Choosing the right attorney for a criminal case may make a huge difference. Some lawyers have years of experience in a specific field, while others represent a wide range of civil and criminal matters. When it comes time to select a criminal defense attorney, however, you may want to consider a former prosecutor. These attorneys have experienced the “other side” of the courtroom, and that legal knowledge and skillset could benefit a person's defense. When a criminal defense attorney is required, there are a few good reasons to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is a former prosecutor. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime and want to better understand your legal options, consider contacting the experienced Texas criminal defense attorney at Jason English Law at (512) 454-7548 to schedule a free consultation.
Look Across the Aisle
Many attorneys wear the “former prosecutor” title as a badge of honor. These attorneys can often provide insight into both sides of the criminal justice process. Former prosecutors have a comprehensive understanding of the trial proceedings, as they must adhere to certain responsibilities per the American Bar Association. They know how prosecutors take related evidence, determine criminal charges, and build a case that can go before the judge or jury. Therefore, a former prosecutor's clients may get a peek into that “other” world, giving them a competitive edge. Because of their experience, these attorneys can often foresee what the prosecution could use in a case, which prepares them to react in certain situations for the benefit of their clients. They already know what may or may not work in the courtroom.
Since they have worked as prosecutors in the criminal justice system, these attorneys know what a judge or jury needs in order to convict. Working as criminal defense attorneys, former prosecutors often have a better understanding of what arguments could strengthen a client's defense. They may be able to anticipate any surprises in the proceedings and better educate a client on what to expect during the process. The experienced attorney at Jason English Law can help you learn more about why someone might want to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is a former prosecutor.
Extensive Courtroom Litigation Experience
Contrary to popular belief, there are lawyers who never set foot inside a courtroom. Many cases settle out of court, especially for those attorneys who specialize in litigation. On the other hand, an experienced prosecutor has often handled dozens of cases per month, ranging from serious crimes to minor infractions. As a result, these attorneys may have years of courtroom experience managing criminal cases.
Knowledge of Local Judges and Courts
Judges tend to rule in a certain way on certain issues. Since the former prosecutor already has extensive courtroom experience, he or she will be familiar with the preferences of specific judges. In some situations, the former prosecutor might know how judges ruled in previous cases, which may help to determine whether to go to trial or accept a plea deal. Additionally, former prosecutors have earned the respect of their peers, which could be an advantage in the courtroom.
Former prosecutors also have experience with criminal jury trials. Anything can happen in the jury room, but an experienced attorney may be able to help clients prepare for the unexpected. Since the main job of the prosecution is to pursue cases on behalf of the government, according to the State Prosecuting Attorney of Texas, the office is the “voice of the people.” These attorneys, therefore, know well what could sway a jury in a particular direction.
Presenting Evidence in Trial
With their extensive courtroom experience, former prosecutors know how to examine and cross-examine witnesses. That trial experience allowed the former prosecutor to sharpen his or her examining skills that can be used on the other side of the aisle.
Experience Arguing and Writing Legal Motions
Former prosecutors have experience with all of the following:
- Examining witnesses
- Writing legal motions
- Arguing legal motions
These lawyers must argue motions before the judge in the courtroom. During a trial, the attorney needs to prepare for anything to happen. Often, the attorney must think quickly when it comes time to write a motion or argue a motion before the judge. Practicing for a time as a prosecutor can give an attorney a significant advantage over those with little or no courtroom experience.
Understanding Law Enforcement Techniques
Prosecutors work closely with local law enforcement during the preparation stages of a case. They understand how law enforcement operates in the criminal justice system. That knowledge may help to ensure that a client of a former prosecutor is treated fairly by both investigators and police officers. Protecting an individual's rights will be at the top of the attorney's mind in the event that he or she must try the case before a judge or jury. Although they are now on the other side of the aisle, many former prosecutors still have a “working relationship” with local law enforcement, which can provide an advantage.
Handling Several Types of Criminal Cases
Former prosecutors have typically taken to trial everything from traffic tickets to capital murder cases. While many attorneys specialize in one area of criminal law, others still gain experience in a variety of cases. That practical experience and the skills developed may help the attorney build a solid defense for his or her client. Most former prosecutors worked for various units in the prosecutor's office, giving them exposure to many types of cases. The attorney can put that experience to good use in criminal defense cases.
Every Case Is Different
While no two cases are the same, most lawyers apply similar processes in the courtroom. A criminal defense attorney will do all of the following to build a practical defense:
- Investigate a case
- Analyze the state's evidence
- Speak with expert witnesses
As a former prosecutor, the attorney understands how to approach the case, giving the client a possible advantage in the courtroom. Experience is priceless in the criminal justice system. Every case is different. Therefore, when it comes time to defend criminal charges, the accused might want to think about hiring someone with experience on both sides of the aisle.
Consult with a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Before taking steps to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is a former prosecutor, consider the attorney's courtroom experience. Former prosecutors could bring benefits that might make the difference in the verdict. To learn more about your legal rights, consider contacting a criminal defense attorney who is a former prosecutor at Jason English Law by calling (512) 454-7548 to schedule a consultation.