This is the third installment of a three-part webinar series on the Investigation and Prosecution of Criminal Vehicular Homicide Cases. The first course provided guidance and basic concepts to effectively investigate and manage vehicular incidents, and the second focuses on evidence collection, documentation, and preservation. This final session ties it all up together and zeroes in on how the prosecution builds a strong case based on the investigative process.
This course’s instructors are Martin Stark and John Schultz. Martin is the Assistant State Attorney for the 20th Circuit of Florida who’s taken over 150 cases to trial in his 25-year career where he’s served in various roles. He is currently assigned to the homicide unit where he developed a specialized traffic homicide division. Meanwhile, John is with the Florida Highway Patrol where he serves as a Master Corporal assigned to the Florida Highway Patrol’s Traffic Homicide Advanced Investigation & Reconstruction Team.
Statistics of this webinar are about:
- The challenge in identifying the perpetrator due to the absence of relationships amongst the involved parties in vehicular crimes.
- The prevalence of traffic fatalities and the investigation and prosecution’s vital role to create accountability, justice, and closure to the victims and their families.
- The importance of collaboration and communication between law enforcement and the prosecution to build a strong case.
- A glimpse into the two ways criminal vehicular cases typically get assigned to prosecutors.
- The advantages of having a dedicated traffic homicide unit in building a robust case with successful outcomes and the challenges that come without one.
- Two case laws that established the importance of securing warrants in criminal vehicular cases, the specific instances when a warrant is required, and circumstances when it’s acceptable not to have one.
- A look into the commonly collected pieces of evidence in vehicular crimes.
- The valuable information that prosecution can glean from evidence and the typical defenses to refute the credibility of the evidence.
- Case examples demonstrated how law enforcement and prosecution work together leveraging evidence to counter the defense’s position and win the cases to seek justice for the victim and their family and accountability from the offenders.
Questions from the webinar audience were about:
- Reconciling conflicting witness statements.
- Which vehicles come equipped with Electronic Data Recorders/Black Box.
- Common mistakes law enforcement commit that create bigger challenges for prosecution.
- Keeping up to date with the security systems employed by community members.
- When blood is required to be drawn in vehicular crimes.
This webinar is part of a series:
- Part 1: On-Scene Investigation
- Part 2: Forensics is Our Friend
- Dec 2: The Prosecution Rests (this webinar)
- “Gentlemen, THANK YOU for such an informative presentation. All three parts!!!” — Barbara
- “I was amazed at the evidence contained in a vehicle’s black box. There would be no way to dispute the speed of the vehicle in a court case.” — Mary
- “Very interesting! Thank you. While the victims we help typically are not involved in vehicular matters, this info is good to know. Again, thank you.” — Rose