Even when a distorted mental state is not at issue, it may be imperative to delve more deeply into the purported facts to develop the right story for a credible defense, remembering that the emotional encounter between two or more people resulting in an alleged criminal event is often akin to the fast-paced action of a climactic scene in a stage play or film, and therefore subject to more than one interpretation. It is imperative to break down an encounter into fine detail, anticipating the victim’s story, seeing its pitfalls, while preparing for meaningful cross-examination. The ongoing defense process is about finding out what was really going on, not what the prosecutor or police say happened, in those few unfortunate moments leading up to physical harm.
Finally, it is imperative to find a way to present your story to a jury at trial in a coherent way that resonates, connecting emotionally on a basic, human level. This requires a lawyer who can truly inhabit the world of the alleged crime, constantly asking questions about the case and refining his or her presentation to a jury.