Over the past three decades in criminal law the balance of power shifted from impartial Judges to political prosecutors with the introduction of brutal sentencing guidelines, minimum mandatory sentencing, harsh drug sentences and pretrial intervention programs.
Yet over the last few years the U.S. Supreme Court has made it clear that Judges, not prosecutors must have more discretion in sentencing. In fact the Supreme Court has held that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines are only advisory; therefore when justice requires it, Judges must be willing to give sentences under the prevailing Sentencing Guidelines. Effective advocates must have a keen understanding of how to persuade Judges to use their discretion, while leveraging this possibility with prosecutors to receive the best pretrial offers in change of plea negotiations.
Finding the best possible outcome must always be the over-riding goal of every advocate in criminal cases.
Finding the best solution after an arrest requires that Clearwater criminal defense lawyers understand how to use the leverage of Judge's sentencing discretion to guide their clients to safety.