Adrienne Vernell Hughes, Freelance Paralegal
Criminal law and defense litigation are my favorite areas of law because of the complexity and diversity of each case. Unlike civil litigation, the lines of the law are not as broad and the duties, although routine in nature, they are not as mundane. While the administrative duties such as answering the phones, contacting clients, opposing counsel and other individuals pertinent to a case, and keeping track of all the paperwork and entering data into the computer are the same with every case, the process of interviewing witnesses, conducting research, putting together documents, organizing key evidence and helping the attorney prepare for trial is a totally different experience than working on a civil case.
The most important aspect of defending a criminal case is to remember that every client is innocent until proven guilty. The most critical task in defending a criminal case is to research the specific details of the case, the classification of the crime, and the pretrial procedures and aspects surrounding the case such as the search and seizure, the arrest, and the arraignment and bail hearings. It is also important to remember that the sole role of the prosecutor is to get a conviction. And to achieve that goal they must rely heavily upon the investigators and arresting officers to build their case. More often than not, prosecutors will approach a case and view the defendant(s) as guilty until proven innocent based upon the information they receive from the those investigators and police officers involved in the case. Again, the defense paralegal's main role is to assist the defense attorney in locating and interviewing witnesses, taking witness statements, gathering documents and evidence, creating case investigation notebooks, organizing documents and creating a chronology of facts to help them to evaluate the case and determine the legal guilt of the client.
"i diligunt legem"
"i diligunt legem" is the Latin phrase for "I Love the Law." This blog is created out of my love for the law and my desire to give back to my community.