Criminal Defence, Not Guilty, Innocent
Criminal defence investigations start with one premise, that it is a legal system not a justice system. Private investigator, phone 07 47788970, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or for 24/7 inquiries use our online form, contact us. We investigate for business and the private person, as well as take instructions from lawyers, solicitors and barristers. We do not manufacture evidence, we search for the exculpatory evidence, the supporting facts, the timeline information, that is relevant in a matter. Our investigations can include surveillance, factual investigation and research.
A criminal investigation, and your defence, is the investigation of a series of events and activities, it has a timeline. It is not, generally, a single instance of activity. The exception to this would be someone actually caught in the act of committing the offence, where it still has a timeline, but it is very short.
Not everyone charged with an offence is guilty, this is why we have a court system. The court system may operate in the name of justice, but it is more closely aligned to the description of a legal system, where the balance of evidence, the willingness of some to lie or be 'loose with the truth' under oath, the failure of the investigation to examine all possibilities, the admissibility of evidence, and the rule of precedent, as well as occasionally the antecedents of the person charged, all impact on the outcome. Not all court outcomes are correct, nor reflect the concept of 'justice', the weight of evidence must be with you. In a criminal matter, generally, the prosecution (police and DPP for most) must prove the elements of the offence beyond reasonable doubt.
For a major charge there is a process of a committal hearing in the Magistrates Court where evidence can be tested, and if the Magistrate forms the opinion the evidence is sufficient that the matter should go to trial they commit the person to a higher court at a later date. This committal hearing is not actually a trial, and being committed to trial does not mean you will be found guilty, it is a test of evidence and witnesses, to see if it should go to trial in the District or Supreme Court.
Reasonable doubt is sometimes hard to define perfectly. Civil matters only have to reach the balance of probability, generally (more than a 50/50 probability, e.g. 51% or greater then the matter is 'proved'). Reasonable doubt means that, whilst you may have still have doubts, the doubt must be small, unreasonable. For example, if there are two people locked in a room, with only a 6 inch (150mm) by 6 inch vent for air, and one is strangled, the reasonable assumption is that the only other person present committed the crime. Their defence is that a little man came in through the air vent, knocked them out and strangled the other person, before leaving through this little vent high in the wall. The doubt raised is that there is a little man, who could fit through a 6 x 6 vent without leaving evidence, knocked one man out, strangle another, and leave. This doubt would appear unreasonable.
A reasonable doubt is something like police arresting a person walking past a crime scene, because they were there, without any link to the crime, or physical evidence (a causal link or nexus between the person and the offence). It would appear that person has many points at which to attack the police action. You would expect them to plead not guilty, to protest their innocence, to ask where is the evidence. In this case the court may take a very short time to deal with the police actions (you would hope).
As a private investigator we are the active arm of investigations, we go out and talk to people, gather information, affidavits, look at time lines, search for evidence to prove or disprove an element, or testimony. We generally start with a court brief, and a conversation with the person charged, to find out what other information may exist, or areas where searching for evidence to prove a point may be found. A court case is about evidence, the weight of evidence, and the co-operation of the accused person is central to this, as they often have the most knowledge.
Not every person who pleads guilty is guilty, not every person who pleads not guilty is innocent. There are a myriad of reasons to plead guilty, including the 'plea bargain' in a lower court, because there is no guarantee with a jury trial. Sometimes an early plea of guilty is the only option, because you are charged with the current flavour of 'offence of the month' which means even if innocent a jury will convict you based on assumptions not in evidence (like a priest accused of historical pedophilia, assumptions exist making a 'fair trial' less likely). The cost of defending yourself, where solicitors and barristers costs may mean you have to sell your house and go into debt, whereas pleading guilty at the first appearance, with no previous record, means a non-custodial sentence. Some people plead guilty to protect another, either out of loyalty, threat, or because of a promised payment. Some plead guilty out of undiagnosed mental illness. Some people are never charged because of failings of the police investigation, or political interference. So, remember, you are dealing with a legal system, which does not always mean justice.
Remember the basics of your rights. The police can arrest you, interview you, then release you without charge, hold you in custody, release you on an undertaking, or issue you with a notice to appear in court. When arrested you need do no more than supply your correct name and contact details, generally. You can tell police you have no desire to be interviewed. Be aware that they will record you even if it isn't a formal interview setting. 'No comment' is a time honoured phrase, which reserves your story. 'I would like my solicitor present when I am interviewed', is another one (bear in mind many solicitors don't actually know how to handle an interview). Avoid any panicked response, or stupid answer that can infer something you didn't intend. There are solicitors, criminal solicitors who generally deal with criminal matters (as opposed to those who deal in Family Law, or civil action, and property), and specialist criminal defence solicitors, there are crooked solicitors and straight ones, good and bad; choose wisely. We will not recommend or comment on any particular Townsville solicitor, generally.
A private investigator can be a valued extension, as an active investigator, gathering information and evidence, in a form usable to a court. We are there to search for the proof, the evidence, to prove or disprove something. We have many years of experience gathering both surveillance evidence and factual investigation evidence. When you need an experienced Townsville private investigator, call us.