Do You Recommend Pre-Trial Counseling For Assault Clients?
Absolutely. It depends on the case but let’s say it’s a DUI case and the state’s attorney is thinking of maybe giving you a break, well you’re going to want to get the DUI counseling out of the way first and you want a certified counselor to have some full report saying, “Yes, he’s had the counseling. Yes, I think he’s safe to go back in the society, he’s not going to run over the neighborhood kids. He’s done all the recommended treatment, we think he’s safe to go back out”. There are other cases where like in a sex offender case, a lot of times, the state’s attorney will ask if they have a sex offender evaluation and do the counseling beforehand to see if they’re amenable to treatments, and if they would in fact complete the treatment successfully, they’ll give them a much better deal.
In those cases, it depends on the state’s attorney, the prosecutor’s general guidelines they have, every prosecutor is different but grabbing the bull by the horns is often very, very important. I had a girl, very kind of a tragic story, she’s 22 years old, she’s driving first DUI ever, her mom’s in the car, she’s not paying attention, she drives off the road, hits a tree and kills her mom. She gets charged with aggravated DUI death, which carries a mandatory 3 to 14 years in prison with one exception is if there are extraordinary circumstances, extraordinary mitigation. In this case, I immediately had her go into counseling, I immediately had her complete everything she was supposed to do, and it was the absolute case where justice was done.
Obviously these are extraordinary circumstances and extraordinary mitigation, I mean of course she wasn’t trying to kill her mother, she was devastated by this and she will be for the rest of her life, but she went on, it was continued maybe 6 to 8 months before we had a conclusion of the sentencing and the judge did the right thing, actually seeing that this was extraordinary mitigation, this was extraordinary circumstances, this person deserved a break, she’s done all of the counseling, she had a clean bill of health and she’s ready to go out in society, she has to follow through with aftercare but they thought she was safe to be there, the judge gave her probation with some work release that she was able to do at the home.
Sometimes in some cases, it’s very much important that you go ahead and take that preemptive measure and show that someone deserves a good sentence rather than trying to say, “Well, give me a good sentence and I’ll be a good person. I’ll go and do all of these things”. Nothing speaks louder than actions. You can make all the talk in the world but if you get out there and show you deserve a break, most of the time the judge is going to give you a break. If you’re just sitting there saying, “I am going to do it, I am going to do it”, we hear that from everybody, like, “I am sorry, this will never happen again. I have taken care of it, it’s not going to be an issue”. Well the judge wants more than just a promise from the defendant or the defense attorney making that suggestion.
They want something that’s backed up, something they could hang your head on at sentencing saying, “Yes, I have a report from a certified counselor saying, ‘This person has done everything they’re supposed to do, I have much more confidence releasing this person back in the society now and giving them a chance to go on with their life rather than just warehousing them to protect them from the public’.” So yes, some preemptive counseling in some cases is very important. In your basic DUI, it’s not unless you’re trying to get up a very substantial break on the case where you get it reduced to a reckless and that depends on the prosecutor again but some of them want the counseling upfront so they can say, “This was a one-time thing, they hadn’t had a DUI in 20 years and they deserve a break and they’ve gone through the counseling and everything is good”, so sometimes the pre-counseling before a plea or a sentencing is very important.
Why Should I Retain An Attorney For An Assault Or Battery Case?
You need someone who knows what they’re doing so they understand what justifiable use of force is all about and what are all the circumstances around it that make it more or less believable to a judge or a jury. You don’t want to try and outsmart the police, you don’t want to outsmart the prosecutor, you want to have someone that’s knowledgeable and experienced, that’s done many of these before and knows what to expect, knows how to properly prepare you and knows how to present that in a proper fashion that’s going to be allowed into evidence. You make sure all the T’s crossed and the I’s dotted and you’ve prepared the discovery answers that need to be discovered.
If you have a justifiable use of force, you’re supposed to tender that as an affirmative defense saying, “Yes, I did cause that battery but yes, I did have the legal justification to do it”. So a lot of judges will say, “Look, if you haven’t tendered this ahead of time, I am not going to let you tender it on the date of trial”. You have to tell them what the defense is going to be. So they have a chance to counter that if they think they can. So having a good attorney and knowing what they’re doing makes all the difference in the world.
For more information on Pre-Trial Counseling For Assault Clients, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (847) 244-4636 today.
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