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Understanding the Prosecutor’s Perspective

Understanding the Prosecutor’s Perspective

Understanding the Prosecutor’s Perspective

Whenever I meet with a prosecutor, I try to understand my client’s case from their perspective.  That’s relatively easy for me to do because I used to be a prosecutor and the ability to see both sides of a case has always helped my clients and that experience helps me every day in practice.

Unrepresented defendants often misunderstand a quick and terse meeting with a prosecutor as something personal against them and their case.  It’s almost never the case.  Prosecutors are state and municipal employees.   They are often underpaid and most of the time, overworked in terms of their caseload.  When you meet with them, they don’t have time to discuss the specifics of your case and will usually seem to be in a hurry.  Look around the court room at all the people waiting to speak with them.  They are in a hurry.

Cases are being added to their existing caseload all the time.  It’s important to point this out because a prosecutor is often willing to dismiss or give a defendant a good deal if the facts and law can be shown to be in the defendant’s favor.  This means the attorney representing the client has to sit down with the prosecutor, even if by telephone, and make sure the prosecutor can see the case from both sides.  For a defense attorney like myself it is important that I have a solid relationship and familiarity with the prosecutor handling my client’s case.  Without that relationship I may not get a call back from the prosecutor or might be given little time to go over things when I meet with them in court.  

Over time, a prosecutor will know that the attorney brings a case up for a dismissal or great deal because the facts and law are solidly in the attorney’s favor.  Press the button too many times and the attorney develops a reputation of not being trustworthy and this reputation will always be foremost in the mind of a prosecutor whenever they are dealing with that defense attorney.  When they think of that attorney they think that the case will be bad but the attorney will say otherwise.

Now, in cases where a defendant doesn’t have the best defense at their disposal because of the strength of the prosecutor’s case, it is equally important that the attorney have a good relationship with the prosecutor.  Why?  Because people are people and attorneys who are liked by prosecutors almost always get a better deal than attorneys who are not liked by prosecutors.  The next time you are hiring a defense attorney, ask him about his current and past relationship with the prosecutor.  Most attorneys, but certainly not all, have good relationships, because they understand the value.  Some attorneys do not.  

My mindset when I was a prosecutor was that I tried to treat everyone the same, but I certainly had defense attorneys that I would not give a deal to because of a prior incident with them or because of their attitude towards me.  Some attorneys would try to go over your head, which never worked because I had absolute discretion.  Other attorneys just decided they owned the place and acted accordingly.  They didn’t and that act was not welcomed.

In the St. Louis area, you may have heard that attorneys, judges and prosecutors have a huge fraternity like existence.  That is overstating things quite a bit.  There is some camaraderie amongst those in the profession of law.  Clients don’t deal with judges and prosecutors every day.  We do.  So it makes sense that over time, you’re going to ask how someone’s kids are doing or talk shop.  This is natural to every profession, including attorneys.  Cabbies talk shop at the airport.  I never assume this is bad for me.  I just assume it’s two guys talking about their business because they are in the same business.

Whenever you select an attorney to represent you, my best advice is to assume how they act with you will be how they act with everyone else.  Many of my colleagues are not known for their warmth and friendliness.  Attorneys are infamous for being egotistical, purposely argumentative and unnecessarily blunt.  But I’ve personally never understood why anyone would assume that the practice of law exempts a lawyer from treating their clients and others with respect and understanding.  If you meet with an attorney and don’t like him, that’s usually a red flag that you should keep looking.

St. Charles County Speeding Tickets

St. Charles County Speeding Tickets

St. Charles County Speeding Tickets

If you receive a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in St. Charles County from the Missouri Highway Patrol, your case will be set for hearing at St. Charles County Circuit Court. Occasionally, but not normally, a ticket from a St. Charles County Sheriff will also be handled in St. Charles County Circuit Court, but in most cases, these tickets are resolved in the municipality where you received them.

By hiring Traffic Ticket Center, we can notify the court we are representing you, attend your court hearing on your behalf and meet with the prosecutor to discuss your case. In the vast majority of cases, our clients do not need to attend their court date.

At court, we can negotiate with the prosecutor handing your case and you will benefit from our experience in negotiating better results for our clients. An example would be getting a speeding ticket amended from speeding to a non-moving violation, incurring no points on your license and saving you from rising insurance premiums. Once we obtain the best result for you, we’ll contact you and explain the result and what needs to be done to close out the case.

If you get an O’Fallon speeding ticket or St. Peters speeding ticket, or a speeding ticket from another municipal court in St. Charles County, the process is very similar and we can often obtain positive results for our clients similar to those in St. Charles County Circuit Court.

There’s really no downside to hiring an attorney to handle your traffic ticket. It’s not very expensive, it’s convenient to hire our firm, you’ll likely save a lot of time and avoid having to go to court and we can quickly send all the information you need to close out the case once we’ve handled the ticket for you.

Dealing With Traffic Tickets

Dealing With Traffic Tickets

Dealing With Traffic Tickets

Getting a traffic ticket, in the grand scheme of life, is not a huge deal.  But you should definitely take action to protect your interests when you get a ticket, and the best action to take is to hire a lawyer to resolve the ticket for you.  

Moving violations carry what are known as points.  The number of points vary depending on the violation.  A speeding ticket, the most common ticket we see, is ordinarily a 2 point ticket.  Driving without insurance is a 4 point ticket and driving on a suspended license will result in 12 points.  

Getting points has two effects.  First, it can cause your license to be suspended.  If you accumulate 4 points or more in 12 months, the Missouri Department of Revenue will send you a warning letter stating that you are in danger of losing your driving privileges.  If you accumulate 8 points or more in 18 months, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days. If you accumulate 12 points or more in 12 months, 18 points or more in 24 months, or 24 points or more in 36 months, your Missouri driver’s license will be revoked for 1 year.

The second effect of points is that it can dramatically raise your cost of insurance.  When you incur points on your driver record, these points get recorded with the Department of Revenue.  Your insurance company will eventually check with the Department of Revenue and find the points and deem you to be a riskier driver to insure.  The result is higher premiums for experienced drivers and much, much higher premiums for young drivers.  

By hiring an attorney, you can ordinarily have your traffic ticket amended to a non-moving violation, which carry no points and will not raise your insurance.  

There are other benefits to hiring an attorney.  First, you don’t have to worry about showing up to court.  The attorney will handle the ticket and you’ve just saved yourself time and effort to get to a court date, or maybe multiple court dates.  Second, you no longer have to worry about the ticket because you’ve hired an attorney to handle it.  Peace of mind is important and you get that when you hire an attorney to handle the ticket for you.

Traffic Ticket Center handles all types of traffic ticket matters, as well as more serious charges such as Driving While Suspended and DWI.  We make everything as easy as possible for clients.  In many cases, we can take all the information about the ticket and payment over the telephone, saving you even more time and headaches.