Venice, CA—Lindsay Lohan is accused of the felony crime of Grand Theft. This was in connection with the temporary removal of a necklace from a jewelry store. The reasons for the removal are not all that clear nor is the intent to permanently deprive needed to establish a theft case.
As a criminal defense investigator these are what I would do to establish Lohan’s innocence:
1. Learn the reasonable value or worth for the necklace to see if it really meets the threshold minimum dollar amount required to classify this as a felony offense.
2. Interview every witness listed in the police or news media reports. The witnesses’ friends must be also interviewed to determine inconsistent statements. There will always be inconsistent statements in a case like this.
3. Conduct a full background investigation on every witness including examination of internet social networking sites visited by these people.
4. Examine the scene where this event took place.
5. Determine if any media leaks were the result of witness instigation or celebrity information commerce.
6. Establish any and all increased traffic to the “victim” business and their website after this story was published in the media and its influence on the witnesses.
7. Full investigation of prospective jurors and their social networking activities. This would continue throughout any trial.
8. Any other tasks though necessary by the defense counsel.
The defense lawyers have no choice but to fully test the evidence. Failure to do so could result in a wrongful conviction and years of unnecessary appeal work.
Lindsay Lohan cannot risk a serious conviction. It would affect her ability to work and for any future foreign travel.
I already believe the state’s theory is full of gaping holes and that Lohan should be very reluctant to seek any plea bargain that could damage her significantly. Of course that’s a decision she must make on her own after being fully advised by her lawyers.
The next question I have, are Lohan’s lawyers up to the task of trying this case? I’m not so sure of the answer. One of her lawyers, Blair Berk is a master at facilitating generous plea agreements. That’s however not the same as trying the case.
Me, I’d bring in Chicago Uber-Defender, Jed Stone. Stone is one of the better death penalty lawyers in America. He may be over-kill but he has special abilities to get the right information to the jurors in a way they can all understand.
In any even I hope this case plays out in a way that will make us proud of our Bill of Rights and the way we conduct criminal trials.
You never know when the victims show their real motives in matters landing in our criminal courts. Check out this one!