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Virginia DUI dealing must be backed by trial readiness

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Virginia DUI dealing must always be backed by trial readiness, says Fairfax criminal lawyer

Virginia DUI dealing — and all criminal defense negotiations — must be fully backed by trial readiness. My Fairfax criminal defense lawyer experience and approach is always to take this path, for a multitude of reasons. First, a Virginia defendant must make his or her choice to proceed to trial or to settle a case with the knowledge that their criminal defense lawyer is fully capable, ready, and zealous to pursue victory at trial. Any decision by the defendant to reach a guilty plea or no contest / nolo contendere / Alford please must not arise from fear or uncertaintly about whether their lawyer will be able to rise to the occasion at trial and not to hesitate to proverbially kick as much a** as is necessary at trial. Second, a criminal defense lawyer cannot know whether their client will want to enter a plea deal, let alone if a good plea deal will be achieved. Sometimes the defendant is not even sure what s/he wants to do about settelement negotiations. I do my best for my client to know early in our attorney-client relationship — and throughout our time together — the information necessary for them to make an informed decision about case settlement negotiations and whether to proceed to trial. I do not push their decision, instead making it clear that we are going to trial unless and until my client decides what s/he wants to do with settlement discussions. Third, miscommunications can arise between prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers for plea negotiations, regardless of the source of that miscoummunication. Additionally, before a deal agreed upon, either party can withdraw its last offer. Being fully trial ready not only avoids being sucked into an undesireable plea deal, but also can help convince the prosecutor to resolve any miscommunication in favor of the defense.

Do not expect prosecutors nor anyone else to put honor above their job security for DUI dealing nor criminal case negotiations

Fourth, and finally, Virginia criminal appellate caselaw will rarely help to enforce a plea deal before a judge accepts the defendant’s plea, absent a showing of prejudice to the criminal defendant for the prosecutor’s withdrawal from a plea deal at the last moment. (The latter situation has happened with me only twice. In both instances, I let the prosecutor know how such behavior would be seared in my memory concerning the reputation of the prosecutor who caused such a change (because in one of the instances it was a supervising prosecutor who got in the way of the line prosecutor’s seemingly final deal with me). The latter line prosecutor told me that he did not think that his office leadership cared that I would have such a view. What was glaringly missing is that this prosecutor was silent about how this would affect his reputation with me in my not hearing that had stood up to his supervisor on this matter. This prosecutor must have either forgotten my perturbance over this matter — or not realized how seriously this interchange had harmed his standing in my eyes — that he not only soon thereafter sent me a Facebook invitation once, but twice, for us to follow each other on that platform. Not only do I avoid following any prosecutors on social media against whom I have cases (and I count at most two prosecutors whom I do follow on social media, one being my former officemate who does appellate defense far south of here, and another who is a great mindfulness teacher who was with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights division.) Virginia DUI dealing and all criminal defense dealing is about keeping the full reality of the situation in mind.

Do not expect judges to reschedule the trial date for a Virginia criminal defense / DUI defense lawyer to be better prepared or to regroup

Opposing armies do not offer for an unprepared army to return in a week when their arms suppliers are late or when they are unable to organize the presence of enough troops. A Virginia criminal defense lawyer and client should not expect the judge to be any more merciful than that. A judge’s denial of a trial date continuance is not automatically from a place of heartlessness, but from the Virginia law requiring good cause to grant a continuance, and when considering such important factors as prejudice to the prepared party and their witnesses from a trial date continuance, bottlenecking court administrative functions from trial date continuances, and simply wanting to make clear to criminal lawyers that they need to do what is necessary to be ready for a trial date, and to give the court and the opposing party as much notice as possible if a trial date rescheduling is sought. Virginia DUI dealing and all criminal defense dealing must never rely on a court continuance of the trial date.

