I have handled over 5000 cases in my career. I have had over 100 jury trials. I have tried cases in all Metro Denver Counties including, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Jefferson, Adams, Gilpin, Douglas and Denver Counties. Facts often dictate outcomes. When a client comes to my office, I give an honest assessment of the facts. I will tell the client what facts are good for his case and what facts are bad for the case. Some facts are both good and bad and some facts are really bad. Facts you cannot change have to be addressed and often don’t go away.
Cases where the crime is on tape, there are oral and written confessions, DNA evidence, several eye witnesses are often bad fact cases. Sometimes there is a combination of an admission and an eye witness and sometimes the complaint by the complaining party is supported by corroborative evidence. Interviews by police where the client admits to some conduct often creates bad facts for their case.
So what do you do with the case with bad facts? When I have a case where the likelihood of dismissal or winning a trial is unlikely, I create a list of things to do. The first thing is always—while on bond, staying out of trouble. Don’t violate any protection orders. The remaining items on the list are action items. Get into action. Get into drug/alcohol treatment, begin domestic violence classes, getting into therapy, getting an evaluation to determine what is going on with the client. It is always helpful getting the client into action so we can show the prosecutor and the court the client is trying to do better. Getting into action also helps the client. The client is doing something to help the case and to help themselves.
I recently had a situation where my client was charges with a serious domestic violence offense. The facts of the case were not good. There was a credible complaining witness and the client decided to speak with the police without an attorney. The client admitted to the conducted that was alleged by the complaining party. There was a complete confession. It was a bad fact case. I met with the client and the client wanted to do whatever it would take to help the case. We created an action list. The client started treatment. The treatment provider wrote a great letter regarding the client. The client was doing great. Good character references. Good treatment notes. Doing great but for violating the protection order. The first item on the list—not getting into trouble—So even with the advice of a lawyer—the client must still follow the plan. Subsequent offense while waiting for a case to be resolved really sets back the action list and adds to the bad facts.