When choosing a criminal defense attorney, you may be wondering what credentials you should look for. Obviously, you want someone with experience defending criminal cases, but there is something you may not have considered. A defense attorney with prior prosecution experience.
A prosecutor is the representative of the state that decides what charges to pursue in criminal cases, as well as try the cases in front of juries. Therefore, a prosecutor has experience in how to get criminal convictions. So, having someone that knows both sides of the courtroom may be beneficial.
The Advantages of a Former Prosecutor
Prosecutors collect evidence in a specific way, your attorney having experience with this could help your case. A defense attorney that was once a prosecutor has been on both sides of a trial. They can shed light on what the prosecution’s approach may be. This allows your defense attorney to prepare better and know what the prosecutor will do before he does. This can allow your attorney to figure out where the case against you may be weak, which in turn strengthens your case.
The next advantage of having a former prosecutor as you defense attorney is when it comes to plea bargains. Someone who has experienced plea deals from the other side knows just how far the D.A. may be willing to go. A former prosecutor knows that the first plea bargain isn’t the best offer. This can be an advantage to get you the best deal possible.
Prosecutors often have large caseloads. Having a former prosecutor will mean that your defense attorney has experience handling cases in the most efficient way possible. An attorney with experience handling a large case load is much more capable when the number of cases is reduced to a manageable number.
Another added benefit with a former prosecutor is experienced in the courtroom. Prosecutors have hundreds of cases at a time and are in court most of the day. The more experience someone has doing something, the better they are. This is a fairly obvious benefit.
Defense Attorney With Knowledge of Officials
You may think that knowing someone shouldn’t matter when it comes to the law, but that is incorrect. Knowing the prosecutor, District Attorney, police officers and anyone else that is part of the case could be a great asset. People are more likely to be open to someone that they know. It is just human nature to trust the people you know well. A defense attorney that has relationships with the people across the courtroom can help.
So What Should You Do?
If you have pending criminal charges, you are going to want to speak with an attorney. It may be beneficial to you case if you find a lawyer with prior prosecution experience. You should get any advantage that you can in your case. Having the best possible defense is the only way to avoid being found guilty of an alleged crime. Besides prior prosecution experience here are some other qualities to look for in a Rhode Island and Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer:
- Find a local attorney. An attorney with experience in the courtroom where your charges are pending will be able to help you the most. Policies and procedures can vary from court to court not just state to state. For example, a D.A. in one district may have a no-plea-bargain policy while the next district tries to plea all of their cases.
- Experience with your particular crime. If you have an assault charge, find an attorney that has defended assault cases. Aske them questions like their acquittal rates, the average sentence for your crime, and the percentage of cases that involve your particular crime.
- Find someone that you are comfortable with. Your attorney needs to know everything. Any details that you leave out for fear of embarrassment or any other reason can greatly hurt your case. You defense attorney speaks for you, so he needs to know everything you know. If for some reason you are not comfortable with your attorney, find another one. After all, it is your freedom on the line.
- Find someone who will speak to you in terms you understand. Having an attorney that can break things down in simpler terms is important. You also want someone who seems personally invested in the outcome of your case. This will ensure that your attorney does everything they can to get you the best possible outcome.
John L. Calcagni III
John L. Calcagni III has prosecuted hundreds of criminal trials. He can help you determine the best course of action to take in your case and use his vast knowledge and experience to get you the outcome you desire. Contact Calcagni Law today for a free consultation and get on the path to the right defense.