As a criminal defense attorney the majority of my day is spent in court arguing on behalf of my clients.  It is easy for an attorney to forget that for the Defendant, it is an uncomfortable and nerve-racking experience.  Furthermore, unless it is a trial, each Defendant only gets a few minutes in front of the judge.  Decisions that will impact a lifetime will happen in the span of those few minutes.

I am dedicated to making sure that my clients maximize the limited amount of time that they have in front of the judge.  The most important step in achieving that goal is having the client prepared for what might happen in court well in advance of that final court date.

Businessman in handcuffs in courtroom

I am a big believer that a court date should not involve a lot of surprises.  Every one of my clients is asked to contact my office a week in advance of the court date in order to discuss the upcoming court date directly.  Well before the final court date, all of my clients should have met with me in my office multiple times.  As long as the client has made those appointments with me, the range of possibilities of what might happen at the court date will be discussed in detail.  Nothing that happens on the court date should ever be a surprise.

I treat my client’s time like it is my time.  I try very hard to make sure the client does not have to take excessive time off of a work by having to appear at several court dates which really do not require the Defendant’s appearance.   In many circumstances the Defendant will not have to appear at the first court date so long as I have been hired in advance.  However, as the case progresses, the Defendant’s appearance will be necessary for final resolution of the case.  It is for that final resolution that I devote much time and effort ahead of time to obtain the best possible result for my clients.

Many attorneys try to shut the family out of the courtroom experience.  As family members are an invaluable support system to my clients, I try to encourage family members to show their support by coming to the Court dates with the Defendant.

A Defendant’s final day in court will have a great effect on the course of one’s life.  The attorney and client must have a plan in place for when that day comes.  It is not a day to be taken lightly nor is it a day to go in without having spent adequate time face-to-face with your attorney weeks in advance.

Stephen M. Vighi Attorney and partner - Thurman Law Firm

Stephen M. Vighi
Attorney and partner – Thurman Law Firm