The Importance of Experience and Advocacy Before and During Trial: A Recent Criminal Defense Review

When I served as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, my greatest achievement, selfishly or not, was securing a conviction after trial for Attempted Murder against a husband who had physically and emotionally abused his wife and children for years. From burning a son and repeatedly striking another child, his violent acts culminated when he repeatedly stabbed his wife after she turned down his sexual advances. Until that point, the wife, an immigrant without a full command of the English language, was hesitant to seek justice. While fortunately may not be the right term, on the night of this incident their pre-teen and fifteen year old children were home when their father went into a rage and began stabbing their mother with a knife he had been using to peal an apple. Not merely stabbing her once, the defendant stabbed the mother of his children repeatedly until the blade broke off in her shoulder and their fifteen year old son broke down the bedroom door with a hammer.

On many fronts, this conviction for Attempted Murder and the twenty five year sentence was gratifying. The bond and trust developed with the victims, providing them the protection they deserved, and bringing closure to a horrific time in their lives was rewarding. Why do I share this so many years later? I do so because despite the misconceptions that only prosecutors wear the “white hat”, criminal defense attorneys do so as well. Facing the same potential sentence of up to twenty five years in prison, a client of Saland Law PC was also brought closure as a victim even though he was charged with many crimes including Kidnapping in the Second Degree as opposed to being the accuser. After a lengthy trial, this innocent man was exonerated and found not guilty by a jury of his peers. Not due to a legal technicality, his innocence was “proven” because of my effort to provide justice to my client in the face of a fabricated story shrouded in what appeared to be significant and damning evidence. Through developing our own evidence and challenging the prosecution’s, and advocacy before and during trial, closure was seized. The following his this client’s review of our services as criminal defense attorneys and lawyers:

“Jeremy Saland saved me from a blatant lie and fabrication by my former wife. I was arrested for numerous felonies including Kidnapping and Stalking. The DA “offered” me ten years in prison at one point and I was looking at five to twenty five years if I was convicted. My ex claimed I abducted her at knife point. There was even a witness who claimed that she heard me threaten to kill my ex’s family. Although there was no knife recovered by the police I did have rope, duct tape and zip ties in my car.

Instead of the DA’s Office doing a thorough investigation, Jeremy did. Despite my ex saying she wanted no contact with me, had not been to our old apartment and did not expect me to show up at her house, Jeremy got my landlord to testify at trial that he saw her at the house multiple times a week and more before, heard her ask me to come over to move furniture and saw me using the rope and tape on furniture in my car when I was moving it. We even found old texts with her acknowledging she had sex with me the week before the arrest.

I was terrified, but Jeremy was communicative, patient and on top the case. After a two week trial the DA dropped the felony Stalking charge because Jeremy discredited my ex and her witnesses. I testified and Jeremy prepared me. Within about two hours after summations the jury acquitted me of everything.

My life and freedom was on the line but I refused to plead to anything. I did nothing wrong. You do not know fear until you are in this type of situation. Jeremy believed me and stood by me. Even more important, Jeremy had the skill to convince the jury of that as well. I cannot thank him enough for protecting me – an innocent man.”

Merely because we were able to secure an acquittal for a client in a criminal case does not mean that each and every case will result in the same finding by a judge or jury. Certainly, we have favorably resolved countless cases prior to and at trial. The experience the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Saland Law PC have gained over the years has served and continues to serve our clients well. That said, advocacy, knowledge and experience must be coupled with effort by both client and attorney to achieve the best result or to put the accused in the best position possible to resolve a particular case. Educate yourself on the law, read what you can on process and crimes, communicate with your counsel and exercise your rights to protect yourself, your family and your future.

For further information on the criminal defense attorneys at Saland Law PC, follow any the of the links for the sites and blogs below. Reviews of Jeremy Saland and some case results are available as well.

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