Sunday, March 24, 2013


Friends and family members of loved ones who have been arrested in Tampa Bay, Florida often seek help from Clearwater criminal defense attorneys. Yet how can family members be sure that a lawyer knows how to find the best possible solution in their criminal case? How do you define success in criminal law? 

A Tampa Bay Judge must have the discretion to give a fair sentence over the objection of prosecutors.
Judging Discretion
Success depends on more than the mere facts and circumstances of each case. Success requires that an effective advocate understand the arresting officers, the prosecutors and the judge; how they think and how they're apt to react to a vigorous defense. Knowledge of how the criminal justice system in Tampa Bay, Florida works from arrest, investigation by the the prosecutor, arraignment, pretrial and if necessary trial comes from experience, while experience comes from having handled thousands of criminal cases over a lifetime dedicated to excellent criminal law outcomes. 

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. 

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