This is probably one of the most important questions in criminal defense, because until you make that decision – what the best resolution is – you don't know what to go after. If the best resolution in your case is a jury trial and a not guilty verdict, you know what you have to do. You put the investigation in. You put the time in and you get the job done.
But if on the other hand, you're not going to get a not guilty verdict in your case, then you're going to have to decide what the next best thing is. What can I hope for? What charge should I shoot for? What punishment should I shoot for?
Planning a Defense Strategy
This is something that has to be decided between you and your criminal defense attorney. This is probably one of the most important meetings that I have with my clients. I say listen, come in.
We're sitting down and we're deciding what we're going to do with this case. And then we have a realistic conversation about what is possible – what we can expect to achieve in this criminal case. The way we do that is, we lay out what our defense is going to be. We lay out what we can hope – charge wise.
We also look at you. We look at what we have to have. Sometimes people can't have certain charges because it would destroy their career. It would destroy their future. So, we have to talk about what's realistic and what we are going to try to achieve, and that's what I am here for.
This is why I have been doing this for twenty-five years. So, once we have a decision as to what we're going to shoot for – and of course, we're going to shoot for the best possible – then we can put our plan together to try to get that.
We're also going to have to have a back-up plan. What if the prosecutor and the judge say, no we're not giving you that and you don't have a defense in the case. Then you're going to have to come up with a secondary plan – something else that you might want in your case.
Once you have that secondary plan, then you can put that into place. So, once we have our plan, now we're going to go about executing what needs to be done in order to achieve our goal.
Preparing Mitigation Package
Sometimes it's a mitigation package that needs to be set up in our case. Other times, instead of a mitigation package, we're going to need to do some more investigation in a case – to build some evidence to show the prosecutors that they might not win this case and they need to consider giving you what you want.
Other times, it's going to be me setting up a meeting with the head DA – coming in there with all the ammunition necessary to get what we need and negotiating that resolution.
So, if you want to get the best result in your criminal case – you're trying to figure it out – you have to do it through your criminal defense attorney. You hired that person. You trust that person. You paid that person money.
Let them help guide you through the criminal system so that you can end up with the best possible result in your case and you need to be a part of that. You need to be active. If your criminal defense attorney tells you to do something, then you need to do it. Get it done.
Do everything you possibly can so that you can end up with the best possible result in your criminal case and you can move on with your life and get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.