In the July 2, 2010 Trial Tips Newsletter published by Elliott Wilcox, Mr. Wilcox discusses the importance of going to the crime scene.  From DUI cases to First Degree Murder cases, going to the scene gives you a real feel for the case.  Here are a few takeaways from the article;

  1. The attorney will give better opening statements.  You can see the scene in your mind.  It lets you bring the scene to life.
  2. The attorney will be able to give more detail during direct examination.
  3. The cross examination will be more detailed.

Here is a perfect example of the benefits of going to the crime scene for the criminal defense attorney and the client.  I went to the scene of a DUI case here in Nashville.  The grade of the pavement where the field sobriety tests were performed were on a 20 degree slope.  The police officer was trained to administer these tests on a level surface.  According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration the sobriety tests can’t be reliable in these circumstances.  Result- The DUI charge was reduced.

For those of who are accused of a DUI in Nashville ,Tn. you will get a ton of letters offering to represent you.  At the client interview, if they do one, one question you should ask is do you go to the scene of the crime.

One last thing, I encourage all criminal defense attorneys to sign up for the free trial tips newsletter.  I have been reading them for over a year and I pick up something in every issue.

One word of warning. My law clerk was shot while working at the Davidson County Public Defender’s Office. Her advice is to take someone with you in certain parts of town .