Sentencing Success with Rehab & Experts – Fairfax Criminal Lawyer Debriefs
Sentencing success – Anatomy of Fairfax criminal lawyer’s recent below-sentencing guidelines felony result
Sentencing success is less preferable than trial success. As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know, nonetheless, that it is folly to prepare for trial without also being prepared for sentencing in the event of a conviction or an eventual plea deal. Recently, the sentencing judge’s own words from the bench underlined how important it is for defense success for a criminal defendant to engage in relevant self-improvement / self rehabilitation in advance of the court date, and to present the testimony of relevant expert witnesses when that will benefit the defendant.
What are the sentencing success benefits of self-rehabilitation in Virginia criminal cases?
All Virginia criminal defendants, even fully innocent ones, can benefit from self improvement (versus self rehabilitation, which involves something to rehabilitate), because at least doing volunteer community service both helps society and helps make ourselves better people. For Virginia criminal defendants who have indeed committed crimes, self rehabilitation can help both with settlement negotiations and sentencing success. Neither prosecutors nor judges want their faces plastered on the newspaper front page for giving a Virginia criminal defendant a sentencing break, only for them soon thereafter to commit a new serious crime. Quality self rehabilitation can give prosecutors and judges more confidence that such front page exposure will not take place.
What are the benefits of criminal expert witnesses for Virginia sentencing success?
As a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that Virginia trial judges address the following goals of sentencing: punishment, rehabilitation and deterrence (deterring society and deterring the Virginia criminal defendant from recidivism). In my recent sentencing success in my child pornography case that resulted in a sentence substantially below the bottom of the advisory sentencing guidelines, the judge expressed the importance for him to know whether my client was a child predator or not. If a child predator, the judge was ready to imprison him for a much longer time than he did. Our criminal defense approach convinced the judge that my client is not a child predator and is rehabilitatable, through a combination of an in-depth in-person evaluation with a top-notched unbiased forensic psychologist, together with my client’s immediate (after the search warrant was executed that uncovered the child pornography) and regular participation with on the money psychological counseling and voluntary community service. On top of that, for our criminal defense, early on we hired a first-rate forensic computer expert (who previously worked in law enforcement, which helped eliminate any possible notion of criminal defense bias by him) to show the extent to which adult pornography was also being viewed and to which videos and still images were being downloaded in high bulk on my client’s computer, as one example of my client’s ability permanently not to get involved with obtaining and viewing child pornography
What can be accomplished through presenting testimony of criminal expert witnesses at sentencing?
If a Virginia criminal defense lawyer only presents the sentencing judge with defense expert reports rather than the testimony of the experts, that invites blunting the persuasiveness of those reports if the prosecutor presents a counter-expert or if the sentencing judge sees parts of those expert reports as fanciful. In my recent child pornography sentencing success, the judge was very actively engaging the defense forensic psychological expert with on-point questions that not only clarified matters for the judge, but helped me further crystallize my already-crystallized sentencing arguments to the judge.
Why is child pornography popular with so many people?
Through my own experience as a Fairfax criminal lawyer, I know that a substantial number of people (1) are interested in child pornography and (2) take the criminal law risk of obtaining and reviewing such material, often by the hundreds and even thousands of videos and still images. These defendants, no matter how culpable or not, come to me — as do all criminal defendants — in a judgment-free zone with me. The reasons they turn to child pornography can be for one or more of a variety of reasons (none of which justifies engaging in such activity), including stunted mental development due to abuse in childhood, fantasy, and obsession with adult pornography that then taking risks with child pornography out of boredom with what they have already been viewing. Showing the judge what led the criminal defendant to go down this path also helps show why the defendant’s psychologist’s recommended recovery approach should be accepted, in the effort for sentencing success.
Confirming to the sentencing judge how tough the sentencing phase is for all and how serious is the crime to the victims
Child pornography sentencing is tough for the judge, Virginia criminal defense lawyer, defendant and prosecutor. With that reality, a good starting point by the criminal defense lawyer in pursuing sentencing success might be to come right out and acknowledge that reality. Now the judge will be less likely to expect a snow job from the criminal defense side, and therefore be more ready with open ears. Also, if the sentencing is for child pornography possession, rather than for distribution nor production of such material, the criminal defense lawyer is on solid footing to acknowledge the real and ongoing harm that the victims of such a crime suffer by knowing that this video and photographic footage of them is in the marketplace, while at the same time giving perspective to the lesser harm that the viewer of such material causes as opposed to the harm caused by the producer and distributor.
Acknowledging the hard work of criminal defendants with self rehabilitation
Many of my Virginia criminal defense clients ask whether they are simply pi**ing in the wind by spending time and money with self improvement and self rehabilitation. I reply that self improvement can be a personal benefit whether or not it helps the criminal case. I also underline the importance of overcovering risk in pursuing sentencing success by engaging in self improvement, so as not to come to court not having so engaged, only to hear the prosecutor or judge say that they would have proceeded more favorably with the defendant had s/he engaged in meaningful self improvement. Thank you to my Virginia criminal clients who accept and follow my self-improvement recommendations.,
In the process of choosing among Fairfax criminal lawyers, call 703-383-1100 for a free in-person consultation with Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz offering defendants top-notch defense and trial experience and ability, total client-focused service, and persuasion-focused defense at every step against Virginia felony, misdemeanor and DUI prosecutions.