Posted on December 11, 2015
Southern California Cold Case Defense Attorney
Not all murders occurring in Los Angeles or Orange County lead to an arrest of a suspect. In some instances, where there’s no physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, and no person of interest, the case will turn “cold.” In other words, there’s insufficient evidence to make an arrest of a suspect or even target a person of interest to the murder. Because the crime of murder does not have a statute of limitations, cases that “turn cold” are assigned to law enforcement’s “cold case unit” for review and investigation. Some cold case investigations can be 10 or 20 or even 30 years before an arrest is made. Normally, with today’s modern technology, police are able to submit physical evidence for DNA analysis in hopes the result will lead to a suspect or arrest.
But even without DNA evidence, prosecutors may still be able to prosecute and convict someone. So if a prosecutor has no body, no physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, and no confession…what do they have? The suspect’s incriminating circumstantial statements made to police over the years. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is armed with cold-case prosecution unit exclusively devoted to resurrecting old murder cases and gaining convictions solely based on suspects giving statements to police. Therefore, if accused of any crime in Los Angeles, you should decline to give a statement and demand the presence of an attorney.
If someone is arrested years later for a murder, they may be able to dismiss the charge(s) demonstrating a violation of their Due Process Right. Moreover, the defense attorney can file a pre-charge delay due process motion to dismiss if the defendant can show he or she was prejudiced by the delay in filing charges. Because with the lapse of time, critical evidence can be lost, destroyed, or witnesses memories fade, thus depriving a defendant’s ability to defend the charge(s). If the court rules the defendant has been prejudiced, the burden then shifts to the prosecutor to show a legitimate reason or the long delay.
For more information, contact Cold Case Defense Attorney John Rogers at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers.