J Charles Ferrari
Eng & Nishimura
The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.
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No, everyone, even the guilty, are entitled to a defense.
John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida.
The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.
No. What may seem "clear" to you is not always what the facts will ultimately reveal. Recently in my community, a young woman was tried for murder and the first jury ended up hung with just one hold-out juror standing between her and a murder conviction. She was retried, and acquitted by a unanimous jury.
Same defendant. Same witnesses. Same facts. Big difference.
So what we "know" from watching the TV news isn't always so certain after all.
I have been licensed to practice in the State of Oregon since 1990. I am not offering legal advice regarding your question, only general information regarding the law. You are not my client nor am I your attorney unless we sign a retainer agreement.
Even those that are "guilty as sin" deserve an advocate in order for our legal system to function. No attorney that regularly practices in criminal defense can say he or she has never defended a client that committed the charge.
Often times, the role of a defense attorney is to present mitigating circumstances to negotiate a plea deal. Imagine, what if those that are "clearly guilty" weren't entitled to an attorney and the prosecution had unfettered discretion to decide what the sentence should be? Having an advocate helps to ensure that the punishment fits the crime.
Every situation is different and no one should rely solely on information received from the internet. If you have any questions about your legal rights, you should consult with an attorney that practices in that area of law.
I agree with all the other answers and add - the prosecution is supposed to seek justice, not merely prosecute, but that is the ideal and human frailty usually means that the easiest thing for a prosecutor to do is simply go full bore against anyone whom they have decided should be charged. The system, in other words, is adversarial - a defense is needed to counterbalance the prosecution, which, as I say, is often over-zealous.
What people fail to realize is that without this system, we do not need judges. Indeed, taken to its logical conclusion, we wouldn't need prosecutors either. we would just let the cops arrest those lawbreakers and that would be that. Oh wait, many other societies have tried that approach - they're called totalitarian regimes. North Korea comes to mind in the present, and the list is too long to recite if one considers the historical examples. What is important to note from that list is the history of political persecution that results from such a system, when corruption and hidden agenda is what then drives arrest and prosecution.
What is clear and what is not clear is decided in a courtroom, by a jury of hopefully impartial citizens, NOT prosecutors, nor defense attorneys, nor judges. Every person is considered innocent until PROVEN guilty. If that is a mere formality in someone's mind, then so be it. It is the process we cherish and work to preserve and is precisely what protects the falsely accused, those charged by political other motive, and the simply over-charged (perhaps the largest class of all). So, even for the isolated case that seems clear to you or even to everyone, it is the bigger picture, the system that must be preserved. It is simplistic thinking, perhaps such as yours, that is the enemy to fairness, freedom and due process.
The above is provided for educational purposes only and is not legal advice nor makes you a client of the Mosca Law Firm, PA. Please consult with a lawyer in order to obtain confidential legal advice that is tailored to your specific situation and facts.
Each one of us has represented clients who were, in fact, guilty. Each one of us has probably gotten guilty verdicts when we knew the client was innocent. If you are charged with a crime that you did not commit, but the facts released in the news media made people think that you were guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, would you just give up? When someone comes to us with their 4th DUI, having gotten them off on the first three, what should we tell them? Sorry, I cannot represent you. The practice of criminal law is very fact specific. We can all create reasonable doubt out of thin air. It's what we have to do. It's a job, an honorable profession. A vast majority of those accused of crime will go for the best plea bargain available and will admit guilt. It's only 5 percent or so that actually go to trial and make the state prove each and every element of the offense beyond and to the exclusion of a reasonable doubt. Wouldn't you want someone fighting for your freedom?