If you have found yourself in the position of defendant in a criminal case, one of the most, if not THE most important decisions you will make is obtaining competent legal counsel. Your immediate and long-term future is resting in the hands (or more accurately, the mind) of that attorney. With that said, the outcome of every case is determined by two components: 1) the facts and circumstances of the case; and 2) the skill and competence of counsel. Skill and competence is not just knowing the law, it also entails actually taking time to listen to gather all relevant information about the case and client.
Failure to Listen is a Failure to Learn
I cannot tell you how many times a potential client has come into my office dejected after having consulted with other defense attorneys. Invariably, they have the same story: the attorney(s) asked them a few questions without allowing them to elaborate and then told them they could plead the case out to a lesser criminal charge.
I recall one instance in particular where the person was charged with four counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree (New York Penal Law 220.03). After they had met with several attorneys that gave the same disappointing assessment, a friend of theirs recommended they contact me. They explained that after just a few minutes of speaking with those other attorneys, they were advised the case could be pleaded down to one misdemeanor conviction and probation. They would have a criminal record for a misdemeanor, but at least they wouldn’t have jail time.
To be fair, pleading to a lesser charge or simply one charge can indeed be a good outcome. However, whether that is in-fact a good result completely depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. In this particular instance, if those attorneys would have only taken the time to actually listen to the client, they would have discovered two very important things: 1) a criminal record would have jeopardized the person’s job and ultimately their future; and 2) the case was actually extremely defensible.
Listen and Learn
After spending some time with the potential client, I was able to determine key pieces of information about them as a person, as well as the facts and circumstance of their case. This in turn convinced me to accept the case, but more importantly, enabled me to determine how to proceed with the case in terms of what was truly important to the client. Armed with this information I was able to effectively advocate for my client and ultimately have all the charges dismissed. More importantly, my client got their life back.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
Navigating the criminal justice system is difficult and has serious consequences. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is one of the single most important decisions you will make in your life. Make sure you hire an attorney that takes time to understand you as a person and your case in its entirety.
At the Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. each case is handled from the initial stage with the thoroughness as if it were going to trial. This enables me to not only understand the strengths of the defense, but more importantly, to effectively convey to the prosecutor the weaknesses of their case.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in New York call the Law Office of Kevin J. Deloatch, Esq. at (646) 792-2156. The results of all criminal prosecutions are determined by the facts and circumstances of your specific case and the skill and experience of your defense attorney. Call today for a free consultation.