How the Greatest Criminal Defense Lawyers Handle Sentencing

The lawyers capable of achieving the most lenient possible sentences paint a picture for the sentencing judge that movies and persuades them on a deep emotional level.

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Clients who want to know “how can I stay out of jail?” frequently ask, what is your “strategy for sentencing” or “what are you going to say at sentencing”?

Representing someone at a sentencing hearing is analogous to painting an original painting and not equivalent to building something using an instruction manual. If you ask a chef how to bake a cake, they can tell you the ingredients and their measurements, the cooking pan to use, the temperature of the oven, and the time to cook the cake. A master artist who paints an original artwork does not paint by numbers or copy a previously painted work. A master artist creating an original painting works from the heart, not from a script or manual. Original art is created, modified, and brought to life on a real-time basis. Can an artist tell you how to create a work of art? They can teach basic skills, but mastery takes talent, years of experience, and rare aptitude. What is the connection between an artist and a criminal defense lawyer trying to help their client stay out of jail? Here is what you need to know.

Similarly, a master criminal defense lawyer presenting their client’s case at sentencing is doing so to influence the judge to impose a particular or lenient sentence. The attorney has to take the information provided by the client, collected in an independent investigation, and from the case file and use it to paint a picture for the judge that helps him see, understand, and agree with the defense lawyer’s argument. Just as an original, beautiful work of art should influence the audience’s heart and mind, the defense lawyer must be able to do the same with allocution on behalf of the client.

What role does the client play in helping the defense attorney paint the picture?

The client can provide information, letters, proof of employment, and other positive aspects of their life. The positive, credible information provided by the client is the equivalent of paintbrushes and colors to the artist. The more the client can give the lawyer, the more paints and brushes the lawyer will have at their disposal. The answer to “How Can I Stay Out of Jail?” is to be as helpful and responsive to your lawyer’s request for information and trust in your attorney to fight for you and protect you as best possible.

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What is the best argument to help the client avoid jail or prison?

The best criminal defense lawyers do not pre-plan the actual sentencing hearing or work off a script. A vision created with countless hours of preparation and forethought guides them. That lawyer conceives their allocution as it happens and in real-time, just as the master artist applies paint to the canvas without a guide to trace. A new lawyer may plan what words will be spoken and use a script committed to memory. The lawyers known for achieving the lowest possible sentences, the ones most other lawyers cannot achieve, know what to say and transform and modify the allocution based on innumerable factors. Less experienced or skilled lawyers do not have this talent level. An effective, proficient lawyer is your best hope for a sentence without jail.

What factors influence a defense lawyer’s argument during the felony or misdemeanor sentencing hearing?

The words used are not pre-determined based upon a “strategy for sentencing.” A great lawyer improvises and adapts on a real-time basis at sentencing based upon the prosecutor’s position, the recommendation of probation, the judge’s mood on the day of the sentencing hearing, and recent events in that judge’s courtroom. A top lawyer will likely change what they say based upon comments and assertions made by lawyers and defendants called before that client’s case and the judge’s reactions to those comments and statements. The particular words, phrases, and emotions of the allocution may change based on current events and many other intangible factors that seem right at the time. Great “lawyering” at a sentencing hearing is not a science; great “lawyering” is an art.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

What is the answer to “how can I stay out of jail?”

If you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor and face the possibility of jail time, your best hope for staying out of jail or prison is to work with and cooperate with the best criminal defense lawyer you can get. Look for a nationally ranked attorney (Avvo, Martindale-Hubbell, SuperLawyer, etc.) with decades of criminal defense experience and a successful representation record. There is no substitute for meeting a lawyer face-to-face for a consultation.

LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. offers free consultations. Highly experienced criminal defense attorneys would be happy to provide a confidential case evaluation and discuss how we may help you achieve the best possible result in your case.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

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