4.28.2010

My trial record: 2-3-3

Derek prodded me to post some good news, since it's been too long.

My case load is larger than before, up to around 265. Since I started last August, I've had eight jury trials. My record at this point is 2-3-3. Two wins, three ties, and three losses.

Now, you may be wondering how you can tie in a criminal trial, where the two possible verdicts are guilty or not guilty.

In a criminal case, there will usually be a plea bargain offered to the defendant to resolve the case without a trial. The plea offer tends to be either a lesser charge, dismissal of some of the charges, limits the potential jail time, or some combination thereof.

Typically, if a person is charged with Assault, there may be an offer to plead to Harassment. If they are charged with Driving Under the Influence, there may be an offer to plead to Driving While Ability Impaired.

If a client chooses to take their case to trial, they are usually charged with the primary offense as well as the lesser offense.

If we go to trial and the jury returns a verdict of not guilty of the main charge (e.g. DUI), but guilty of the lesser offense that was offered as a plea bargain (e.g. DWAI), I consider that a tie. The client is no worse off than if he had taken the plea bargain, he's exercised his Constitutional right to a jury trial, cross-examined witnesses, and made the District Attorney and police officers work to convict him.

4.27.2010

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