Being charged with a criminal offense can be very unsettling to say the least, especially if charged with a felony in which a conviction will result in significant prison time. There are a couple of key tenants in our criminal justice system that can work in the defendant's favor. First of all, there is a presumption of innocence, i.e. you are innocent until proven guilty. Secondly, the burden of proof is not on you to prove your innocence but on the state to prove your guilt. And, finally, no matter what offense you are charged with the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt each and every single element of that offense. This is a high bar for the state to meet.
If hired to represent you Attorney Fleming will immediately get to work learning every fact and detail of your case. The first step will be to meet with you one on one to get all the facts from your point of view, this is a critical step in building the attorney client relationship. Next, he will analyze all available evidence and reports, interview witnesses and police, and, if necessary, consult with expert witnesses to secure their testimony for your defense. Throughout this entire process Attorney Fleming will be scrutinizing all available evidence not only in preparation for your defense at trial, but particularly to determine if any of your rights may have been violated prior to or during the arrest, or during any custodial interrogation that may have occurred.
The vast majority of criminal cases, as many as 95% of them, never go to trial and are settled in what is known as plea agreements or plea-bargaining. Frankly, the plea-bargaining process helps bring efficiency to the administration of justice and our court system would be crippled without this prosecutorial tool. That being said, as some point, Attorney Fleming will engage the prosecutor and begin the negotiation process that will result in the most favorable outcome for you. Throughout this entire process you will be in the driver's seat. All critical decisions will be yours to make, i.e. whether to accept a plea or go to trial, whether or not to testify, or whether to appeal should you be found guilty at trial. Attorney Fleming will keep you informed on all aspects of your case, recommend and implement various defense strategies, and make strategic decisions such as which witnesses to call, which line of questioning to pursue at trial, and which expert witnesses to secure. He will guide you every step of the way as you work together to safeguard your constitutional rights.