June 23, 2009

Criminal Defense Investigator - Key to Criminal Defense

By Mark C. Cohrs
Senior Investigator for
The Gasper Law Group

A necessary part of providing legal representation to defendants charged with a criminal offense is the task of evaluating the evidence against the client. The Constitutional concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is not always a reality when a person is accused of committing a crime.

Oftentimes, even well intended officers who are dispatched to investigate alleged offenses tend to react primarily on the basis of probable cause, while giving little or no consideration to mitigating or extenuating circumstances.

Beyond that, the evolution of governing mandates regarding Domestic Violence response practices have caused police agencies to adopt arrest procedures based on the fact that someone called the police, therefore someone has to go to jail. Right or wrong, defendants charged in criminal cases are typically faced with the burden of either trying to prove their innocence or to minimize their exposure in the criminal justice system.

Competent criminal defense attorneys recognize the necessity to investigate the government’s evidence before advising their clients of their options. One of the most effective means of accomplishing this is to employ the services of a reputable and experienced private investigator, preferably someone with a law enforcement background.

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March 30, 2009

Process Service - A Thankless Job!

By Mark C. Cohrs
Senior Investigator
The Gasper Law Group

One of the most seemingly simple, yet underestimated tasks that a law office faces is that of process service. From the recipient of the dreaded Summons and Complaint that transforms the law abiding citizen into a “Defendant”, to the unsuspecting soon to be “ex”, the experienced process server needs to expect the unexpected.

Although a recipient will occasionally respond with a relenting “Thank You”, the server will more likely hear a less endearing phrase as he or she retreats to their car, hopefully before the vicious dogs accidentally escape out of the subject’s house. On the other hand, the server can experience simultaneous confusion and relief when the 6’4", 300 pound biker named Tiny holds out one hand to for the divorce papers, and shakes the server’s hand with a John Wayne grip and says, “Come in for a beer and celebrate with me.”

The successful process server not only needs to become an expert in surveillance techniques, but is also expected to identify and convince an uncooperative subject to open the door and accept service. Incidentally, the word “accept” is subjective in itself, and is often interpreted to mean that the documents were literally thrown at the subject’s feet, followed by the phrase “You got em now.” And let’s not forget that the private server doesn’t possess any type of badge or uniform. In fact, the closest thing to a uniform that a savvy server will wear is a Domino’s ball cap, and their only available weaponry may consist of an empty pizza box, or perhaps a bouquet of flowers for those really desperate assignments.

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