Being a criminal defense lawyer can be a thankless job some days. Judges don’t like us. Prosecutors don’t like us. Victims don’t like us. Hell, even our client’s don’t like us some days. Client’s can be ungrateful SOBs sometimes.
However, every once in a while. Out of the blue comes a different kind of day.
Today was one of those days.
I have been working on a drug trafficking case for the last year or so. Client was pulled over for a traffic violation. When the cop gets to the drivers side window, the marijuana smoke rolls out and into his face. Having learned something on the street, my client promptly tells the cop that “there ain’t no more weed, we smoked it all.” Needless to say, after arresting him for driving on a revoked license the police find cocaine and oxycodone inside his vehicle.
We were in court this morning prepared to enter a guilty plea or begin a trial. We have spent countless hours discussing the facts of his case. We have discussed trial strategies and plea offers. I prepared and filed a suppression motion in an effort to keep out some of the evidence. I have spent a lot of time thinking about this case and the best way to defend my client.
I have beaten the District Attorney down from her original plea offer of a 20 year sentence. I managed to get her to offer a 20 year sentence with 3 years to serve when my client asked for a split sentence offer. I finally got her to offer a 15 year sentence with 3 years to serve. I have worked hard for my client and listened to his requests and finally got a straight 15 year offer.
Today, on my advice, my client entered a guilty plea and applied for probation. He realized that the facts and law were against him and taking his case to trial would mean a longer sentence. We will be back in court in April to argue for probation before a judge who will listen to my arguments.
He called me this afternoon to tell me thank you. He said that sitting in the courtroom this morning, talking to other people, made him realize what a great job I have been doing for him. Other people were talking about their problems and what their lawyers had been doing for them. It has taken my client over a year, but he understands how hard I have worked for him.
Even though I know that I am good at what I do, it still is nice to hear it from my clients from time to time.
Sitting in my office smiling this afternoon. Thanks.