There is also a human element to a criminal defense. The accused is a person. Usually, the accused has family and friends that care about him/her regardless of what the allegations might be. A good criminal defense attorney recognizes this and tries to nurture a relationship with the client and his/her family in order to better serve the client. While it might not be in the book definition of criminal defense, it is my book regarding criminal defense that people need to be treated right and that starts with honesty and integrity in discussions about the case and treating people with dignity and respect they deserve for being human (regardless of what they are accused of or may or may not have done).
The Trial Dog
Anthony Candela is the Trial Dog and a Board-Certified attorney. He opened the Candela Law Firm, P.A. in 2014 and handles criminal trials and appeals (as well as estate planning, wills, and trusts). He received his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law in 2000 and his B.A. in Political Science from King’s College in 1996. As an expert in criminal law and procedure, he has tried over a hundred cases to verdict. Since 2008, he has been certified and recertified by the Florida Bar in Criminal Trial three times. He has also argued several dozen appeals. In the federal system, he is admitted to the Middle District of Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal. #candelalawfirm #thetrialdog
Let me say again, however, once a person has accepted a plea agreement and then the judge has accepted it and sentenced the person, it is next to impossible to unwind the plea bargain. For the vast majority of cases, there is no special motion that one can file to get it back to square one and undo the plea. There is no magic motion (pill) to fix the problem. The only way to avoid a bad plea deal is to take your chances at trial.
An appeal is not a “do-over, “re-do,” or some second chance looked at over a video monitor. It is not a chance to push the reset button and start over. An appeal is not a “reweighing” of the evidence or a special request for a new trial because the convicted person was not satisfied with the outcome of the trial. That is not how it works, unfortunately.
There can be no strategic reason for not making the proper objections and preserving the record if the goal is to provide “effective assistance” as intended under the Sixth Amendment. Thus, there can be no strategic reason for not filing a motion for new trial when the client was convicted at trial.
Don’t let the government keep your stuff! Get your car, cash, or phone back. The only catch is that the car, cash, or phone cannot be evidence against you in a criminal prosecution.
The “really good criminal defense attorneys” knows their worth. They will charge you a reasonable price in terms of the necessary experience, skill level involved, the time involved, and other pertinent factors like forum or travel. The price may astound you. The price may shock you. But if you understand what I am saying, then you get it.
While stipulations are very useful in civil cases, these should be rarely used in criminal case. The reason is because the stipulation relieves the state of its burden as to proving a piece of evidence that it needs to prove in the trial or hearing to prove the charge.
On the other hand, if you have been paying attention, the smart client wants an attorney who has accumulated the necessary skill and experience, that can accurately assess the client’s legal situation, formulate a thoughtful and comprehensive theory of the case (or defense) in terms of an executable plan, and has the savvy and the moxie to execute the plan for the client with the client’s goals and best interests at heart. The attorney must also be able to manage expectations and have the courage to tell a paying client the truth when the chances are all spent and their might better to pursue other options.
I was able to help a client close the book on an attorney’s mistake from twenty years ago. It is helping these clients find some peace from their past that makes the practice of law tolerable, even enjoyable nowadays. It is rectifying an injustice such as hers that drives the best criminal defense attorneys to fight the good fight. It is standing up for those who cannot or do not know how to stand up for themselves that truly defines the exceptional criminal defense attorney.
a direct criminal appeal is completely useless without the trial attorney making doubly sure that any appellate issues were properly preserved for the appeal or beyond. In this sense, what you don’t know can hurt you, badly. And you must have lost and been convicted (otherwise, an appeal has no purpose).