If you’ve been charged with a crime, you most likely have many questions about your case. Unfortunately, the criminal justice system is not black and white. There are many factors that can affect the outcome of a criminal case.
If you haven’t already, you will need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will investigate your charges and create your defense. Your chosen defense attorney will be able to give you some guidelines of possible outcomes, but they will not be able to guarantee what will occur during your case. You should not assume that you will have the same result as another case of the same crime. You can, however, be aware of some factors that may influence the outcome of your case to help you better understand the process of criminal defense.
Facts of Your Case
The facts surrounding the crime that you have been charged with committing and the evidence that the prosecutor has against you will greatly affect your case. If the state has strong, compelling evidence like photographs, witnesses, video or you made unfavorable admissions, it's likely the prosecutor will have less incentive to plea bargain, making it more difficult to get the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense.
Just as the prosecutors will attempt to use the facts against you, a skilled criminal defense attorney will use them to find and craft defenses specific to your case. For example, if the police obtained the evidence being used against you illegally, it may be able to be suppressed, and in turn the case against you could be thrown out all together. Whether it is a suppression issue or another of the many possible defenses available, your attorney will be able to review the facts of your case to create leverage in the negotiations with the opposition to reach a favorable outcome.
Prior Criminal History
Your criminal history will play a significant role in your case. If you are charged with a Felony, your criminal history is factored as part of your score sheet to determine what the lowest permissible sentence allowed under Florida Law would be. If you are charged with a misdemeanor your criminal history may affect the programs available to you and or the plea negotiations for resolution. In either instance, if you don’t have past convictions, the prosecutor may be more willing to reduce the charges or allow the charges to be dismissed after you meet certain requirements. However, if you have had prior convictions, it is less likely the prosecutor will be willing to arrange as favorable of a plea agreement than they would for someone who was a first offender.
The laws of our state allow for extenuating circumstances to be taken into consideration. Having a Defense attorney who is familiar with all of the different possible programs a Court may offer can be the difference in treatment vs. incarceration. For example, knowing whether a client is a veteran or has a history or mental health needs may change the outcome and trajectory of a client’s case.
It is important to have an attorney who is willing to listen to all the facts of your case as well as the facts of your situation at large in order to be able to determine what alternative avenues may be available to you.
Your Hired Criminal Defense Attorney
An important factor - that you can control - is the lawyer you hire to work your case. Hiring a trustworthy, experienced criminal defense attorney can significantly increase a favorable result for your case. If your lawyer is able to build a strong defense based on the evidence at hand through investigation, it is more likely they will be able to get you a lighter sentence, reduced charges or, in some cases, have the charges dismissed completely.
One of the hardest, most trying experiences a person can face is being caught in the criminal justice system. If you have been accused of a crime, consult with our attorneys at the Wynn Law Firm in Marianna or Panama City. With extensive experience in criminal defense, you will see the difference that passion and dedication can make for you or your loved ones. Our team at the Wynn Law Firm stands ready to represent you in Panama City, Marianna and the surrounding communities, whatever your need may be. To discuss your case, call 850-526-3520 today.