In Every Criminal Case You Have to Talk About Risk.
In every single criminal defense case, you need to sit down with your lawyer and talk about risk. Risk is the most important part of any criminal defense case. The risk that you go to jail, the risk that you have a criminal record, the risk that you might limit your ability to do the things that you want to do in your life. You have to evaluate risk accurately and take that into consideration when you are making decisions on your case. I’ll give you an example. So right now, you are at the start of your case, at the end the potential end for every criminal case is a trial. A trial in which a judge or a jury would hear the evidence in your case and say whether the state or the city has met their burden of proof with that evidence. That creates risk because you either win or you lose a trial. Right now, after you get your head around the idea of being charged with a crime, hired your lawyer, found out the facts of your case, the time between doing that and the trial of your case is your risk mitigation period or your risk management period. You need to go out and you need to talk all the variables into consideration. What could happen in your case? Whether your chances are you are going to win or lose. If the outcome is negative, how is it going to impact your future? All those different variables you are going to take into consideration when you are trying to manage the risk. That is part of your lawyer’s job is to manage the risk. How they do that is by evaluating your case and then also going out and getting options for you. In other words, going and talking to a prosecutor and seeing whether there are options on the table that can mitigate your risk. In other words, is there an offer on the table that you can tolerate as opposed to taking the risk of going to trial and either winning or losing. All that is a very complicated problem in which you need to go out and obtain all the variables that you can when making the educated decision on whether you can tolerate that risk, whether you can get your goals accomplished. Part of your lawyer’s job, and in fact one of the most important parts of your lawyer’s job, is to help you accurately assess that risk and make good decisions. You have to talk about risk in every single criminal case.