FREE Case Evaluation

*required fields

Importance of Experience in a Criminal Case

If you have been charged with a criminal offense and are looking for legal representation, the following is information on legal experience and the role it plays for criminal defense attorneys. To learn more, or to discuss your case call today and schedule a free consultation with a Virginia Beach criminal lawyer.

How Much of a Role Does Experience Play in a Criminal Case?

I believe that experience can work for or against you. With experience comes confidence which obviously can be a great thing. Someone who walks in the court with their head held high is always going to demand respect. However, on the flipside, you can get overly confident and believe you can rest on your experience and then end up underestimating what you should have put into a particular case.

The bar association rules require attorneys to do whatever it takes to make them feel competent to handle a case before they can take it on regardless. So, even someone with no experience at all is not allowed to take a case if they don’t believe they are competent to handle it.

I think the drive to succeed and to really do well for client is more important than a whole bunch of years of experience.

What About Local Experience?

Local experience is definitely helpful because different courts have different rules. The same charge can have very different results in different jurisdictions or in front of different judges. Knowing these tiny little subjective differences allows each attorney to cater the approach to each particular courthouse judge and then result in better outcomes overall.

It’s also going to be comforting to the client if they have a more specific idea of what to expect going in.

Why is Trust So Important Between an Attorney and Their Clients?

I remind my clients that I’m always on their side. In order to best represent them and fight for them, it’s important to know absolutely everything whether or not the client believes it’s relevant. It’s better in the end to have too much information and have to weed out important facts than to not have enough and then be surprised by new information in the courtroom.

I had a client that actually printed a Facebook thread that didn’t seem very important at the time. When I was preparing for trial, I didn’t  include it in the evidence I was planning to present, but I tend to be very obsessive and I always walk in with a huge trial binder with a million color coded tabs and I had that in there at the very back.Then during the trial, a witness made a statement completely contradictory to the Facebook thread, so I was able to pull that out on the fly and impeached the witness which changed the course of the trial.

If my client had omitted that seemingly minor piece of just a Facebook page, the outcome would have been different for the witness’ credibility. So, I think it’s really important for the client to just trust that anything goes, it doesn’t matter what it is, just give it to me.