Criminal Defense Lawyers Care More About Your Case Than You Realize
Members of many professions can cite a least favorite comment that they hear too often during cocktail party small talk. Doctors don’t like being asked to look at a stranger’s possibly worrisome rash or mole in the middle of a cocktail party. Translators and foreign language teachers are tired of hearing, “I can barely speak one language.” Personal injury lawyers don’t like being called “ambulance chasers,” and estate planning lawyers don’t like hearing, “Why would I care? I’ll be dead.” A criminal defense lawyer’s least favorite cocktail party comment is, “Eew! Why would you want to defend criminals?” because the obvious response is either a quick recitation of Constitutional rights enjoyed by everyone, cocktail party naysayers included, or, “Because we care!” Criminal defense lawyers do not have magical powers to make criminal charges disappear; rather, they decide how best to help their clients through individualized decisions based on laws and evidence and through human compassion. Ultimately, defendants’ wishes hold a lot of weight regarding how their lawyers approach the case. If you work with a Tampa criminal lawyer on your criminal case, you will be working as a team.
What Happens in a Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Workday?
The first thing a criminal defense lawyer decides when hearing about your case is whether it is likely that the court will drop your charges. If the case against you is flimsy, your lawyer will try to get your case dismissed. If the charges are likely to stick because the evidence against you carries weight, then what happens next depends on whether you decide to plead innocent or guilty; you don’t have to decide immediately, and you and your lawyer can discuss all the possible outcomes of either plea. If you decide to plead guilty, your lawyer will put his efforts into negotiating a plea deal that gets you the lightest possible punishment. If you decide to plead not guilty, your lawyer will find every possible argument to persuade the jury that there is reasonable doubt. Some defendants want to fight to the end, but others choose to plead guilty because they just want to put the ordeal of going to criminal court behind them, even if it means getting a conviction on their record or serving jail time. As a defendant, it is your right to decide, and no one can force your decision.
Confessions of a Burnt-Out Criminal Defense Lawyer
The website Above the Law recently published a blog post by Sam Sliney, a former criminal defense lawyer who now works as a Judge’s Advocate for the U.S. Air Force. She details how she left the profession simply because she cared too much. She joined the profession to help defendants exercise their rights, and it became too devastating when most defendants pleaded guilty just to get their cases over with.
Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven
A criminal defense lawyer can help you make a well-considered decision about whether to plead guilty or not guilty. Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.