criminal defense lawyers bank that claims of prosecutorial misconduct will result in a dismissal
of their client's charges. Too many clients really believe that advice.
Prosecutorial misconduct is not a defense to criminal charges.
When prosecutors act with some type of grave impropriety, such as lying
to the court or deliberately hiding exculpatory evidence (known as
Brady material), that's another story. But true instances of prosecutorial misconduct are rare.
Crying Misconduct or Crying Wolf?
Many criminal defense attorneys routinely throw out claims of prosecutorial
misconduct toward the adversaries in what amounts to mud-slinging contests.
Judges have become immune to such claims, particularly when it's the
same attorneys making the claims again and again, oftentimes with little
or no substance. It's like the little boy who cried wolf. The judges
just ignore them. The problem is that the one time the wolf actually shows
up, and true prosecutorial misconduct occurs, it falls on deaf judicial ears.
Some defense attorneys think that zealous advocacy on behalf of their clients
means throwing every turd at the wall that you can find, in hopes that
something will stick. But that's like playing checkers. I prefer to
play chess - grand master style.
The reality is that most prosecutors are decent, ethical, and hard working
- just as are most defense attorneys. But there are always a select few
- on both sides of the aisle - that push the envelope and compromise the
integrity of the justice system. Judges know that and don't appreciate
the personal attacks between attorneys, even if they are veiled in the
name of prosecutorial misconduct.
Again, there is a time and place for everything. Some time ago, a prosecutor
hid exculpatory DNA results from me (I only found out through hard work
and digging). In over 20 years of being a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer,
I can say that this was one of the few instances of real prosecutorial
misconduct which I have cried foul on, and which I can count on one hand.
The judge came unhinged and my client walked, but it was deserved.
Choose an Experienced, Hard-Working, Criminal Lawyer
If your entire defense is based on prosecutorial misconduct, you've
got problems. Knowing how the court's look at such claims and the
rarity of its legitimate occurrence, it's like putting all of your
eggs in one basket. Don't be fooled by hype and bluster, the only
real way to aggressively defend yourself against serious criminal charges
in Phoenix, or elsewhere in Arizona state and federal courts, is to hire
an experienced criminal defense attorney. Sure that Hail Mary works once
in a great while, but more often it's intercepted and run back for
Are you facing a serious crime?
Contact Jason D. Lamm for reliable legal counsel.