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South Florida Criminal Attorney
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Your Criminal Defense Attorney's Reputation Means EVERYTHING!

Aggressive Trial Attorney With a Reputation for Success

I’ll never forget when I learned the most important lesson about reputation in this business.

It was 2008, I was a felony prosecutor, and I was negotiating a plea with a defense attorney. The case was such that a supervisor’s approval was needed for the plea.

The defense attorney and I were at an impasse in negotiations. 

I wanted a prison sentence for the defendant, whose prior history certainly warranted such a punishment. The defense attorney wanted a relatively short county jail sentence.

So when the supervisor mulled over the issue - the State seeking a prison term, the defense wanting county jail - he asked me, “Who is the defense attorney?”

I told him.

He scoffed, handed me back the file and shook his head dismissively.

“Stick to the state prison offer. This guy’s never gonna go to trial. His client will end up taking it.”

Lo and behold, I didn’t budge. I offered state prison and sure enough - the defendant took it.

And in that moment I realized; reputation is everything.

That particular defense attorney had a reputation for being a trial dodger. Somebody who would plea out just about anything if it meant avoiding a jury.

Knowing that, the State was able to get the better of the attorney - and most of all, the defendant - because the State knew the defense attorney had no leverage. 

The attorney’s (poor) reputation preceded him. And it cost his client at least a few months of freedom.

A defense attorney with a reputation as somebody who was not afraid to put a jury in the box might have been able to secure a better plea for their client.

That being said, your reputation is everything.