Many criminal defense lawyers will say that their goal is to get you “the best result” for your case. You don’t hear many talk about “winning” your case. Why is that? And what qualifies as the “best” result?
At Tad Nelson & Associates, we have represented hundreds of criminal defendants in Houston and surrounding areas. There is a simple reason lawyers don’t talk about winning your case—we can’t ethically promise a result. Lawyers can’t see into the future, and the criminal justice system is not entirely within our control. It would be dishonest to claim we can guarantee an acquittal. So it’s a good thing when a lawyer refuses to promise to “win” your case—they are being honest and ethical.
On the other hand, it’s certainly helpful that our clients understand what we mean by the “best” result. There are many factors that go into the equation. In some situations, a plea deal might be the best resolution where the evidence against you is strong. In other cases, fighting for a dismissal or acquittal makes sense. The best result will depend on the facts of your case.
How Strong is the Case Against You?
Let’s be frank: sometimes there is overwhelming evidence of your guilt. For example, surveillance video might have caught you stealing packages from someone’s doorstep or assaulting the homeowner. You might even admit to the police that you committed a crime and hand over incriminating evidence.
At Tad Nelson, we carefully review all evidence, and we try to keep as much incriminating evidence out as possible. For example, your confession could have been coerced, or the police might have failed to give Miranda warnings. The surveillance video might be too gritty to really show anything.
We certainly don’t roll over and assume the state’s evidence is always overwhelming. Still, we need to be honest: the evidence against you might be very strong. That means an acquittal isn’t always on the table—and an honest lawyer should level with you.
Is the Case Weak?
On the flipside, if the evidence is weak, then an acquittal or a dismissal is a more likely option, so beating the charges is the best result. Prosecutors often bluff that their case is stronger than it is, or they might not even be familiar with the details of the case.
For example, the police might have only interviewed a few witnesses to a crime, and those witnesses place you at the crime scene. But there could be 5 or 6 other people the police didn’t interview who can testify with 100% confidence that you weren’t involved at all.
You might also have an alibi witness that the police don’t even know about. If your witness is credible, we can severely undermine the case against you. In situations like these, accepting a plea deal (unless it is very generous) might not be the best course of action.
What is Your Criminal History Like?
If you have prior convictions, odds are you will face enhanced penalties if you are convicted. For this reason, it’s sometimes the best option to try and get your charges reduced. A plea deal might be more attractive if you have prior convictions.
When the prosecution won’t budge, we will defend you at trial. And if you end up convicted, we will fight to get the minimum sentence possible.
Has There Been Police or Prosecutorial Misconduct?
Sometimes the prosecutor doesn’t turn over all helpful evidence, like they should, or the police have planted some evidence and claimed it was yours. These are serious ethical and legal mistakes. We can use them to your advantage. For example, we might get the charges dismissed solely for the failure to turn over evidence, which is a violation of the Constitution.
Keeping You Out of Jail
Very few people ever want to spend time behind bars. For that reason, the best result for your case might be probation. Even if you are convicted, keeping you out of jail or prison is a “win” that is worth fighting for. Our lawyers realize that a case doesn’t end with a jury verdict. Sentencing is also a critical part of any person’s defense, and we use all available resources to argue to a judge that you shouldn’t be sent to jail.
Call Us for an Analysis of Your Case
If you are facing criminal charges, contact Tad Nelson & Associates today. We will provide an overview of how the criminal process will go and, if hired, begin planning your defense.