Stand Your Ground, Good or Evil?
August 20, 2013
Attorney John Hager Named to List of Top Lawyers by South Florida Legal Guide
December 23, 2013

Investigating your case

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

October 15, 2013

My client was charged with Aggravated Battery due to serious bodily injury. It turns out that there was no witness that was able to identify him as being the person involved in the fight. However, my client gave a statement to the police that he was involved in the altercation, but he was acting in self-defense. My client, prior to hiring me, had the police (three officers) show up to his apartment and asked to speak with him. My client was never read his Miranda warnings, warnings that advise the accused that they have the right to an attorney prior to speaking with police. In the police report, it was never mentioned that there were five police officers at the scene while my client was being questioned. My client advised me that there were five officers present because he saw one officer in his backyard, there were three officers in his apartment and one officer out front by his vehicle. I was able to verify this by investigating the case thoroughly. I ordered a copy of the dispatch log, a log that is kept to track all of the police officers whereabouts while on duty. Turns out that there were five officers at the scene. Why is this important? This important factor might just mean the difference between his statement being heard by the jury at trial that he confessed to the crime that he was charged with. Further, his statement would most certainly prove identity of my client, a factor that the prosecution must prove. If these police officers were all present while my client was being questioned, then my client might be considered to have been in custody because he was not free to leave while being confronted by law enforcement. If he was not free to leave, and was considered to be in custody, then the police are mandated to read him his Miranda warnings, which were never read to him. Thus, his statement might just be considered to be inadmissible for any purpose at trial or any evidentiary hearing. The most important component of our client's criminal cases is the investigation stage. Without a thorough investigation, my client might have plead to the charge and be declared a convicted felon and I would have not done my job. Every case needs to be thoroughly investigated.