Yes, you do. In criminal court, terms like “innocent” and “guilty” do not mean very much. These are mostly moral categories. Instead, the most critical issue in a Monroe County criminal case is what the state can and cannot prove.
The prosecutor’s role exemplifies this situation. Most prosecutors care little about justice or fairness and guilt or innocence. Their job is to convict as many defendants as possible. That’s the way the adversarial criminal law system works in America.
Likewise, a Rochester criminal defense lawyer is not concerned with abstract principles. Your attorney is only concerned about you and your future.
What to Expect in a Criminal Case
It is possible to convince prosecutors not to file charges. That’s especially true if the facts align with the elected District Attorney’s political agenda. For example, if officers catch Joe with marijuana, they will probably arrest him even if he claims to have a prescription. If a Rochester criminal defense attorney produces the prescription for prosecutors, they may drop the case.
But these instances are very rare. Indeed, many Rochester criminal defense attorneys fight for individual rights their entire careers and only encounter a handful of these situations. Truthfully, if the state’s attorney is willing to give up without a fight, that person is not a very good lawyer.
So, most criminal cases go through the system, whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. After a Rochester criminal defense attorney thoroughly evaluates the case, including both the facts and the law, plea negotiations usually begin. More on that below.
Legal Defenses for Morally Innocent People
First, examining some possible legal defenses for morally innocent people is essential. If a defense is available, these cases are easier to resolve favorably.
Eyewitnesses are not always right. They often misidentify suspects during photo or live lineups, especially if the lineup was not double-blind.
In double-blind lineups, the suspect’s identity is unknown to both the witness and the person administering the test. But most Monroe County lineups are only blind (i.e., the administrator knows the suspect’s identity). As a result, the administrator often gives the witness subtle clues, like placing a preferred photo in the middle of a line.
If Joe goes to court, it is not enough for him to proclaim his innocence. Instead, a Rochester criminal defense attorney must create reasonable doubt, and a tainted identification is one way to do so.
In other situations, police officers pressure innocent defendants into making confessions. These involuntary confessions do not hold up in court. Additionally, if the defendant is innocent, there will be little physical evidence. Joe might have a gun, but the gun has not fired recently.
How Rochester Criminal Defense Lawyers Resolve Criminal Matters
Most criminal cases do not make it to court. Agreed pretrial settlements resolve over 90 percent of these cases.
Legal defenses give Rochester criminal defense attorneys additional negotiating leverage. If prosecutors must go to court against Joe with a shaky eyewitness and little physical evidence, they may be motivated to drop the case or at least reduce the charges to simple assault. No one, not even a Monroe County prosecutor, likes to fight a losing battle.
If the matter does go to trial, it will probably be before a jury. Many times, jurors have a sixth sense in these situations. They can tell when the facts do not add up. And, if the defendant is innocent, the math never works.
Contact a Dedicated Attorney
Innocent defendants must usually still fight for their rights in court. For a free consultation with an experienced Rochester criminal defense lawyer, contact the Law Office of Frank Ciardi. Convenient payment plans are available.