Criminal Defense of Immigrants
§ 3.26 a. The Basic Criminal Case Interview
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It is also necessary to obtain the client’s version of the events out of which the criminal charge arose. Because most criminal charges result in pleas of guilty, the client is often the only source of information concerning possible defenses or mitigating factors, as the police and prosecution often emphasize facts that make the client look like Attila the Hun.
It is wise to conduct a comprehensive interview with the client concerning the underlying criminal case. The standard criminal case interview will suffice for immigrant clients as well as all others.
PRACTICE AID: A comprehensive discussion of the normal interview between criminal defense counsel and the client may be found at I A. Amsterdam, Trial Manual 5 For The Defense Of Criminal CASES 105-124 (1988), and an excellent Interview Checklist at pp. 125-166. A more basic form may be found at California Continuing Education Of The Bar, California Criminal Law: Procedure And Practice § 1.8 (2006).