Guide for Criminal Cases

The complexities of a criminal case may overwhelm someone unfamiliar with the system. Here’s a PDF  of my pamphlet  which explains generally the parts of a trial and the processes leading up to trial. 12916-outside and 12916-inside

Conditions of Probation

A plea of guilty is a frequent outcome for criminal cases. As a part of a sentence, a defendant may be subject to a special set of rules, or conditions of probation. These rules could include a Fourth Amendment Waiver, a requirement to the defendant take drug tests, and/or any number of other conditions thatContinue reading “Conditions of Probation”

Grand Jury: Just a Step in the Process

Clients and family members often express concern when the idea of the Grand Jury is discussed. The Grand Jury determines who is indicted and who is not indicted. In most cases, an Indictment, or “True Bill,” results from presentation of a case to the Grand Jury. If the Grand Jury determines that a case shouldContinue reading “Grand Jury: Just a Step in the Process”

Plea Offers

When a plea offer is made by the State, the defense attorney must present that offer to the client. Offers are not controlled by the defense attorney. At times, clients begin to feel like their attorney isn’t working for the client because the offer is so harsh. Understand that your attorney advocates for your side.Continue reading “Plea Offers”

Plea Negotiations

More than 90% of criminal and traffic cases resolve with a guilty plea of some sort. In many cases, guilty pleas are negotiated. Other times, a client may choose to enter a plea of guilty without a plea offer because we cannot reach a meeting of the minds with the State. How can an attorneyContinue reading “Plea Negotiations”

Mistrial – Hung Jury

During jury deliberations in a criminal jury trial, a jury must reach a unanimous verdict. All the jurors- 12 for felonies or 6 for misdemeanors- must agree about whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty. If after some period of time the jury cannot decide on a verdict, the judge may declare a mistrial.Continue reading “Mistrial – Hung Jury”

Choosing a Jury Trial

Every person charged with a crime in the United State has a right to a jury trial. Clients decide from time to time that a trial is necessary. In those instances, when the prosecutor would not bend and the balance to obtain a dismissal or reach a negotiated plea never shifted, we have a jury trial.Continue reading “Choosing a Jury Trial”

Legal Definitions: Hearsay

One of the great challenges of representing clients revolves around language and word usage. Many times the legal definition and common understanding of a word differ. Hearsay falls into that category. Recently, while working to resolve a case for a client whose codefendant just entered a guilty plea and agreed to implicate the client, aContinue reading “Legal Definitions: Hearsay”

Picking a Jury

The first aspect of a jury trial is selecting a jury. Which 6 or 12 people will hear the case and decide whether a person is guilty or not guilty? The phrase, “picking a jury” misrepresents what happens in jury selection. Also known as voir dire, a French phrase which means “telling the truth,” jury selection thrives on direct discussion between potential jurors and counsel for the parties. Potential jurors provide basic information, usually by answers to a written questionnaire: name, area of the community one lives in, profession,Continue reading “Picking a Jury”