Stamford, Connecticut – Scores of arrests are made in Connecticut every day on charges ranging from minor misdemeanors to felonies. Though the severity of the charges may vary, they all have one thing in common—a devastating impact on a person’s personal and professional life.
If you have been charged with a crime, then you know the sense of panic which can accompany such an event. Your best chance for a successful resolution, according to Stamford criminal lawyer Mark Sherman, is retaining qualified legal counsel as early as possible. “There is a reason that attorneys don’t represent themselves and surgeons don’t operate on family members,” Mr. Sherman explains. “Even though these individuals have the knowledge and expertise to do the work, they know that an objective professional will do a better job. Most people charged with a crime do not have the knowledge they need to defend themselves. They don’t know the legal system and its ramifications, and they are obviously emotionally involved.”
What many people don’t realize is that over 90% of all guilty convictions are a result of a plea bargain, not a trial. Overcrowded court rooms and a desire to successfully obtain convictions has made plea bargaining a popular option. In many cases, police and prosecutors will file multiple charges or charges which are more severe than the situation warrants knowing it will provide leverage for negotiating a guilty plea to a less severe violation.
Newspapers carry frequent stories of innocent people who were convicted of crimes by juries only to be proven innocent after spending years in prison. Fear that this may happen to them has prompted many people – even those completely innocent – to plead guilty to lesser charges without consulting with a Stamford criminal lawyer, not realizing that the ramifications of that choice could affect their finances, employment, and even prevent them from renting a place to live.
Does this mean that plea bargains are always a bad idea? Not necessarily, explains attorney Mark Sherman. “There are times when a plea bargain can be in the best interest of the accused,” he explains, “but prosecutors represent the government, not the defendant. A person needs someone who understands the laws, the sentencing mandates and whose sole responsibility is to protect the rights and interests of the defendant.”
In Connecticut, as in many states, legislatures have established minimum mandatory sentences for a number of offenses. A good criminal attorney keeps up with the changes and is in a better situation to not only protect you now, but to safeguard your future opportunities as well. An experienced Greenwich DUI attorney knows that even the first offense should be handled with legal representation to see if a deferment is available which can allow a person to complete treatment programs and eventually have that first charged removed from the record.
The bottom line is this—if you are charged with a crime then your best bet for a favorable resolution is to involve an attorney as early in the process as possible. Experience reveals that individuals charged with a crime in Connecticut fare much better when they are represented by a good Stamford criminal attorney then those who try to represent themselves.
About Mark Sherman
Mark Sherman, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham University of Law, has been a member in good standing of the Bars of Connecticut, New York and Florida since 1998. He has offices in Stamford, Connecticut and New York, New York and practices in both locations. He has been selected by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” by both New England and Connecticut Super Lawyers for 2011, 2012 and 2013.