The Law Office of Joseph Moreno

Federal and State Criminal Defense

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1 Attorney for Multiple Defendants

Posted on November 30, 2017 at 11:25 AM
One aspect of representing the best interests of a client involves the negotiation process. Whether you're in Webb County, Bexar County, Hidalgo County, Cameron County, or anywhere else in Texas, one of the things to take into consideration when preparing a person's case is whether that person has a criminal history and how that would affect the current pending case. Some of the things that matter with regards to criminal history are the recency of the criminal history (whether the previous case was dealt with years ago, or whether the person is still currently on probation) and the severity of the previous crime (whether it was a misdemeanor or felony and whether it was a case that resulted in probation or jail time). If the person is still currently on probation, then there are other issues to worry about such as a potential revocation of that probation and the available outcomes the state is willing to negotiate with on this current case. For example, the state may not offer probation to someone who only recently was placed on probation and went out and got arrested for this new violation. When I open up the dialogue with my clients about their prior history, surprisingly often, my clients reveal that their previous history resulted from a case where there were multiple people accused of a crime and someone (often the parent of one of the accused) hired one lawyer to represent all of the accused. This is permissible, particularly where everyone agrees to waive any conflict of interest claims, but I do not recommend it. Each individual accused has the right to an attorney. Each individual accused has the right to an attorney who is concerned about that individual's rights without conflict to another client. Each individual accused has the right to a trial by jury where the state has the Burden of Proof to establish Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that that individual is guilty. You shouldn't be in a situation where you have to draw straws to determine who is going to take the blame. You shouldn't be in a situation where because you were the last one to bond out of jail, you should accept the blame for everyone else because your conviction will result in "time served." A conviction is a conviction and it stays on your record. Finally, you shouldn't be in a position where one of the other defendant's paid the attorney so you should accept responsibility to make it easy on everyone involved. You'll be stuck in the end. Stuck with a conviction. Stuck with probation. Stuck with court costs. Stuck with a criminal history. Don't be stuck with the baggage. Get an attorney who will fight for your rights. (See my blog "Be Careful What You Wish For. . .")

Categories: Boots On the Ground