Making A Positive Impact – How I Defend “Those” People
Making A Positive Impact – How I Defend “Those” People
When I meet new people and they find out that I am a criminal defense attorney, more often than not one question follows. The question is always some version of “How can you defend those people?” There are so many ways I want to answer this question because I feel very passionately about being a criminal defense attorney.
If I launched into my full feelings the person asking the question would get far more than they wanted and I would probably not be very popular. The short answer is that the people that person is thinking about are a small percentage of my clients, and that most of my clients are wonderful people who need help getting through a hiccup in life. The other short answer is that I truly believe in our criminal justice system and that everyone deserves a defense.
The longer answer involves how much I enjoy making a difference in people’s lives. There are not many jobs where someone can have such a direct impact on another person’s life. When it comes to being a criminal defense attorney, that impact is not only the outcome of the case, but also helping with the long court process that precedes that outcome. Not to mention the initial fallout immediately following a person’s arrest and the terrifying fear that person feels about not knowing what will happen next or how this will impact their life long term.
I find it incredibly rewarding to meet with a potential new client and for them to feel better when they leave my office then when they arrived. It would be unfair of me to make people feel better by simply telling them that everything is going to be alright because in almost all cases the road ahead for the client will be difficult and trying.
My goal is to educate the client on their situation, the law that applies to them, and the strategy that I would have for their case. Although I cannot tell them that everything is going to be alright, I can tell many clients that it is not the end of the world even though it may feel like it right at that moment.
The Positive Influence of a Criminal Defense Attorney
One morning I was waiting for an elevator at a courthouse when I noticed a police officer that looked familiar. I saw him do a double take at me as well. I could not place which case we may have had together. He walked up and told me his name, and it instantly hit me.
I had represented this police officer several years ago when he was a teenager. I handled a couple of semi-serious offenses for him with good results. At the time of my representation he had no thoughts of a future in law enforcement. He thanked me and told me that it was only because of what I was able to do for him with his court cases that allowed the door to remain open for him to become a police officer once he decided that is what he wanted to do with his life.
I always liked him as a client, and it was an amazing feeling to know that what I had done for him had helped him so much.
Last year I received a call from a corporate executive from an out-of-town company. He had been driving through rural Missouri on his way to Kansas City to visit some family. Unfortunately, he was pulled over with a half-full bottle of bourbon in the car and he blew twice the legal limit.
He also had three prior drunk driving offenses from several years ago. This was a man who only had a high school education, but had worked his way up through his company and to a position that is rare to have without a graduate degree, let alone a college degree. This man would lose his job and everything he had worked his whole life for if he was convicted of a felony, or if he had to do too much jail time.
This sounds like a nightmare case because of priors and bad facts, but as I peeled the layers back on whom my client was as a person it was amazing to find out more about him. He started and ran a non-profit company to help poor children. He volunteered in a number of different ways in his community.
He helped members of his extended family pay portions of their college tuition. I was inspired by him and I wanted to ensure the prosecutor knew everything I knew about my client so I put together a binder documenting all of these accomplishments, along with evidence of each accomplishment for the prosecutor.
Based on my advice, my client also quit drinking and submitted to voluntary alcohol monitoring, which I also provided to the prosecutor. Fortunately, the prosecutor in this case was a common sense man who was willing to work with me to not ruin the life of a good man who had made a few mistakes.
His felony was reduced to a misdemeanor and he was able to keep his job and continue the work he was doing in his community.
These are only two of numerous examples of people I have been able to help by learning about my clients and working with them during their court cases to put us in a better position for a positive outcome at the end of the case. Helping these people, and the heartfelt thank you many clients extend to me at the end of a case is why I love being a criminal defense attorney. It is easy to see in their eyes the relief and the weight that has been lifted off of their shoulders.
A Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Louis
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a crime and are looking for compassionate criminal defense by a skilled trial lawyer, then call The Law Office of Jason Korner at 314-409-2659 to schedule your appointment, or click here to fill out an information form and Mr. Korner’s office will contact you.