The Importance of Experience in Criminal Defense Cases

The following is taken from an interview with Virginia criminal attorney Matthew Crowley. For more information on a case schedule a consultation today.

How Much of a Role Does Experience Play in a Criminal Case?

Well, it’s invaluable. There is no substitute for experience. Criminal law is a field that has a fair amount of breadth, but also depth to it. And what I mean by that is you don’t deal with simply one kind of case, very few people are simply DUI lawyers or are simply drug possession lawyers or simply domestic violence lawyers.

The Importance of Experience in Criminal DefenseSo, you need someone that has a broad range of experience, someone that had plenty of years to have tried and dealt with all the various cases that you encounter. Someone who has had the opportunity to do that many, many times. Again, having been through it gives you a perspective on a case that you don’t get any other way. Having been through a trial where you’ve seen evidence presented, where you’ve seen the tactics that the prosecutors tried to employ, where you’ve become familiarized with the most effective defenses, the most common defenses, and what works and what doesn’t. Those are assets that you cannot gain any other way.

And so, it’s critically important that when you’re faced with something serious, and in Virginia almost any criminal charge can be serious, that you have someone who has been there, who has navigated those waters, and who can guide you through the process in a way that only someone who’s done it many, many, many times can.

What Role Does Local Experience Play in a Criminal Case?

Local experience is really important. Every court in Virginia is different. The law is the same, the constitution is the same, but the law and the constitution are things that are interpreted by judges in every case.  Knowing the judge, knowing a judge’s view on particular issues, and some issues are not well-settled, is invaluable.

As well, knowing your local prosecutors and  cultivating good professional relationships with them makes a very big difference. Knowing what sorts of ideas they’re open to in plea situations, knowing what sort of things they’re not open to, knowing what their strengths are, knowing what their weaknesses are.

Having familiarity with local law enforcement is also a tremendous asset.

What Do You Offer Bring to The Table That Other Attorneys May Not?

Probably the most important thing that I bring to the table is an understanding that there’s no substitute for spending the time that you need to spend with your client to get to know them, to get to know the particulars of their case, to get to know,  what issues we’re facing, to get to know the facts at a very granular level, and getting to know the law the latest developments in the law on the case. I bring much else that I believe my clients appreciate from the moment we begin our conversation to the end of the representation.

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