YOU AND YOUR ATTORNEY:
A scam victim's guide to working with your civil or criminal defense attorney
Our goal is ALWAYS to help your attorney present a preponderance of evidence and argument that will lead to dismissal or acquittal. We’re very good at what we do, and our services are free unless prolonged trial strategy or other special services are required such as in-depth email tracking reports, Internet forensics, and witness interviews and investigations.
There have been times when arrested fraud victims have expressed fear and doubt regarding Public Defenders (PDA's). Public Defenders are just as competent, able, smart, cunning, and willing to give their all as Criminal Defense Attorneys who work in the private sector.
Yes, occasionally you will find a Public Defender who is more than weary and overloaded. It doesn’t matter. We are there for your attorney to help him or her get you out of hot water. We will save your Defense Attorney time and effort. Your attorney’s goal is to win and we can help him do that no matter how many cases he has piled up.
You can run into an attorney who is new to your type of case whether you’re paying attorney fees or have a Public Defender. This does not mean your attorney cannot give you a stellar defense. Even if your attorney is fresh out of law school and you are his first client, it doesn’t matter. We will educate your attorney about the case then give him the tools to win.
How to alienate your attorney:
Your attorney will drop your case if he or she feels that you are too difficult to work with.
If your attorney sees at the outset that you are going to be too difficult to work with, he or she will either quote you a fee you cannot even begin to afford, or tell you they can't take your case right now or, in civil cases, tell you that you do not have a case.
How to form a team with your attorney:
You and your attorney are a team; don't cop an attitude. He or she is not the master and neither are you. You do not simply nod your head up and down like a bobble toy at everything he says, nor do you demand that your defense attorney perform magic tricks.
You must actively participate in your own defense. This is the only way you will help your attorney give you the best defense.
Ask your attorney to request for broad discovery, as broad as he or she can make it. Broad discovery means any and all information and documents held by the prosecution that pertain to your case. You cannot mount an intelligent defense if you do not know what you are up against.
Discovery, broad or otherwise, can be very long coming. The Prosecution can find all sorts of reasons for delaying discovery, including placing your case so far on the back burner that your attorney may have to ask the judge to demand discovery from the Prosecution.
BE PREPARED each and every time you have a court date. Consult with your attorney to understand what “prepared” means for you. If you can’t reach your attorney, bring all your case documents, nicely organized in an accordion folder or catalog envelope.
NEVER MISS A COURT DATE unless your attorney specifically tells you that you don’t have to appear. Whether you are in the US or Canada, some court sessions do not require your presence. We’ve seen this happen with the Crown more often than in US courts.
Do not be surprised at endless continuances or new court dates. Your attorney has a limited number of times he or she can ask for a continuance, but in some US courts the Prosecution can come unprepared and ask for a continuance month after month until the Judge orders the Prosecution to be prepared or drop the case.
The Crown handles certain cases differently and a new court date is not necessarily the result of a request for a continuance.
No one has the right to take away your right to a trail by a jury of your peers. You can give it up (plea bargain) but no one else can take it away from you. It is a Constitutional Right.
Pleading to a lesser charge means that you are turning your fate over to the very people whose job it is to put you in prison. If you are not guilty of any charges, don't agree that you are if there is ANY way to put forth irrefutable evidence or argument that you are not guilty.
If your attorney suggests you take a plea that has been offered by the Prosecution/DA, and you do not have a full and complete understanding of the conditions and consequences, STOP. What you are doing is entering a guilty plea, and though there can be circumstances in which taking a plea is the best choice, you must understand all the conditions of the plea and all the consequences of the plea before making your decision. See Misdemeanor, and Pleas, accepting a plea.