Once records have been collected and analyzed, collateral interviews have been performed, and a thorough analysis of the interviews has been completed, it is critical to work with someone who seeks out the best possible expert to further examine the defendant and the defendant’s history. Whether it is psychological, psychiatric, addiction, educational, or any other mitigating factor, an expert in the field should evaluate the defendant.

These experts typically review all official records, including the discovery in the current case, perform a thorough review of background records and history, a review of background information supplied by the attorney and investigator, a clinical interview of the defendant, a review of all collateral interviews, psychological testing and evaluation for malingering, an assessment of defendant’s state of mind close in time, leading up to, and during the offense based on an interview with defendant and collateral information, the expert’s diagnostic impressions, an analysis of future risk assessment, a summary of relevant mitigating and aggravating factors, and recommendations.

An expert’s evaluation and analysis of future dangerousness is critical. Those defendants that have been involved in therapy, recovery, mental health treatment, and other avenues of improvement very much benefit from these evaluations. It shows a pattern of willingness to learn and grow, recover and remain stable that can be documented and included in the evaluation.

We encourage our clients to begin mitigation as soon as possible – ideally before the District Attorney decides to charge the defendant. There is mitigation work that can be done at each step of the Criminal Justice system. Laying the perfect foundation for a downward departure starts at the beginning of the process. Hiring an expert to perform a complete evaluation is a necessary component of preparing the mitigation memorandum.

Our Mitigation Specialists have been working with experts for over 22 years. As a result, we can find the right expert for your clients. We are passionate about mitigation and believe every defendant should have a mitigation specialist working on his/her case.

When you need a mitigation specialist who can find the right expert for your clients, call Downward Departure Specialists at 916-224-4680.