In our last post, we spoke briefly about the recent indictment of Episcopalian Bishop Heather Cook on 13 charges in connection with a hit-and-run accident that occurred in December. We noted that, although it isn’t clear how prosecutors will handle charges in the case, Cook is bound to face serious consequences.
In cases like this one, it is critical for criminal defendants to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. This is not only so that the consequences of charges are minimized, but to ensure the defendant’s rights are protected. Every defendant, no matter the nature of the case against them, has rights that deserve to be protected, if for no other reason than to ensure the integrity of the criminal justice system.
Many of a defendant’s rights are well known to the public. These include the right to have a speedy trial involving an impartial jury, the right to confront witnesses, and the right not to testify against oneself. In working with a defense attorney, the goal is also to ensure that prosecutors do their job correctly, and that they are held their full burden of proving the elements of each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
A skilled defense attorney understands not only how to navigate the criminal process with an eye to achieving a good outcome at trial, but also how to preserve issues on the record for a later appeal. All of this is part of the process as well.
Building a strong defense is important for anybody facing criminal charges, but particularly for those facing charges that could result in incarceration. Those who choose to work with our firm can be sure that we will provide zealous advocacy for their rights and interests.