There are four skills that the best criminal defense attorneys have. There are being able to investigate, negotiate, offer a strong technical legal defense and win trials.
The most important thing that can be done by a criminal defense attorney is over-investigating a case. The amount of independent investigation done is probably the biggest difference between attorneys. Criminal defense attorneys have to start playing catch up as soon as they get involved with a case. The case has often been investigated by the police for months or even years. Probably the District Attorney has been briefed already or started to prepare. They are police reports explaining the police’s position. The accusatory instrument has been read by the judge. Information gathering is the main thing that occurs at the start of a case.
Everybody is aware that criminal defense attorneys need to be strong negotiators. However, what does that actually mean? Many criminal defense attorneys believe that negotiating is some form of begging, pleading, whining, or belly-aching so that they don’t need to work. However, that is an awful method and is ineffective. When it comes to negotiation, there are actually just two factors that need to be considered: what does the individual desire, and what is the chance of conviction if their case goes to trial (how strong is the case). Attorneys should be able to get the best deals for “good” people where there is a weak case against them. The worst deals, on the other hand, should be for terrible people, where the evidence of guilt is overwhelming. Good criminal attorneys understand everything about their clients that they need to know.
Law books are where you learn this type of thing. Read the law. Read the discovery. Reread the law. Reread the discovery. Usually, there is something you can argue about. A majority of police officers are good at investigating crimes. However, when it comes to writing police reports they tend to not be as skilled. Challenge their paperwork. Challenge your client’s initial approach. Challenge the police interaction’s quality. Challenge their procedure. Usually, the technical legal defense starts at the motion stage. This can lead to the case being entirely dismissed or evidence being suppressed.
The ability to win trials is the most difficult skill. At trial, you are required to be front and center for a number of days in a row. Good criminal defense attorneys must have the ability to win trials since you never know where a case might need to go in order to resolve it. Prosecutors know who is going to trial and who isn’t. They need to know you can win at trial.