When someone pleads guilty or is convicted by a jury, a judge will decide
that person's fate at sentencing. While some cases involve a stipulated
or agreed upon sentence that the judge needs only to rubber stamp, often
times the judge has broad discretion. It is common for family and friends
to speak on behalf of the person being sentenced, but all too often, these
people speak without direction or guidance, unwittingly doing harm to
the person whom they are trying to help.
Too many people rely on the crackpot internet articles for advice from
non-attorneys, or individuals who are not experienced criminal defense
attorneys. It frustrates me tremendously, so much so as one of Phoenix's
criminal defense attorneys, that I have gone out of my way to share some good information - some
right information - for people for are speaking at a loved one's sentencing.
Having provided direction and guidance to many such individuals in all
sorts of cases, such as
white collar crimes,
sex offenses, and
drug conspiracies, the message is the same.
Some, but not all, general guidelines are:
- Talk about the good qualities of the person who is being sentenced
- Don't disparage the victims or the judicial system
- Present yourself appropriately in business attire
- Prepare and practice what you are going to say to the court
- Realize that what you say may have a tremendous impact on the life of someone
whom you care about
Many people may feel that a more rehearsed or planned point of action can
turn the court hearing or sentencing into a dog and pony show. But the
reality is that the more choreographed the sentencing presentation, the
better the chances are that the outcome will be favorable for your loved one.
If you or someone you love is facing a sentencing where a judge has considerable
discretion in the sentence to impose, and you are looking for an experienced
Phoenix criminal defense lawyer to assist in mitigation and sentencing,
contact the law office of Jason D. Lamm at (602) 663-9100. Start your case with the criminal defense you deserve!