A Sentencing Attorney Can Positively Change Lives
The outcome in many criminal cases can hinge on a skilled and artful argument by a sentencing attorney. A successful one can take a case destined for a commitment to prison and convince the judge a probationary sentence, with no prison time, is appropriate. On a lesser level, an experienced sentencing attorney can convince a judge that a felony should actually be sentenced as a gross misdemeanor. Needless to say, in either instance, the right approach by a sentencing attorney can positively change a defendant’s life.
Most people assume that a sentencing attorney must be the same attorney that handled the case from the beginning. While true in most instances, this is not always the case. We have commonly been called in by a defendant’s family to take over a sentencing hearing – and possibly appeal – when the previous attorney, often a public defender, simply was not providing the services or expected outcome the defendant deserves.
Hiring a sentencing attorney at such a late stage serves two benefits. First, you hire a firm like North Star Criminal Defense knowing you are getting savvy and experienced attorneys to counsel the defendant to position him- or herself into the best position possibly. We counsel them about ways they can take proactive measures that judges can latch onto in order to get the desired outcome. And we know how to emphasize certain points, counter the negative ones, and stress the positives the defendant has or will take that deserves a specific sentence. Second, hiring a sentencing attorney also allows the attorney or firm to be more acquainted with the case to understand possible – and perhaps likely – appellate issues that will be worth exploring immediately after sentencing, should the desired outcome not be achieved.
An example of the value a sentencing attorney can have in positively changing a defendant’s life is best seen in the recent case Mr. Adkins just completed. The Defendant was charged with first-degree assault. Arguably, it should have been charged and resolved as a third-degree assault. The Defendant, upon advice of his public defender, offered a straight plea to the court to the first-degree charge with no sentencing terms agreed upon, except for the Defendant planned to bring a downward departure motion. No promises or assurances – or even understandings from the court as to an expected sentence – was received in exchange for a straight plea.
The family hired Mr. Adkins to handle the sentencing and likely appeal to follow. In a little less than two months, Mr. Adkins successfully counseled the Defendant to be proactive while in custody and to prove how remorseful he was about the incident. A thoughtful letter from the Defendant, apologizing to those involved, proved crucial to the sentencing argument. The judge took the bench prepared to ship the Defendant to prison. But, after an incredibly thorough, savvy, and persuasive argument from Mr. Adkins, the Defendant received a probationary sentence. He will not serve one-day in prison. No appeal is needed anymore because of the incredible work Mr. Adkins performed in getting this deserved and appropriate outcome.
If you are facing sentencing that can literally change your life for better or worse, be sure that you have an experienced and knowledgeable sentencing attorney to counsel and fight on your behalf.