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What is the best criminal defense??

Philadelphia, PA |

my boyfiend is being charged with attempted murder but the victim stated he knew nothing when the cops asked him questions and the victims cousin also said that my boyfriend had nothing to do with that but the victims mother stated she seen him and he shot the gun what is teh best possible defense????

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Best answer

    I agree with the prior attorneys who have urged you to contact an expierienced criminal defense attorney. I also agree that no attorney here could give you a complete answer to your question without knowing much more about the case and evidence against boyfriend. However, since you asked nothing about brain surgery or trying to perform same in your kitchen, let me at least give you a few ideas regarding defenses.

    There are certain defenses, called affirmative defenses such as presenting an alibi or claiming self-defense. Unless your boyfriend has strong proof that he was elsewhere when the crime occurred, an alibi defense is a very difficult and dangerous defense to present as it can often backfire. If the victim was the first aggressor and perhaps had some type of weapon on him when he was taken to the hospital or police arrived, then self-defense is always a possible defense.

    However, this case sounds like it's most likely going to come down to the credibility of the witnesses presented by the Commonwealth. In that situation, the best defense may not be to put on what you may think of as an actual defense but rather to simply challenge the sufficiency of the Commonwealth's evidence and argue that the DA can't prove the charges against your boyfriend beyond a reasonable doubt because of conflicting versions of the events. One of the most important issues in these cases is whether the victim or victim's cousin first gave statements implicating your boyfriend and are only now retracting those statements. If that's the case, the defense becomes more difficult as the DA is going to argue that they are recanting because of some pressure being put on them by your boyfriend, his friends or others in the neighborhood. However, if their original statements to police were that he had nothing to do with this crime, then you need to provide this information to the attorney that you hire so they can hire an investigator to interview these witness and maintain contact with them between now and trial so they can be subpoenaed, brought to court and testify on behalf of the defense. These types of witnesses often quickly disappear and don't want to be involved when trial comes around. So, it's important that a defense invesitgator gets them on paper now and has good contact information for them. Also, does victim or victim's cousin have any connection with your boyfriend that would lead them to want to protect your boyfriend? Do they have criminal records that may effect their credibility on the stand? How do they present themselves? These are all questions that an investigator and a competent criminal defense attorney are in the best position to answer.

    Finally, since the victim was obviously present when he was shot or shot at, did he simply say he knew nothing or named another as the perpetrator as the crime? He obviously knows something since he was shot. He may not be able to identify your boyfriend. But, if he simply says that he knows nothing, he's not being honest with detectives and becomes incredibile. And, why is victim's mom, who is likely more unbiased than victim putting this on your boyfriend? Do the parties know each other and is there some prior animosity or motive for the mother to pin this on your boyfriend? Her credibility and ability to observe what she says she saw needs to be carefully scrutinized. She's clearly the star witness for the DA so her credibility is key. A qualified criminal defense attorney will be able to assess her credibility at a preliminary hearing, if it has not yet occurred. Or, he/she will need to review her testimony against what she first told police to see if her story has remained consistent.

    These are obviously very serious charges and if the family can afford it, a private criminal defense attorney would be in the best position to help your boyfriend. I wish you to best of luck.

    Brian M. Fishman

    The posting of an answer to this question in no way creates an attorney-client relationship between myself and any reader. I always suggest you contact and hire a lawyer to receive legal advice.

  2. The best defense begins with the immediate consultation with a criminal defense attorney. You can help hire an attorney for your boyfriend, or he can ask for the court to appoint one if he cannot afford one. The attorney will deal with the conflicting evidence.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

  3. This is an easy question to answer. Hire the very best criminal defense attorney that money from friends and relatives can afford. The charges are very serious and the gun will kick-in a five (5) year mandatory minimum sentence. Stop trying to figure out how to do open heart surgery in your kitchen.

  4. Seriously?!!! You are thinking of fighting a murder charge without a lawyer on internet advise? Go get as much money together as you can, don't talk to anyone about anything and hire the best damn lawyer you can find. Pretty much even the worst lawyer you can find would probably do a better job than you will on your own. This is not something to take lightly.

  5. Please allow me to be the third voice in this chorus. RUN, do not walk, to help your boyfriend hire the very best criminal defense attorney that you can afford. If he cannot afford counsel, immediately make application to the Defender's Office. Until then, your boyfriend should take with no one about this case.

  6. Speak to and hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately.

  7. A strong offense.

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