You wouldn’t perform brain surgery on yourself, and it is unlikely you would go through your first African safari acting as your own guide. The reasons are obvious. There is a great deal of danger, and you count on someone else to have the knowledge and experience to get you safely through. The same is true with your contact with the criminal justice system.Attorney’s that Emphasize “Aggressiveness”
In most cases, it simply is better not to be overly “aggressive” either in pre-trial matters, or at trial. Much of criminal law practice before trial consists of careful investigation and skillful negotiation. This is no place for an attorney to behave aggressively or unreasonably… at least not if they know what they are doing! Even at trial, most experienced trial lawyers know that being aggressive and unfriendly is likely to turn off the jury, the judge and everyone else.
While there certainly are situations that call for an aggressive cross-examination of an accuser or other witness, an experienced trial attorney knows that under most circumstances it is better to appear to the jury as a professional and reasonable defense attorney because that makes it much more likely that they will adopt the defense’s version of events and acquit their client. Usually if the jury doesn’t like the attorney, it is bad news for the client. In fact most prosecutors want obnoxious aggressive defense attorneys because they know the jury will not like them or their client.
It’s a tough lesson to learn for the first time after your trial is over.Inexperience or Unethical Conduct
You should be wary of firms that promise to “take every case to trial,” because in some cases going to trial is not the best option for the client. Usually, if an individual accused of a crime goes to trial and loses, the penalties are much higher than had that person had earlier accepted a plea bargain. Some inexperienced or unethical lawyers, however, urge their clients to go to trial even though it isnot in that client’s best interests because they can then charge the client the additional fees.
When these attorneys go to trial and lose, they then either blame the system for being unfair, or blame the client for not convincing the judge or jury that they were innocent. It is the client who pays the ultimate price for this incompetence, usually by receiving a much longer jail term than had the attorney negotiated a plea bargain.
Few things are as heartbreaking to see as a person who should have pleaded guilty and received a light sentence or probation, instead going to trial at the urging of an incompetent attorney, and then ending up being sentenced to many long years in state prison.The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm Means Experience
The Steinberg Law Firm is dedicated to defending people accused of all crimes. For many years we have been taking these cases to trial, and, unlike some law firms who advertise that they are “trial lawyers” despite never having taken a criminal case to jury trial, our firm actually does try cases.
However, we also recognize that sometimes, after an intensive and thorough investigation, it becomes clear that the evidence against our client is so strong that it would not be in his or her best interest to go to trial.
In those cases, because of our experience in dealing with judges and prosecutors in Metropolitan Denver over many years, we have been very successful in obtaining the best plea bargain available for our clients who have been accused of crimes.Specialized Knowledge
Because most people only get their knowledge about the system from movies, books or television, they have a great number of questions. What could happen to me? How do I get out of jail while fighting the case? How many court appearances will there be, and do I have to be present for each of them? What if the officer never read me my rights?
As in most areas of life, experience makes a difference. Only experienced lawyers, intimately familiar with criminal law, the criminal justice system and the facts can answer these questions quickly and correctly. You need answers and guidance.Case Preparation
A seasoned attorney’s experience may be helpful in deciding how to attack your case. Do you need an investigator to locate and interview important witnesses, and collect key evidence? Do you need an expert to review your case, such as a toxicologist, arson investigator, or mental health professional? Will you need that expert to testify at trial? An attorney must have worked with licensed investigators and qualified experts in many cases and have established important contacts with professionals who know how to help build your case into a winner.Trial Experience
Attorneys can only evaluate a case if they have the experience to tell you what can happen to you, and the reputation that they will aggressively and yes “intelligently” represent you at trial if that becomes necessary.