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

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”

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”

Negotiation

The week of February 8, 2016, Nancee Tomlinson spent the week advocating for a 17 year old who was charged with murder. Ed Tolley and Nancee Tomlinson resolved the cases for their clients to Aggravated Assault pleas. Both young men were charged with Malice Murder and Felony Murder, both of which carry a life sentenceContinue reading “Negotiation”

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”