Trial is something most people won't have to go through in their lifetime. Many criminal cases in California criminal justice system will be prosecuted and concluded prior to going to trial. A criminal trial is a lot of work; it can involve witnesses, testimonies and questioning. You will most likely need a strong trial attorney to help you prepare. Criminal cases that go to trial usually involve some sort of dispute over evidence and/or some dispute over the interpretation of the law. A good trial attorney should have significant experience handling criminal defense cases in trial. He or she should have demonstrated success at trial however don't be put off if they have not won every case they've taken to trial. Because it will be a judge and/or jury who will ultimately decide your case, the job of your trial attorney is to convince these parties to either drop or reduce in some way the charges against you. Since being persuasive is your trial attorney's main role, make sure you look for an attorney with a track record of success at being persuasive. If consulting with an attorney, ask them what cases they've successfully represented in. You don't need to know a lot about law to make a good decision about a trial attorney. Many attorneys are honest and will share with you case scenarios or case studies where they were successful. Remember, many court documents are public record so you may be able to verify what the attorney is telling you, should you feel you need to. Ask the attorney about the verdicts he or she has gotten or what cases specifically they were successful in. The most important aspect you should be paying attention to finding a trial attorney is what they say about your specific case. They may have been successful in the past but every case is different and every defendant is unique so all that really matters is what he or she envisions for you. If you are facing charges at a criminal trial, keep in mind that not all cases set to go to trial actually make it to trial. You may be able to enter a plea-bargain before the case actually goes to trial. This could take place at the pre-trial conference, wherein the facts of the case are discussed, evidence previously exchanged, also called discovery, is reviewed and it is confirmed you are ready for trial. These conferences are, in part, an attempt to settle and avoid trial and free up precious courtroom space so come prepared to take advantage of this opportunity to settle. Having an attorney with you during this conference can mean the difference between pleading guilty to a lesser charge or facing trial. A skilled trial attorney will, after discussing your case with you, be able to advise you on whether or not it is likely you can get a plea-bargain and what that might entail. He or she will also be able to advise you on how you should prepare for trial; if it seems unlikely a plea bargain is an option for you. A good trial attorney should be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses in your case and inform you on how these might affect the outcome at trial. A good trial attorney will also be able to clearly explain your case to your from a legal perspective. They should go over the evidence and facts of the case and advise you on any potential defense strategies that might work in your favor at trial. Make sure the attorney you are considering has a game plan for your case. Those without sufficient experience may be tempted to raise false hopes or convince you they can get your charges dismissed. This may be the case but beware of attorneys who seem too optimistic. A good trial attorney will present you with a few potential outcomes. Make sure they inform you fully of what will happen if you lose at trial and are convicted. It is best to know all the possible circumstances before you step in to the courtroom. Because there are so many elements in play at a trial, your attorney, above all, should appear to have a good grasp on the laws applicable to your case and demonstrate that they are prepared to fight for your case. You don't want an overly aggressive attorney but a good criminal defense trial attorney should be firm and confident when they discuss your case.
Are you facing criminal charges in the Tulare, Kings or Fresno County area and think you may be going to trial? Contact experienced trial attorney Christopher Martens for expert counsel. The skilled legal team at The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can help ensure you go to trial prepared and ready with a strong defense. Mr. Martens has brought over 50 criminal cases to trial and has obtained many favorable outcomes for his clients. Contact our offices in Hanford and Visalia at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your case.