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10,000+ Criminal Cases In Nearly Four Decades
ASK SERIOUS, FAIR QUESTIONS AND DON'T BE TIMID. YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO BE PUT INTO AN ATTORNEY'S HANDS. When a criminal defense attorney tells you he or she is experienced, ask specifics. Specifically, what kind of experience do you have? How many cases have you handled? What types of cases have you handled? What year did you graduate from law school? How many times did it take you to pass the bar exam? How long have you been actively practicing law? What is your thinking and approach to how to plead or try a case? How do you prepare for a case? How knowledgeable are you about the how the district attorney’s office works? What are your skills and some of your results negotiating with police and prosecutors? Do you for the most part have a working relationship with the latter? Have you largely earned the respect of those within the criminal and legal community? Are the judges familiar with you? Have there been any disciplinary actions against you by the Bar Association?
As you examine other attorneys’ websites, you’ll see that they all say they’re “experienced.” Just what does a particular attorney mean by experienced? They use phrases like 32 years COMBINED experience meaning that among their three or five employees perhaps with each of them having a few or several years’ experience in criminal law, they have 32 years’ “COMBINED” experience. WHEREAS, WHEN YOU HIRE MY FIRM, YOU GET ME—ALL ME—IN ONE SOLID EXPERIENCED PACKAGE!
An Example of How Some Perceive My Trial Skills A few years back, I represented a man charged with a rape, and he was subsequently acquitted. The alleged victim in his case contacted me later after her own brother had been charged with a rape. She hired me for her brother's case because she was so impressed with how I’d handled her alleged attacker’s case.
The average citizen doesn’t understand that just because a defendant has been charged with a crime, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re guilty or that the state has sufficient admissible evidence to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. I also know that some police officers lie in order to win a conviction.
I’ve been asked throughout my career “How can you represent people you know are guilty?” The fact is that not everyone charged with a crime is guilty, and, regardless, everyone in this country is constitutionally entitled to fair representation. This is true including when a defendant has committed the crime(s) he’s been charged with. With intelligent, skilled representation, the outcome may be improved possibly resulting in less severe sentencing. Effective representation could mean the difference between probation and jail for instance.
AN ATTORNEY WHO WILL FIGHT HARD Marines are trained to kill in the event that it’s necessary to do so in order to protect the safety and security of the United States and its citizens. We’re commonly referred to as “trained killers.” Though I’ve never killed anyone, I bring to my criminal defense representation a killer’s instinct, fighting to the end for the best result possible.
HONESTY: WORST CASE SCENARIO Telling the truth! I know some attorneys tell their prospective clients that they will “get them off” for sure, make sure they get no jail time, get the case dismissed or they will ensure they’re found not guilty. Any honest attorney will tell you both the strengths and weaknesses of your case, your risks of conviction and incarceration weighing all the factors based on the available facts of the case as well as how any previous criminal history may be considered by the court. What I tell prospective clients is that I’d rather tell them the WORST CASE SCENARIO along with more favorable outcomes. Once I’ve informed my clients about all the variables and possible outcomes, it’s in their control how they decide to proceed with their case.
THE DRUG EPIDEMIC Sadly, there is a drug epidemic in this country. While I believe that an addicted person shouldn’t be incarcerated because of a disease any more than the mentally ill should, the laws are clear. In the event that you are charged with a crime that is drug related or motivated, I work to protect your interests through negotiating sentences of treatment options, community service alternatives or deferred entry judgments.
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10,000+ CASES OF HARD CORE, HARD WORKING EXPERIENCE UNDER MY BELT
I’ve been asked many times “So how many cases have you won?” The question to ask is “Given the charges, evidence, witnesses (or not), what strategies and approaches did you use in proceeding whether pleading, going to trial and/or having a case dismissed and what was the outcome?”
I represented a defendant once who was charged with robbing a bank. The evidence presented was a videotape with a full view of his face from which he was later identified. He demanded that I take his case to trial and have a jury find him not guilty. When given an overwhelming amount of evidence such as the videotape of his face, several witnesses in the bank who saw him commit the robbery and that the police caught him minutes later with the money taken from the bank, I advised him that going to trial was probably not in his best interest. He insisted on going to trial despite that I had clearly, repeatedly told him the best outcome for him in terms of sentencing would be to plead which would more likely result in a shorter sentence. The prosecutor’s offer on the table was years less than what he was sentenced to after being convicted of an armed bank robbery by a jury of his peers. When he was convicted and sentenced to 10-20 years in prison, he was angry with me for “not getting him off.”
So when the question is asked “How many cases have you won?”, I hope you can see based on this example, why that’s not the question you should be asking your prospective criminal defense attorney.