Nov 3, 2010

Five out of Six Trial Victories; Not Bad

Here at Clarkston Legal (i.e. the law firm of Karlstrom Cooney) we try cases from time to time. Most good attorneys, however, will concede that trying the case is a last resort; it is almost always better to reach a reasonable settlement.

Much of our firm's trial experience comes from the realm of criminal law. In the criminal law, the constitutional rights of the accused are often implicated, threatened, or stomped upon. Trials are often the only way to protect those rights.

Since 2007, this blogger has gone to trial six times in criminal matters; five juries and one bench trial. Five of those six trials resulted in acquittals for our clients.

This post is not to proclaim our trial skills but rather, to highlight the importance of advocating the accused's constitutional rights to a trial when important issues in a charged criminal case are unresolved.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys know when to take a case to trial therefore, the odds of victory are increased.  If the defendant has a bad case, it does not usually end up in trial.

Factors to consider when deciding whether to try the case include the prosecutor's "policy" of negotiating a plea agreement, or not. Also, whether the trial court punishes a defendant at sentencing for going to trial, and losing.  (Not supposed to happen but does.)

For a criminal defendant, walking out of court following acquittal is a new lease on life; not only do you preserve your freedom, you also avoid a felony and an MDOC file.

This is very important. We live during a time when the Michigan Penal Code is becoming increasingly complex. Employers, landlords, and other creditors are tuning-in to an applicant's criminal history. Protecting your record against a weak, or over-charged offense is critical.

This blogger's recent track record for trials and other important cases can be found here, at the AVVO website. This site is useful to research lawyers and doctors. Check out the profile of the lawyer you are thinking of hiring to be sure he or she is right for your case.

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