The police reports pain an ugly picture. They clearly show that the Defendant is guilty. What to do? How does your attorney get the District Attorney to reduce or dismiss the charge against you? The experienced trial attorney tries to paint a picture that accurately shows the client for who he is and not just for what he did. Many times good people do something ill-advised or out of character. These “bad judgment” moments can have devastating life-long effects on people who deserve a second chance. How to get the client that second chance?
Most important is the charge against the client. Sometimes no matter who you are, or the devastating effect on your future, or the fact that even millions depend on you, the result is mandatory if you are convicted. However, very often these facts can and do make a difference to a prosecutor who is seeking to do justice and not just gain a conviction. How to reach that prosecutor is the key.
Reaching a just outcome requires the defense attorney to paint a picture. Depending on the circumstances it can be a picture of the facts of the case and establish the facts that lessen the responsibility of the defendant. It might involve proving that there were contributing factors which were not the fault of the defendant or showing the prosecutor the facts dictate the client deserves consideration. The second prong of the defense attorney’s job is to breathe humanity into the ink on the police report from the client’s perspective. The trial attorney needs to show the prosecutor the defendant is human. He is a good person, perhaps he has done community service (before or after the crime), been a role model in the community, or won awards in business and the disastrous effects a conviction will have on his individual future.
The defense attorney’s job isn’t just to get an acquittal or public apology. More often the good, even great, criminal defense attorney’s task is to make the prosecutor want to give the client/defendant a break. There is a need to establish the facts that benefit the defendant, establish the humanity of the defendant, then a plea of leniency won’t fall on the deaf ears of the prosecutor. How well a criminal defense attorney does these things often will determine the defendant’s fate.