San Diego Roberry Attorney
Robberies are serious cases that can have many issues for an experienced Defense Lawyer to analyze and exploit to help his client. The first is Identification. Many Robbery cases are true "whodunits" because often the perpetrators disguise their identities with the use of masks, bandanas or hoodies. Additionally, weapons are used which can have an impact on a witness' ability to identify a perpetrator even if no disguise is used.
Thus, prosecutors rely on forensic evidence such as DNA, Hair Samples or Fingerprints to identify a suspect. It is crucial that your Defense Attorney be knowledgeable in these sciences in order to exploit weaknesses. For example, Fingerprint evidence has long been purported to be a foolproof way of proving a person was present at a crime scene. While it is true we all have fingerprints that are uniquely our own, the "science" of comparing a known fingerprint with one found at a crime scene is highly subjective. One fingerprint examiner might determine a fingerprint is a "match", while another will find it inconclusive or even negative for a match. What is even scarier is the training process one must go through to be deemed a "fingerprint expert" is extremely easy. I have had one expert tell me "…it is easy as if all you had to do to get into college is recite your abc's."
Eyewitness Identification is another common way prosecutors try and prove robbery cases. However, as strange as it may seem, eyewitness identification is some of the most unreliable evidence there can be. Truly innocent men who were convicted based on eyewitness identification are being released from prison after having served 20 years thanks to DNA. Why is this the case? The answer is the mind can play tricks on people, especially those under extreme stress such as a crime victim. Additionally, such factors as lighting, cross-racial identification and focus on a weapon can play crucial roles in the mind's ability to recognize a suspect.
In order to test eyewitness identification of a client, an experienced Defense Attorney will obtain detailed statements from eyewitnesses, evaluate the lighting and angles to determine the witness' ability to see, and enlist the help of an expert to analyze those and other issues such as cross-racial identification.
Another issue can be client admissions to police. If a client admits to police he was involved in the crime, then there can be Miranda and other interrogation issues that need to be evaluated by the lawyer. There are many instances when people confess to things they did not do, because of the pressure exerted on them by skilled or unethical detectives.
Finally, an attorney needs to analyze whether the crime is actually a robbery or something lesser, like Grand Theft Person which carries significantly lesser penalties and is not a strike.