Monthly Archives: July 2014

Prosecutorial Discretion in Bond

(Richard M. Re) Who would have thought that Bond v. United States — today’s much-awaited decision involving the Chemical Weapons Convention — would have so much to do with prosecutorial discretion? Yet prosecutorial discretion appeared repeatedly in the Court’s consideration of the case, serving different purposes each time.

First, the fact of prosecutorial discretion is the critical factor explaining why Bond even arose. By way of background, the defendant Bond used certain harmful chemicals to retaliate against a romantic rival. Bond was then prosecuted for violating federal legislation implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention. In Bond, the Court relied on federalism canons to conclude that the implementing legislation didn’t reach Bond’s conduct. A major theme of the majority opinion is that Bond is an “unusual” and “curious case” that is “worlds apart” from what anyone would have associated with the Chemical Weapons Convention or its implementing legislation. Another major theme is that the “common law assault” at issue in Bond would normally be handled by state and local government. But if that’s so, then why was the defendant federally prosecuted? The answer is that the federal prosecutors involved in the case concluded — contrary to the intuitive view — that the Convention’s implementing legislation properly applied.

Second, prudent use of prosecutorial discretion was a source of comfort to the majority, since it meant that the Court’s statutory holding wouldn’t have harmful effects. “[W]ith the exception of this unusual case,” Bond noted, “the Federal Government itself has not looked to section 229 to reach purely local crimes.” Instead, federal authorities had previously used the relevant statutory authority primarily to prosecute things akin to “assassination, terrorism, and acts with the potential to cause mass suffering,” and the Court declined to “disrupt the Government’s authority to prosecute such offenses.”

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Detroit Criminal Lawyer – 6 Things to Look For In Your Quest to Hire The Best Criminal Lawyer

When you have been charged with a criminal offense Detroit Criminal Lawyer, you need to consider many things including hiring the right attorney.

There are many things to consider when hiring a criminal lawyer for your case. The following is to be used as only a guideline and is certainly not an exhaustive list of what you should consider in your quest to hire the best Detroit criminal lawyer.

1. Be certain that the attorney you intend to hire specializes in handling criminal cases. Don’t hire your traffic lawyer to try your criminal case. You wouldn’t hire a brain surgeon to operate on your heart would you? Because criminal defense is a very specialized field of law best Detroit Criminal Lawyer, you need a lawyer who specializes in this particular practice area.

2. Be certain that the Michigan criminal lawyer you intend to hire specifically handles your particular case and in the right jurisdiction. If you are charged with a federal crime, don’t hire an Michigan lawyer who handles crimes only in state court. Find a lawyer instead who has experience handling federal cases – this is very important.

3. Avoid hiring a lawyer who promises you a specific outcome. Actually no, instead RUN the other way. You don’t need to be led astray by a lawyer who simply wants your case to pad his/her resume.

4. If your goal is to resolve your case without a trial, you may not need to hire the best criminal trial lawyer in Detroit. You may want to look instead for someone who has experience successfully negotiating your particular type of criminal case.

5. If you are hiring a specific criminal lawyer to work on your case, make sure that that specific lawyer and not an ‘associate.’ You must be their priority; I cannot stress this enough.

6. And last but not least, be sure that the lawyer you intend to hire has time to work on your case. If the lawyer you intend to hire is starting a month-long federal trial next week, he may not be the criminal lawyer best suited to represent you if your case requires a lot of work and your trial date is fast approaching.

There you have it, six good reasons to hire the right criminal lawyer. There are many more, but this list that will get you started in your quest to hire the best Detroit Criminal Lawyer possible for your case.

Tips on How To Hire The Best Criminal Defense Lawyer

As you interview criminal lawyers looking for one to hire, you have many considerations. Which one has the skills and experience you need for your specific case? Do you agree with the strategy the lawyer proposes? And finally, do they deserve your confidence?

This article discusses all of the considerations on how to hire the best criminal lawyer for your specific case.

Before hiring a criminal defense lawyer, you should meet the attorney to discuss the legal charges against you. The purpose of this meeting is to:

  • Do you want to hire this attorney
  • Discuss in detail detroit criminal lawyer, the charges levied against you as well as your options
  • What is lawyers’ background and experience

Evaluating Criminal Attorneys

Just because attorneys describe themselves as “criminal lawyers” or “assault defense specialists” does not necessarily mean they have the experience you need. In some but not all states top detroit criminal lawyer, attorneys have to meet certain criteria before they can call themselves “specialists”. You need to dig deeper than the surface of a legal advertisement.

Its in your best interest to look for a criminal defense attorney who has experience handling charges like your own. Consider asking:

  • How long has the attorney represented clients facing criminal charges?
  • How often does he or she defend clients with similar charges to your own?
  • How often does the attorney appear at the courthouse where your case will be heard?
  • Does the lawyer know the prosecuting attorney who will try to prove you guilty? Have they worked opposite each other before? If asked to describe the criminal defense attorney, what would the prosecutor say?
  • If the lawyer accepts other kinds of cases, how much of his or her caseload is criminal defense?

Criminal Defense Strategy

When you meet, listen carefully to the questions the lawyer asks. Dont give your side of the story until the lawyer asks for it. Allow the lawyer to systematically take you through the events that led to your arrest. Some criminal lawyers will want to understand what the prosecution is alleging before they hear your version of what happened.

Unless the charges are dropped, youre probably facing one of three options:

  • Plead guilty and face sentencing
  • Try for a plea agreement in which you would plead guilty to a lesser charge, possibly leading to a lighter sentence
  • Plead not guilty and go to trial

Discuss each of these options and the consequences that would result.

Any strategy the lawyers offer will be unique to your case: the charges filed against you and the specific evidence the prosecutor is using as a base for those charges. As the attorneys talk about various strategies, ask yourself if you’re comfortable with their approach, if they sound reasonable, and if they will get results.

Criminal Defense Legal Fees

Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you need a lawyer fast. You probably dont have time to compare prices. However, you should still understand how a criminal lawyer charges for his or her time.

Most criminal lawyers charge an hourly fee or a flat fee. As it sounds, a lawyer who asks for an hourly fee charges for the actual time he or she works on your case. And a lawyer who charges a flat fee has one price for representing you.

However, not all legal services are included in these rates. The cost of photocopying, use of a paralegal, and hiring an investigator are just some of the expenses that will be charged separately. Youll want to be clear what is and is not included in the lawyers fee.

Trust, Confidence & Judgment

Beyond a lawyers resume, there is another dimension to deciding whether an attorney is the right one for you. Its how you feel about the attorney. You may be working with this attorney for a while, so you want someone you can trust who shows good judgment and offers sound advice.

At your first meeting with a criminal lawyer, ask yourself a few questions to see if this attorney has the subjective qualities you’re looking for. Consider:

  • Is this lawyer patient when I ask questions?
  • Does this lawyer explain terms and aspects of the court system I do not understand?
  • Do I feel as if this lawyer is answering my all of my questions?
  • Do I feel comfortable with this attorney?

Especially if this is the first time you’re facing criminal charges, you will need someone who is patient, who takes the time answer your questions and to explain concepts you do not understand. You will need the best criminal lawyer possible. And regardless of your number of trips to the courthouse, you need someone in whom you can feel confident.

To determine whether this is the attorney you want to hire, consider whether the attorney has the experience, strategy, legal fees, and trustworthiness you require in a criminal defense lawyer. If the lawyer has it all, you have found your lawyer.