People watching can’t tell which one is the Idiot. People get arrested every day for not following that advice. Arguments lead to threats and fights. Every domestic battery case starts with an argument. A husband and wife may be arguing over money, the kids, his drinking or something totally unimportant and before they know it, it escalates into something physical. The police get called and someone is going to jail, usually the husband. A domestic violence arrest can get you thrown out of your own home with a no contact order by a judge at first appearance court. If something is thrown, or someone picks up a knife, or a pair of scissors, the arrest may be for aggravated assault. If someone gets hurt, even a bystander or other family member, an aggravated battery arrest will be made. If someone picks up a gun and points it or worse yet fires it, serious gun charges will be filed with often minimum mandatory penalties.
At Aiken, O’Halloran and Foley, we have been defending crimes of violence for decades. Road rage is the most common. It starts with a honk, then someone giving the finger, then a few shouts and gestures, and before you know it, someone has brandished a gun, tailgated or bumped the other car. You can be arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and yes, a car can be a deadly weapon. Teenagers on “crotch rockets” push the envelope and we once had a case where a client bumped the teenager on the motorcycle with his car. He got arrested for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. It ended well, but cost the client time and money, all for a second of anger.Give us a call and we will give you straight answers.
If you are a professional, are in the health care industry, are a teacher, or a person holding a professional license,a domestic battery arrest has immediate consequences. You can lose your job until it is cleared up. You will lose your concealed weapons license and temporarily lose your ability to buy a firearm. If a bad decision, a moment of weakness or losing your temper got you arrested in Cape Coral or Ft. Myers your next decision is a really important one. Hiring a good criminal defense lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome. Finding a really good criminal attorney is the challenge. Do your homework. At our defense firm your first consultation is free. Give us a call and we will give you straight answers.
There are four factors that make a difference in whether or not you get true justice.
Let’s start with the most important question.
Do you want justice or do you want to win?
If you have made some bad choices, done something wrong or committed a serious error in judgment, you may not be looking for true justice.
You may be looking for the best possible result.
Staying out of prison, not having a felony record, not being on probation and not becoming a registered sex offender may be the more important goals.
You only go to trial if you cannot accomplish your goals through negotiation. Whenever you go to trial, no matter how strong or weak you case, there is uncertainty. You may win or you may lose. Trial is the last resort when all other efforts have failed. Some cases are won before trial on legal technicalities that result in dismissal or on your lawyer’s ability to convince the prosecutor to drop the case. If you have to go to trial…..You need to get a fair trial.
Your ability to get a fair trial depends on four things. First, is the judge fair and impartial? The simple fact is, most criminal court judges are former prosecutors. You have little or no control over who your judge is. Most judges think they are fair (like Archie Bunker), but the reality is that they are human, and their life experiences have made them prejudiced, one way or the other. Most times, it is the luck of the draw on whether or not you get a fair judge
The second thing that factors in is the jury. Can I get a fair jury? That depends on a number of factors. What is the nature of the charge? If it is a sex offense involving a child, the odds are stacked against you. If it is something like tax evasion, where most jurors hate the IRS, the odds are better. It depends on the demographics of the community where the case is tried. It depends on your race, your sex, your age and the nature of the charges.
The third thing is the jury selection process. In Federal Trials, most Federal Judges do not let your lawyer personally question the jury panel. They do this to save time. That is a terrible situation. The judges ask the jurors loaded questions like “Is there anyone here (that is so prejudiced) that they cannot follow my instructions”? “Is there anyone here that cannot be fair and impartial”?
The simple fact is that most prejudiced people either don’t realize they are prejudiced or will never admit it. Do you thing Archie Bunker thinks he is prejudiced? How do you think he would answer the judge?
In the State court system, lawyers are allowed to question the prospective jurors to determine bias or prejudice. This brings us to the most important factor in getting a fair trial. That is called the voir dire process. That is where the lawyer questions the jurors individually. This brings us to the only factor you really have control of. This is the most important factor.