged with a serious crime, retain the help of a qualified criminal law attorney in your area. A competent and experienced lawyer can help make sure that your rights and privileges have been adequately protected. If you’re in Newark or the surrounding area, contact our team today.