When you are a defense attorney, there is a lot of work to do both in and out of a courtroom. Defense attorneys can pick and choose how to attack a case. Our office begins a case based on pre-trial work or the first stage, and trial work or the second stage. The first stage is about bargaining a plea deal. Although most people believe this is a simple task, it requires a lot of work on behalf of your defense attorney. We have to convince the prosecution that your case is different and that’s why they should treat your case different. This is no easy task. We have to provide evidence of treatment or counseling. We have to write motions to tell your side of the story. We have to do research and extensive creative thinking. Then we have to present in a way that benefits you.
To show this, I will discuss a case we had out of Prowers County, Colorado. Our client was charged with multiple counts of felony drug possession. Law enforcement claimed that they found drugs in our client’s vehicle due to the impoundment search. This happened because our client did not have a valid proof of insurance. This lead to the impounding and towing of his vehicle, which is standard police procedure. Law enforcement used an illegal impoundment and search of our client’s vehicle. This is what lead them to the drugs. Now, we could have taken this case to trial and we could have won, but we also could have lost. Luckily, we did not need to take it to trial because we did all the heavy lifting in advance. Almost all defense attorney’s know that it is in our clients best interest to not go to trial. The reason for that is juries are very unpredictable. We have lost cases that we should have won and we have won cases that we should have lost. There is no way to tell how a group of strangers is going to take your case. This is why we try to do all the work advance of trial.
In this case, we wrote motion after motion trying to suppress the search of the vehicle. To our luck, the client did have a valid proof of insurance he didn’t have it with him at the time of the stop. Later on, we discovered that he did text his mother for a picture of proof of insurance. She then provided it to him within less than 3 minutes via text message. This was our “smoking gun.” This is all we needed to prove that he did in fact show law enforcement a valid proof of insurance. The impoundment and search of his vehicle was illegal. Thus the drugs found in his vehicle could not be submitted at trial. Colorado Revised Statute, 42-4-1409 states that you can show an electronic copy as proof of insurance and law enforcement has to accept it.
After we presented all this evidence to the judge at the motions hearing, he dismissed the case. This case lasted almost a year and a half but in the end, the wait was worth it. Almost every client we have wants their case resolved quick and efficient. This is not always in your best interest. Sometimes cases take time. We have to investigate. We have to gather information. Then we need to present all that information in the right way to yield the best result. For a better understanding of this process, contact our office in order to allow us to better assess your unique case.
For more information, read some of our other blogs.