First and foremost, many of my clients are in fact NOT GUILTY of the crime they are alleged to have committed. This fact cannot be overstated. Just because the police have arrested a person and the State Attorney's Office has filed formal charges, it does not mean the prosecutors are correct. Rather, it could mean - based on the "limited" evidence they have at the time - the State believes there is sufficient evidence to arrest and formally charge a person.
Often times after my full and careful review of ALL the facts in the case, reviewing all the participants involved with their biases, motives, history and characteristics, and after a detailed review of the law, it becomes clear that my client should not have been arrested and that no formal charges should be filed or if filed, the charges should be immediately dropped. It is very very rewarding to me, and of course to my clients and their families, when I am able to show the State that the charges are not legally warranted and they agree to immediately drop the charges.
As residents of the State of Florida and the United States, we have rights provided to us by both the Florida and United States Constitutions. Specifically, we all have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. It is very important that law enforcement strictly abide by and follow these laws which protect us all. At times, my clients have had their "rights" violated by law enforcement. It is my responsibility to my client and to our community as a whole to not let these violations go unchecked but rather address these violations in a court of law and make sure my clients' rights and the community's rights are properly respected and protected.
Yes, sometimes my clients are in fact guilty; they did commit a crime, and they do need to be punished. However, sometimes what a prosecutor or a Judge feels is an appropriate sentence is not what I feel is a fair and appropriate sentence in this particular case. By learning everything about my client and how they came to be in my office, I can better advocate for him/her and explain why my sentencing recommendation is more appropriate. Often times my client's childhood, medical issues, employment, child-care responsibilities, substance abuse dependency, and other factors are very relevant and important in arriving at a fair case resolution and sentence.
Finally, just because a person is accused of committing a crime or actually commits a crime does not necessarily make them a bad or horrible person. My clients are usually first time (and never again) offenders who made a mistake or bad choice. I truly enjoy helping them AND their family members through the often stressful, scary, and embarrassing legal process.
I am always truly honored and proud when a former client refers a family member or friend to me to help out in their time of need. I do not take this trust lightly.
As always, I will work hard, be honest, and give my clients the honest straightforward answers they deserve.