The most important factor in the resolution of any criminal case is not the lawyer, the judge nor the prosecutor. Though many lawyers driven by oversized egos would have you believe otherwise. They’d have you think it’s their ability alone that directs a case. Yet as often as not the facts of the case and the applicable law direct their counsel to clients.
Many prosecutors walk into court detemined that their veiew of guilt will prevail in the end. Certainly under harsh sentencing guidelines, Florida prosecutors with some justification often believe they harness decisive power.
Still no matter what prosecutors or defense lawyers say or do, it’s only the sentencing judge who has the final say in every Florida criminal case. Even when the solemn jury finds a verdict of not guilty, the verdict itself is without merit nor meaning until the judge ratifies, approves and finally publishes the jurors’ action by lifting the veil of possible guilt in officially setting the defendant free on the record in open court as by example under common law since time memorial. Yet the judge with power over the lives of so many people still is bound by the law, by the appeals process and by Florida sentencing guidelines.
So if the defense lawyer, the prosecutor and the judge have limited roles in sentencing outcomes, who is it then who has control of the destiny of each defendant? After thirty years of practicing criminal law as a criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County, Florida I have no doubt as to where the real power for the best possible outcome in every criminal case resides. It comes from within the heart of the accused. Does the accused have the courage and hope to successfully climb the mountain of adversity to reach the summit of the best possible results? Or will the accused simply give up, the long, steep climb never attempted?
Sometimes the necessary hope and courage comes from religious faith, often it comes from the way these folks who aren’t easily intimidated face life. I’m not suggesting that facing an arrest or an indictment is ever easy. Nor should one sleep walk thru the criminal justice system. But to face a criminal case with success you better be strong, smart and savvy.
When I take on a new client I’m looking for attributes that will make a successful resoltuion of the case more likely. Is my client capable and willing to summon every bit of inner strength to gut it out, to focus on the case from a position of strength not weakness and to do every thing possible to move forward?
Often even as early as at the first meeting I have an idea of what the final resolution of the case is apt to be not merely because of the applicable criminal statutes and the pertinent facts of a case, but by the scope of hope and courage displayed. Anyone confronting the American criminal justice system must reach deep within finding the hope and courage to find justice. I can’t promise you that it will be easy. In fact it will be a long difficult journey. But if you undertake this task, by the end of it you’ll not only find the you’ve achieved the best result but that you’re also a braver, stronger, better person. If you can find that courage to move forward with hope, I’m prepared to help you make your successful journey.