Do not fall for the case records listed on a lawyers website. A Lawyer can pick and choose what cases to post and there is no way for you to tell what circumstances led to the dismissal or win. For example, one month, I had five clients scheduled for trial. Altogether the clients faced sixteen separate charges. If I only posted the not guilty and dismissed charges, my page would say:
- Assault – Not Guilty
- Assault – Not Guilty
- Criminal Damage – Not Guilty
- Disorderly Conduct – Not Guilty
- Threatening and Intimidating – Dismissed
- Assault – Dismissed
- Disorderly Conduct – Dismissed
- Trespass – Dismissed
- Possession of drugs – Dismissed
- Possession of drug paraphernalia – Dismissed
- Trespassing – Dismissed
- Criminal Damage – Dismissed
It looks great but what really happened in the cases? Where the charges dismissed because of something I did? What about the other four charges not listed? You cannot tell how good a job lawyer did by reviewing a list of case results. You need more information. Let’s look at the five cases listed above:
We believed going into the first case that the client would probably be convicted of some charges but he had to go to trial to defeat the two assault allegations. We spent two days in trial. I questioned the witnesses and pointed out that the stories were not consistent. I was able to create reasonable doubt. The client was found not guilty in of three of the five charges including both assault charges! Even though the client was convicted of two charges, he was sentenced to far less than was offered in the state’s plea offer. This was a huge win for the client. By looking at a list of results, how would you know that we anticipated losing a few counts but were concentrating on winning the assault charges and getting a better sentence?
A second client was found not guilty of his only charge at trial. Did I have anything to do with winning the case? I cross-examined the state’s witnesses. Based on the answers to my questions, I moved for a directed verdict. The judge agreed with me and entered a not guilty verdict. Was the client happy with my presentation? He hugged me and cried when the judge announced the verdict.
A third client pled guilty to one charge of trespassing. The other three charges, possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and another trespass charge were
all dismissed. If you asked the client, she would tell you that pleading to trespass and not receiving a drug strike was a very favorable result.
In the fourth case, we believed that the main witness would not show up and testify. After consultation with me and relying on my years of experience and expertise, the client took a chance and set her case for trial. The witness did not show up and all three charges were dismissed.
In the last case, I was able to obtain a very favorable settlement offer just before trial. The client pled guilty to disorderly conduct in order to have the charges of assault and criminal damage dismissed.