At Surmount Investigations we offer one of the most comprehensive defence investigation services in the region.
We work with individuals who have been accused of a criminal offence but who maintain their innocence and feel that they have been let down ahead of their impending court date by an insufficient consolidation and presentation of the facts. We do this work either through instruction from the individual’s legal representative or in partnership with said representative.
Our work has ranged from supporting someone accused of a driving offence which they wished to contest through to helping someone who had been accused of a serious assault occasioning grievous bodily harm they denied ever committing, with quite a few variants in cases in between.
With this week’s blog we are going to take a closer and more detailed look at the benefits of employing a defence investigator to your case – with great haste!
Once you’ve been arrested for a crime, the investigation in the eyes of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) essentially started the minute you were cautioned. That means every movement made against you from your arrest onwards will involve evidence gathering, whether that be through formally interviewing witnesses whilst their recollection is still ‘fresh’, taking photographs at the scene whilst it is still ‘as it was’, making local enquiries and so on.
This does not and should not be a one way process – by immediately hiring a criminal defence investigator (or getting your designated/chosen solicitor to instruct one on your behalf) you will have us hitting the ground running to access or attempt to access all of the same evidence.
In a recent case we worked on, our team of investigators were employed so early on that we were working at a pace ahead of local police and acquiring evidence so defence-friendly for our client that the charges were subsequently dropped.
Another Perspective on the case
A truly good defence investigator will come with a background in law, policing or criminal and justice studies in some form so will be in a position to look at your case through the eyes of how a police officer, for example, will have initially reviewed the intelligence and made a decision to arrest / charge.
Every arrest / charge is based on whether the legislative ‘points to prove’ for each offence are there. An independent set of eyes on your case can look at whether these ‘points to prove’ have been met against the evidence gathered and can look at case theories and possible defences against each point.
It is imperative that all information pertaining to the defendant (our client) that is relevant to the case is put before the court. It is becoming more and more apparent of late with reporting on the collapse of rape cases or arrests/charges of entirely innocent individuals that this is not happening.
A good defence investigator, such as us, will work diligently to gather all of the information surrounding your case and make all the relevant localised enquiries, freedom of information requests and the like along with extensive open source investigations to ensure that all intelligence is presented for the record.
Recently, we worked as a defence investigator for an individual framed for a very high value fraud and we were able to uncover the fact that our client’s employer (the first victim) and the director of another company (the second victim) were actually related through marriage – a fact that had not been disclosed – and had actually carried out the financial fraud between the two of them… This was uncovered from a simple deep dive on one named witness’ Facebook page!
Establishing Supporting Witnesses
Nowadays with police resources being what they are, ‘localised enquiries’ for a related criminal offence generally will involve police only interacting with those that present themselves there and then at the scene of the crime, a quick social media appeal and – if you’re lucky – a couple of door knocks around the area.
As your designated defence investigator, we will always endeavour to complete full localised enquiries, establish all known CCTV ‘routes’ around the area and where required fully trace potential witnesses, meet with them and secure a formal statement from them.
We will also always look to review the recorded statements of known witnesses already and look for elements of coaching or unestablished facts. Where possible, in partnership with your solicitor, we will re-interview individuals where required.
A guaranteed defence WITNESS
Having ran your defence investigation, should we find strong enough anomalies or concerns that do not result in the charges against you being dropped, you are guaranteed that we will present ourselves and our findings as a witness in your defence before the court.
A client of ours was charged with a dangerous driving offence and part of the prosecution’s narrative was that he came out of a third lane, hit a vehicle and bounced back over to hit a road sign on the left hand side of the road. We gathered enough irrefutable evidence to prove that there was no ‘third’ lane at the sight of the accident nor was there a road sign anywhere within 200m in any direction of the crash scene.
Our findings were duly ignored so we presented ourselves before the court where in our client’s defence we showed a series of videos and photographs that showed the scene was not how the claimant had described and therefore could not have happened how they claimed. The case was immediately thrown out.
If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime you or they have not committed then contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a FREE one hour consultation to discuss your case.