Matthew Crowley’s Approach to Criminal Defense
Below, Virginia criminal defense lawyer Matthew Crowley discusses his personal approach to criminal defense and the things he considers when he is building a defense.
Matthew Crowley’s Guiding Principles To Criminal Defense
With respect to my own approach to criminal cases, I have several guiding principles. The first and most important is that every case is different and that every defense has to be specifically tailored to the charges that are made and to the individual in the case. While there are common types of charges that all defense attorneys encounter, the factual scenario giving rise to the charge will differ; no two cases are alike. It is important to investigate the case by looking at all of the facts and circumstances, and then applying the best defenses and tactics available to produce the best outcome for the client in the case.
In addition the particular goals and needs of the individual client are extremely important. Some individuals may have multiple convictions in their past and their primary objective to avoid an unfair prison sentence. For individuals who have clean records, their most important objective is to stay out of jail. For others, the most important objective might be to keep a security clearance or a commercial driver’s license.
Having the goal of the client in mind while investigating the case and then selecting the most appropriate tactics helps tailor the best outcome for that client. What might be the right thing for one person might not be the right thing for somebody else.
Questions He Asks Potential Clients During the Initial Intake Process
I have a number of questions that I ask during the initial intake process. Some of the first things that I want to know include what the individual is charged with, what kind of criminal record they already have, and what the facts behind their charged are.
After the initial intake, I conduct a more detailed interview where I learn all of the facts and circumstances – what officers were involved, who else might be involved, what evidence might exist. This interview gives me an opportunity to determine what other investigative steps I need to take and who I need to interview. I also begin to construct a tactical plan for taking the case forward to trial and securing the best possible outcome for the individual under the given circumstances.
Two Questions Clients Frequently Ask Him in Manassas
The most common question that I am asked is whether the individual might serve jail time as a result of a conviction. The answer to that question is complex and will be different in every case. In many misdemeanor cases, and even felony cases where the individual has no record, there is not a high likelihood of jail. However, there are other kinds of misdemeanors and felonies that can result in incarceration, even for a first offense, especially if the individual faces a particularly bad set of facts that led to the arrest. These are all factors in whether an individual will have to serve jail or prison time.
Another question that is frequently asked is the individual’s chances of being convicted. This is also a question that can never be answered as a one size fits all response. Only after learning all of the facts, looking closely at the most current law, interviewing witnesses, interviewing police, and talking to prosecutors can an attorney begin to tell a client what he thinks the prospects at the trial are, whether they think that they are likely to prevail, whether the plea bargain might be the most reasonable outcome, or give any other information about how the case might conclude.