Legal Aid Society

A Day In The Life

Investigating All Sides of the Case in the Criminal Defense Practice

Daequan Shane spends his days fighting for people’s freedom. As an investigator with The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice, Daequan’s work ensures that Legal Aid attorneys have the tools and critical context they need to give clients the best defense possible.

By conducting witness interviews and canvassing the scenes of alleged crimes investigators are able to gain a clear and comprehensive handle on the facts of a case, often securing essential evidence in the process.

I’m truly fighting for people’s freedom.

When Daequan first started as an investigative intern at The Legal Aid Society, he had the opportunity to help with a domestic violence case in which a mother was accused of assault and child endangerment. After sitting down with the person who filed the complaint and giving him the space to open up, the complainant admitted to making up the story. Daequan’s involvement prevented a mother from losing her children. “This is why investigations are necessary,” he said.

Daequan explains that his role as an investigator enables him to humanize clients and give them a fighting chance inside the city’s criminal courts. The other side of the criminal legal system, the District Attorney’s office and the police, have what seems like unlimited resources, he added. It’s his job to help level the playing field so those accused of a crime have the same rights as the accuser.

He recalls an investigation he conducted into a robbery where he found evidence that the accused, a teenager, had been in a different part of the city at the time of the crime. His discovery helped to prove that the police had accused the wrong person.

“Just because someone is arrested or accused of a crime does not mean it’s true,” Daequan explained. And that is the reason he does this work: to go beyond the stated narrative and bring to light the nuances of complex cases.

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