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Why Hire a Former Prosecutor to Defend You?


Abraham Lincoln once said “He who represents himself has a fool for a client,” which essentially means that those who try to defend themselves against accusations of a crime are likely going to regret it. That means if you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, it’s strongly advised that you find an attorney who is qualified to fight for you. However, with so many different attorneys out there, how do you know which one is right?

Some may boast of significant accomplishments and landmark victories while others may tout their experience as the reason to have them represent you, and in many cases both of these are indicative of outstanding attorneys. But there is one unique qualification that stands out as extremely valuable when it comes to selecting someone to represent you in your criminal case: prior experience as a prosecutor.

On this blog, our Bergen County criminal defense lawyers will take a closer look at what makes a former prosecutor such a powerful defense attorney and why you should strongly consider retaining one to help you after you’ve been arrested.

What Prosecutors Do

There are two sides to every trial: the plaintiff, or party who is bringing a complaint against someone else, and the defendant, who is the party the complaint is being brought against. In the case of criminal trials, the plaintiff is usually law enforcement or the government, also known as the prosecution, and their attorneys are known as prosecutors.

Prosecutors spend a tremendous amount of time studying each case, looking for every possible way to try and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the defendant in their trial is guilty of the offense they’re accused of. In that same way, defense attorneys will also examine the evidence and carefully study each case in order to try and prove that their client, the accused, is innocent of the charges being levied against them.

Likewise, both sides also have similar duties in terms of pre-trial work, such as exchanging evidence and negotiating possible plea deals. Defense attorneys will often go to prosecutors with terms for a plea deal that prosecutors will consider and then accept if they feel it’s justified based on the circumstances of the offense.

What Prosecutors Bring to Your Case

By hiring a former prosecutor to defend you, you’re bringing their extensive experience as a prosecutor into your corner. Former prosecutors often know or can reasonably figure out the way the prosecuting attorney in their client’s case is going to approach their arguments, and then use that knowledge to their advantage when formulating a strategy or negotiating a plea deal. In other words, former prosecutors are generally a step ahead of the prosecuting attorneys when it comes to their case, giving their clients an edge when it comes to preparation for their case.

Former prosecutors also often bring a wealth of additional experience to their attorneys. Most attorneys who served as former prosecutors likely did so for at least two to three years, and some have done so for as long as a decade or more. When they do decide to switch sides in the courtroom and start defending clients, they already have extensive experience preparing for cases, conducting research, and formulating a strategy. For many, the transition from prosecution to defense is a quick one and they almost immediately start seeing substantial success.

Interested in hiring a former prosecutor to help you with your case? Call the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC today at (201) 574-7919 to request a free consultation!
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