Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rule #11: "Deny, Delay, & Defend"

Ok, this one isn't original. But it's still a good one and worthy of my list. The 3 Ds of criminal defense work; Deny, Delay, & Defend.

The first thing the police want is a confession.  Let's face it . . . a good confession makes their job so much easier. My advice to folks . . . the targets of criminal investigations . . . is to keep your mouths shut. Speak to no one on the planet, except your criminal lawyer. And for goodness sake, if you're going to say anything, at least DENY it. Since once you admit, you are probably toast.

I love DELAY. It gives me time to work. It mucks-up the system and judges loath it. It helps my case get old, mildewed, and smelly.  We don't want speedy trials.  Speedy trials are bad for the accused. Provided my client is keeping out of trouble, DELAY can do wonderful things to a criminal case. Witnesses forget, get in trouble themselves, move off. Prosecutors get sick of my case . . . and me. I love it. It works. As long as they haven't convicted my client, we've got hope. DELAY whenever you can.

Finally, DEFEND. Defend only when you must. Frankly, defending a criminal case often doesn't work out well for the accused. It's a fact of life. Juries are unpredicable, they sometimes want blood. Judges are mean. Prosecutors, well, prosecutors need to get a life. In any case, DEFEND if you must, but only as a last resort. It's tough out there, you know.

Bryan/College Station criminal appeal lawyer, Steve Gustitis, has practiced criminal law exclusively since 1990. First as an assistant district attorney with Brazos County and then in private defense practice. He is Texas Board Certified in criminal law and committed to the aggressive and ethical defense of citizens accused of crime.


Miscellaneous Lawyer said...

We had a client charged with drive without due care. The only evidence prosecution have is his comment 'somtimes I drive too fast'.

Seriously, there should be a 4th 'D.' 'DON'T.' Don't say anything. In most jurisdictions you have a right to remain silent, or at least to avoid self-incrimination.

Stephen Gustitis said...

Misc: Indeed. I believe my Deny would serve the same purpose as your Don't. But I totally agree.