Aggressive criminal defense means you want a lawyer who can analyze the evidence against you, the potential defenses and can piece together a plan to fight the charges in every way possible.
What does Aggressive criminal defense involve? Getting all the evidence that is admissible in trial. This means the discovery–the case the prosecution intends against you. Aggressive defense involves challenging every piece of evidence used against you including testing scientific evidence and getting experts who can help, interviewing key witnesses, challenging the police conduct in obtaining warrants, obtaining evidence, the police use or misuse of confidential informants. Aggressive criminal defense involves challenging eye witness testimony or testimony of confidential informants. Aggressive criminal defense includes trying to get evidence the prosecution intends to use against you suppressed so a jury can’t hear the evidence. Aggressive criminal defense includes presenting a defense like self defense or other defenses that negate the necessary elements of the charge necessary to find guilt. Aggressive defense often times means putting the case on a track to go to trial.
What are the advantages to an aggressive defense? There are many advantages. You get your day in court. You make the government prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. You fight for your innocence. Remember you are presumed innocent and often times you have to stand up and make the government meet their burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Sometimes you have nothing to lose by presenting an aggressive defense. Weird things happen when you prepare for trial. Witnesses testimony changes, the police embellish the true evidence or the case against you falls apart for some other reason. If you are going to spend one day in jail or years in prison you sometimes have nothing to lose. Often times preparing for trial leads to a dismissal or a drastic reduction in charges.
Are there any disadvantages to an aggressive defense? There sometimes are disadvantages. Sometimes the government can easily meet their burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Evidence that hurts your case include–confessions, eye witnesses, DNA evidence, Video surveillance evidence, recordings of a transaction. Some prosecutors will offer a plea bargain and in some cases the plea bargain is a good idea. Sure it would be nice to take every case to trial but you must weigh the downside of going to trial. Cost. Trial can be expensive. Experts are not cheap. Often times the plea baring offered versus the risk of losing at trial helps make the decision whether to proceed to trial. If you face a mandatory 10 years in prison on a case that there is overwhelming evidence against you, a plea to five years may make sense. An attorney can mitigate your role in a case where a prosecutor will make the initial plea margin offer better. An aggressive defense may not be the goal. Mitigating the harm or potential sentence may be the goal in some cases.
Who or what makes the decision whether to be aggressive? It is always beneficial to plan for an aggressive defense. The facts, the evidence against you, the offered plea bargain, the potential defense, the jurisdiction, the case analysis dictates your defense and way to approach a case. You need to have an attorney who has seen many different fact situations and who can give you insight as to what will work and what won’t work in defending your case. In murder cases where you face life in prison–you fight every inch. You have nothing to lose. In cases where a judge determines how long of a jail or prison sentence, sometimes you want enter a plea agreement where there are maximums the Judge can give you pursuant to an agreement with the prosecution. Some Judges don’t take caps or any type of sentencing agreement. An experienced attorney is necessary to navigate through the issues of limiting exposure to sentencing. Sometimes cost determines how aggressive to fight a case.
In a DUI case what would constitution an aggressive defense?
In most driving under the influence cases there are four pieces of the prosecution case: The driving, the sensory observations, the field sobriety tests and the chemical test. An aggressive defense would include gathering all the information regarding the officer and his training. Making the officer testify regarding why the officer pulled the driver over, what he observed and the way he conducted the field sobriety tests. An aggressive defense may include an expert to challenge the way the officer conducted the field sobriety tests compared to the way they should have been conducted. An aggressive duo defense would include gathering all the evidence on the breath machine including logs of previous and subsequent tests, repair records as well as evidence regarding how the test was conducted. An expert may help in pointing out the breath test can’t be trusted because it conducted incorrectly or the breath machine is faulty. Sometimes, physiological conditions lead to misleading results and an expert can help explain those conditions including GERD or other reasons the test can’t be trusted. Some cases can’t be helped by experts. At the very minimum you have to examine all the evidence, retest at the blood test, find out and question the officer before making the decision to mount an aggressive defense with the use of experts. The potential cost of losing your license of going to jail, justify going all out on a DUI defense. The experienced DUI lawyer can guide you through the facts of the case and the potential defenses.