Prosecutors can sense when a Virginia criminal defense lawyer negotiates from a place of full trial readiness

With Virginia DUI dealing and all criminal defense negotiations, prosecutors know when a Virginia criminal defense lawyer is fully ready for trial. That cannot be bluffed. Many of my particularly excellent settlement negotiations have come when the prosecutor approaches me to settle the case when I have not expected any chance that the prosecutor will agree to what my client wants. A corollary to that is my recent experience on my Virginia DUI jury trial appeal date, when I was dealing with a prosecutor in a county where his office had until that day been known to rarely be willing to negotiate a DWI charge to a reckless driving result absent a convincing legal (not factual nor evidentiary) argument. This prosecutor refused a reckless plea deal in General District Court, before our suppression motion hearing date on appeal in Circuit Court, and on the suppression hearing date. We then proceeded soon after to a jury trial on my client’s breath alcohol testing refusal jury trial, which preceded our related DWI jury trial set for a few weeks later. Interestingly, when I mentioned to this same prosecutor the morning of our Virginia DUI jury trial about how great was the art exhibit in Philadelphia, he mentioned that he would like to see it if only his workload allowed it. Bingo! Here was his incentive to free up his time, by making me and my client go away by agreeing a wet reckless deal. I nonchalantly mentioned to him how unfortunate it was that he would not free up his time by simply agreeing to a wet reckless plea. Without skipping a beat, the prosecutor accepted a wet reckless disposition. This outcome would not have been reached had the prosecutor doubted my trial readiness for a moment.

Achieving a major felony case dismissal on the day of a court continuance hearing

As with all battle and Virginia DUI dealing and criminal defense negotiations, an achieved Virginia criminal defense lawyer must be on the lookout for defense-friendly opportunities even at the least expected times. For instance, recently I appeared in a Virginia General District Court to seek a brief rescheduling of a major felony prelimary hearing for which my client had already lost his bond hearings in that court and on appeal in the Circuit Court with the lawyer I had recently replaced. I almost had to pinch myself when the senior-level prosecutor appearing at this hearing told the judge that the prosecutor had spoken before that day to the detective in the case and the alleged victim, that the alleged victim wanted no prosecution, and that the prosecutor was seeking to dismiss the case. Rather than losing time pinching myself to see if I was hearing the real deal, I replied: “No objection to a nolle prosequi [dismissal]”, where the chances of a recharge seemed more remote than the furthest galaxy. How amazingly wonderful it was when my client visited me in my office two days later, finally out of his weeks-long pretrial incarceration nightmare.

Virginia DUI dealing must never involve begging, and must not give up their power in defending the accused

Everything a  criminal defense lawyer does — including with Virginia DUI dealing — must come from a position of strength and power. Stress and anxiety can challenge that, and fortunately I have strengthened my spiritual and physical vessels over the years from nasty opponents and even nasty judges through my zeal for fighting for my clients, backed up with my decades of having an ingrained fighting spirit, further backed up by my experience practicing and sparring with my taijiquan internal martial art, plus practicing daily mindifulness. One day, I won a trial after the prosecutor in tears asked the judge to rule in the prosecutor’ favor. Judges do not rule on tears. Their oaths require them to follow the law only. On another day, I heard a colleague who was in front of me to talk with the prosecutor on my trial date, sound like he was begging for the plea deal the prosecutor was pursuing. Who agrees to a negotiation based on begging? People must never give up their power, and must act, live and negotiate from a position of power and strength. This is not to say that even the best criminal defense lawyer will not falter at least once in their court career. But when that happens, it is time to get right back up, wipe off the dust, and keep fighting, and fighting and fighting.

You the criminal and DUI defendant is the only person that Fairfax criminal lawyer Jonathan Katz is looking out for in the courthouse. You already know this if you have been reading this blog and client reviews of Jon Katz on Google reviews and AVVO reviews. Jon does this work not for any adulation, but because he is fully committed to you and your cause. Once hired, Jon is fully in this battle for you. Call 703-383-1100 to schedule your free in-person confidential consultation with Jon about your court-pending case.