Client Expectations In Criminal Matters
- October 25, 2013
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Many accused of criminal activity based on their affiliations with certain entities and organizations of which law enforcement agencies take a negative view have heard, or even worked with, attorneys fabled for the extremes to which they will go on their client’s behalf. In the past, the methods employed by such attorneys may have been effective but technology has advanced and most recently led to the sentencing of Paul Bergrin the former assistant Essex County prosecutor, assistant U.S. Attorney in Newark and then private practitioner. Mr. Bergrin had a very successful practice and was frequently selected by noteworthy clients due to the tactics he employed once retained as defense counsel. Mr. Bergrin offered those clients willing to pay the price such services as assistance in arranging witness murders, other methods of resolving witness issues and creating positions at his law firm to assist in the operation of illegal enterprises like call girls and cocaine distribution rings. Mr. Bergrin was convicted to 6 life terms by U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh. Law enforcement was so intent on the termination of actions taken by Bergrin that U.S. District Judge William Martini, originally assigned to the case, was replaced by Judge Cavanaugh after Martini dismissed 3 RICO counts against Bergrin as well as granting other relief sought by the former defense attorney. This is a message not only to defense attorneys but also to those accused of crimes in regard to what is not acceptable in criminal defense. Although the actions of Paul Bergrin clearly spun out of control as a result of the exorbitant amounts clients were paying for his services, the reality is that clients should not anticipate that their attorneys will employ illegal tactics in their defense. When consulting counsel if you have been accused of a crime, it is the responsibility of the client to advise the attorney of witnesses or alibis favorable to the defendant, physical coercion of co-defendants or law enforcement as an inducement to commit the offense and any other proof demonstrating innocence. You should expect your attorney to zealously advocate on your behalf and to present all evidence which tends to prove your innocence. Defendants should anticipate that motions to suppress will be filed to prevent the prosecution from using any evidence obtained in violation of the defendant’s rights. There are methods which should be employed by experienced criminal defense attorneys to protect your rights and obtaining experienced counsel to protect your rights is critical. For more information regarding criminal matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com. This blog is for informational purposes and not intended to replace the advice of an attorney.