There are 1 of 5 ways a criminal case is resolved in State Court.
- Nolle Prosse (State Attorney’s Office drops the criminal charge): Andrew will always evaluate a case and first determine whether this Nolle Prosse option is available. This means a careful review of the facts, the client’s background and history, and the strengths and weaknesses of the case. If it is a viable option, Andrew will work to convince the prosecutor that the case should be dropped against his client.
- Diversion Program: First time offenders may be eligible to enter a pretrial diversion program as a way to resolve their case. These programs are available at the discretion of the State Attorney’s Office and not the Judge. These programs are available for some felony, misdemeanor, juvenile and even some traffic offenses (NOT DUI). The beauty of these programs is that a client does NOT have to admit guilt in order to be allowed in the program. Once the client successfully completes the diversion program, the case is dismissed. Later, the client may be eligible to have the criminal record expunged.
- Motion Practice: While reviewing a client’s case, Andrew may determine that an appropriate motion can resolve the case in his client’s best interests. For example, a Motion to Suppress illegally obtained evidence may result in some or all of the evidence being inadmissible, thereby weakening the State’s case or resulting in the case being dropped. Similarly, a Motion to Dismiss may result in a full dismissal of the case. Andrew has successfully argued a wide variety of these motions before the Courts. It is critical to have an attorney like Andrew who is up to date with the constantly changing laws and court rulings in criminal trial law.
- Plea bargain: A plea bargain is the most common way a case is resolved. The job of a good defense attorney is to show the prosecutor the weaknesses of the State’s case in order to obtain a favorable plea offer for their client. Andrew will thoroughly dissect a case and present the weaknesses to the Prosecutor. A plea offer may include a reduced charge, probation instead of incarceration, or a greatly reduced period of incarceration. Andrew will work hard to obtain the best offer for his client. With the State’s offer in hand, Andrew will discuss the case, the offer, the consequences of accepting or rejecting the offer, and other options.
- Trial: A trial is when you assert your innocence and you demand your right to a public trial. At trial, 6 members of the public (jury) will hear the evidence and decide if you are innocent or guilty of the charges. Before you decide to proceed with a trial, Andrew will meet with you and have an in-depth discussion about all aspects of the case. Andrew will discuss the consequences such a trial may have on the client, the client’s family, job, and personal life. Andrew will give his expert opinion on the likelihood of success at trial and the possible consequences if you are found guilty.
Posted in: Criminal Law