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Helpful Tips For Litigating A Criminal Case In Florida


Date: August 3, 2017

It is a well-known fact that almost 90% of criminal cases do not go to trial but are generally settled with a plea deal. Most of the time, this is the prudent way to resolve a case both for the defense and the prosecution as there are massive expenses associated with litigating a case. Moreover, going to trial poses a risk for both parties involved as they are uncertain of the outcome, Litigation is expensive and time consuming and it may scare many criminal defense attorneys especially ones that do not have much experience. However, with certain cases, the only way to judiciously resolve a case is to take it to trial.

Criminal attorneys have to be prepared for the eventuality of litigating a case at all times. Some helpful tips that criminal defense attorneys especially ones that don’t have much experience should consider are:

Be Familiar The Courthouses In Your County

It is advisable to be familiar with the clerk of the court and know when the top attorneys will be at trial at the courthouse so you can go and study them. You should observe how accomplished veterans of litigation conduct themselves at trial and pick up pointers along the way. You should go through original trial transcripts as there is a lot that can be learnt from them.

Read Up On Case Law And Legal Facts Pertaining To Your Case

It is quite possible that the opposing attorney has years of experience or is much more quick on his feet than you, however if you are able to out-prepare them then you have a good chance at winning your case at trial. You should thoroughly review your petitions and research the relevant clauses of law so that you know what you have to prove in order to prevail at trial. It is also advisable to review and summarize any depositions so that you know what a witness should be saying.

Focus On Continuing Legal Education

CLE or continuing legal education is an extremely useful and helpful resource that should be utilized by all practicing attorneys.  Competent attorneys always educate themselves on matters that they are not too familiar with prior to handling that case. For example if you are trying a medical malpractice claim, unless you have been coached by a doctor or a healthcare professional, it is impossible for you to grasp all the relevant intricacies of the case.

Prepare Your Client As Well As Witnesses Before A Trial

Your client should know that they have to answer all questions honestly and truthfully. However, they should only provide a brief answer to the question asked. Providing any voluntary information to a prosecutor provides fertile grounds for them to exploit later on in the case. A criminal defense attorney should start off by calling a strong favorable witness, arrange for less effective witness testimonies in the middle of the case and end the case with the most impressive witness testimony they can provide. This is a tried and tested method for success at litigation. You should also coach clients in regard to proper courtroom attire.

Be Careful During The Jury Selection Process

It is important to weed out any undesirable jurors during the voir dire process that could potentially be biased against your client. Certain people can be highly prejudiced towards your client based on race, religion or creed. You should always remind jurors of their commitment to provide a fair and unbiased verdict when they go for deliberation to the jury room.

It is therefore essential for a criminal defense attorney to thoroughly prepare in advance for successfully litigating a criminal case successfully in order to garner the best available resolution for their client.

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About the Author

Attorney James A. Abate practices Criminal Defense, DWI Defense, Business Litigation, Real Estate & Personal injury cases in Union County, New Jersey.