Criminal Defense Q & A

No   Tell the judge I want to have a settlement conference with the Prosecutor (Federal Attorney, District Attorney or City Attorney).  This is your chance to resolve the matter with a better deal than pleading guilty to all the charges initially put against you.  Even if you are guilty why not let the Prosecutor (Federal Attorney, District Attorney or City Attorney) offer you to dismiss some of the lesser charges.

The Prosecutor (Federal Attorney, District Attorney or City Attorney) needs to give the Police Department or Sheriff’s Department time to provide all evidence in your case. This takes time.

Again the Prosecutor (Federal Attorney, District Attorney or City Attorney) needs to see all the evidence (police reports, etc, etc) to show at least some crime has been committed before he or she can charge out the crime.  Perhaps the police report may have been clearer in showing a crime against you before it was against others involved. If the Prosecutor.

Many times the Prosecutor needs to confer with law enforcement and victim witness personnel who played what role in the incident. Even if other members of the situation at hand tell law enforcement one story, it is up to law enforcement to try to recreate what actually happened no matter who says what after the fact.

In many states including Wisconsin the legislature has decided (logically or illogically) to not allow the Clerk of Court’s office to remove cases where the defendants were found innocent or the cases were subsequently dismissed.  I’d love to give you this well-thought out rationale but I can’t, 

Unfortunately no.  Other counties like England and parts of the United Kingdom allow for the wrongfully accused to sue Prosecutors for “pain and suffering” but this type of remedy is not allowed here.

Unlike TV law enforcement is not working on just one case. Though the crime itself probably took a short time the differing stories and perceptions of whyo did what and why did they do it take quite awhile to straighten out.
The court proceedings are just a part of this. The Initial Apearance or 1st court hearing is just the start. This is the start of the “tugging match” as to what charges the Prosecutors can prove or not prove beyond a reasonable doubt and the charges that don’t mean that much the Prosecutor would just as well use as a bargaining chip.

Not always.  Many times a criminal attorney will tell their clients to plead guilty to the charges they know the Prosecutor will have a fairly easy time convicting them of in exchange for convincing the Prosecutor to alter the more “questionable” charges to lesser-than charges removing the risk of losing a jury trial and providing the client a better outcome overall.

A criminal defense attorney who takes all their cases to a jury trial and wins 50% of them is a really successful trial attorney by comparison to average success rate numbers but ask yourself, “Do I want a really good deal on what I could be found guilty of?” or “Do I want to roll the dice and get all or nothing?”  Most seasoned criminal attorneys will remind you of the great line from Clint Eastwood, “Do you feel lucky punk?” 

Long story short…… If your attorney is going to bend over backwards to make the Prosecutor’s job easy, find another attorney.  If your attorney tries every cases at the expense of his or her client just to better their own reputation, find another attorney. If your attorney is easy to get ahold of, listens to you and your concerns, brings up ramifications of your choices that you haven’t even thought about and, in the end, lets you make all the big decisions and will stand by you no matter what you want to do, YOU’VE FOUND A GOOD ATTORNEY.