5 Ways to Assess Whether a Criminal Defense Attorney is Any Good | HuffPost
Apr 24, At issue is whether an indigent defendant whose sanity is a significant factor in his trial, is entitled to assistance from a mental health expert. Aug 4, The defense argued that the relationship gave the witness a motive to help the In March, the defense moved to bar future prosecution. including improved mental health treatment and better resources for juveniles. Nov 19, “Whose side are you on, anyways?” See what the difference is between a defense and prosecuting attorney, from job description, education.
A good defense attorney doesn't care if their client "did it. But, a good defense attorney doesn't care whether their client is innocent or guilty because it's of no moment as it concerns their constitutional obligation to try and beat the case, or, failing that, to secure the best, least penal outcome. Good defense attorneys aren't focused on whether their clients are innocent or guilty. Instead, they protect and fight for defendants of both stripes using all available energy and resources.
A good defense attorney doesn't accept what is in police and prosecution reports. Once assigned a case, he or she, in conjunction with a trained criminal investigator, will immediately begin investigating the allegations by: A good defense attorney will regularly remind and urge their client to exercise their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, insisting they not talk to anyone, except the defense lawyer and investigator, about the allegations.
At the same time, a good defense attorney will regularly meet and talk with their client about their case whether the client is locked up or not. Defense attorneys are uniformly busy people, but, if they're any good, they will make time to talk to their clients. Not only do they have an ethical obligation to do so, they know and appreciate that the best part of being a criminal defense attorney is the relationships formed with clients.
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- 5 Ways to Assess Whether a Criminal Defense Attorney is Any Good
So, what do you do if you or someone you love doesn't have a good defense attorney? Well, if it's a private attorney being hired, research should be done to find an attorney who has a good reputation for criteria above. If it's a court-appointed attorney or public defender not doing their job, it will be more difficult, but generally not impossible, to secure a substitute.
What the client has to do -- not a family member, unless the client is a juvenile -- is speak up! Without saying anything about the charges, they must write to the judge or tell the judge at their next court hearing that they want, in private, without the prosecutor present, to talk to the judge about how their attorney is failing them -- using concrete examples of how see criteria above as a guide.
Hear it on Slate Voice. Listen to an audio recording of this article Get Slate Voicethe spoken edition of the magazine, made exclusively for Slate Plus members. Start your free 2-week trial Your Slate Voice podcast feed To listen to an audio recording of this article, copy this link and add it to your podcast app: LaHood was prosecuting Miguel Martinez, who stood accused of shooting a graduate student named Laura Carter in the head during a drug deal gone bad.
The defense argued that the relationship gave the witness a motive to help the government and gave the government a reason not to investigate or charge the witness. The defense accused prosecutors of violating their constitutional duty by failing to disclose that information before trial.
The defense lawyers asked for a mistrial and indicated they may ask the judge to bar further prosecution.
Why Prosecutors Get Away With Bullying Defense Lawyers
Trial Judge Lori Valenzuela granted their motion. In March, the defense moved to bar future prosecution. Valenzuela, who had observed the incident, then took the stand. Valenzuela did not preside over this April hearing, as she was a witness to the events at issue.
Why prosecutors get away with bullying defense lawyers:
For the criminal justice system to work, defense attorneys must be allowed to provide zealous, unfettered representation. That often requires them to do things that upset prosecutors.
They must interview victims, searching for inconsistencies in their accounts to use during cross-examination at trial. And if a prosecutor fails to turn over exculpatory evidence, they must allege a constitutional violation and ask for sanctions, up to and including a mistrial or outright dismissal. When prosecutors threaten defense lawyers for doing their jobs, they chill that representation.The Insanity Defense - A former D.A. Explains