Learn More About Our Video Consultations Due To The COVID-19 Outbreak.

Who Decides if you Plead Guilty or Innocent?

By:
Armando Nava

When you work with a defense attorney, you’ll undergo a consultation with the purpose of determining the best strategy for defending you against the prosecution. At each step, your attorney should explain your options and the scenarios that might result from pursuing each option. Your lawyer is also well-positioned to make an educated guess about likely outcomes based on his or her experience in the courts, but ultimately, decisions about your life and freedom are yours to make. Armed with this counsel, and assisted by a defender who knows how to navigate the legal process, you should feel confident that your rights will be protected. Your defender does a lot of the legal legwork, but who makes the ultimate decision about how to proceed with your case? This question is currently being debated in the U.S. Supreme Court where they are arguing the case of McCoy v. Louisiana.

Sixth Amendment Right to Counsel

The constitutional argument central to McCoy v. Louisiana concerns the sixth amendment right to counsel. Specifically, if your lawyer decides to tell the jury you’re guilty when you’ve expressed a wish to maintain your innocence, does this violate your rights? One would certainly think so. This rogue defense happened to Robert McCoy, who refused to take a plea when facing charges of first-degree murder. His defense attorney hoped that admitting guilt and taking a plea would reduce the charges to second-degree murder. Unfortunately, this strategy failed to work. McCoy was found guilty of first-degree murder, and the judge returned a death sentence.  We can’t know what would have happened if McCoy had been supported in his desire to maintain his innocence. Without a crystal ball, we can’t know whether he would have been found guilty. Clearly, his attorney thought he would have been found guilty, or else he wouldn’t have gambled his client’s life on a strategy that sought to reduce the charges (and failed). The Louisiana Supreme Court agreed with the attorney that he chose the best strategy in representing his client, but this still leaves the question unanswered: Does a defense attorney have the right to essentially overrule his client’s wishes and support the prosecution’s argument, or does this violate the defendant’s right to choose his counsel?

When You Disagree With Your Defense Attorney

The client-attorney relationship needs to be a relationship of trust. Your lawyer should be prepared to address your questions and concerns as they work with you, not against you. If your defense attorney is pushing you to concede guilt, or if you fear he or she might act against your express wishes, it might be time to hire a different attorney. You have a right to representation that respects the presumption of innocence. Without the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, our judicial system fails to uphold due process.  

Expertise DUI AwardTop 40 Under 40 Badge10 Best Client Satisfaction Award for Nava LawBadges for Nava LawExpertise Criminal Defense Award
Image of Arizona
Have A Case In Arizona?
FREE CONSULTATION
Copyright © 2021 Nava Law. All rights reserved.
Designed by:
Lab Coat Marketing Beaker Logo
PROVEN CASE RESULTS:
DUIDUI DrugsAggravated AssaultTheftResist ArrestDomestic ViolenceMurder
Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Arizona desert outside phoenix, Sonoran Desert
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
DUI Drugs (Marijuana)
Case Result:
Case Dismissed

A black man was pulled over by Salt River Police Department while visiting from out of town. Despite showing no signs of impairment, the officers arrested him and charged him with DUI Drugs. We investigated the case heavily and interviewed every officer involved. Ultimately, a motion to suppress was filed and granted after an evidentiary hearing before a Judge.

Actuation:
Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Case Result:
Reduced to a misdemeanor

Short Description: A man was charged with attacking a family with a knife. After reviewing the evidence, it was determined that the instrument used was not a knife at all. The Grand Jury had been misled, so we filed a motion challenging the grand jury presentation. The prosecutor, confronted with the truth, agreed to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor with no jail time.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Theft of Means of Transportation
Case Result:
Not Guilty after jury trial

A man was out on a walk and was stopped by police because he was in the area of an attempted vehicle theft. The man maintained his innocence, but the owner of the truck identified him as the man he saw attempt to steal it. We worked tirelessly to prepare a defense and get the prosecution to see reason. The State wouldn’t budge, so the case went to trial. After a 4 day trial, the jury took approximately 10 minutes to return a Not Guilty verdict.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Resist Arrest
Case Result:
Dismissed

A client was charged with resist arrest after being targeted by police during the protests of Summer 2020. Our firm developed a strategy with activists and members of the media that led to a dismissal of out client’s case and, eventually, all cases connected to the political prosecution of the protesters. (Maybe link to some of the cases?)

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Assault & Disorderly Conduct – Domestic Violence
Case Result:
Dismissal after Diversion

A woman and her boyfriend were arguing over the cleaning of their apartment. The police were called after things escalated and the woman was arrested. The Mesa City Prosecutors originally wanted the woman to do jail time. After working the case and providing background information, we were able to get the prosecutor to allow the woman to complete classes in exchange for a dismissal.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

We have experience managing violent cases that fall under the categories of murder and manslaughter. Out of respect for all Nava Law Firm clients that fall under this case type, we are not providing any information on our website. If you or a loved one have been charged with one of these serious charges, do not speak to police officers and please contact our firm immediately to get a free consultation.

Actuation:
Second in time DUI
Case Result:
Charge reduced with no jail

Woman was charged with her second DUI within 7 years after being involved in a collision in Scottsdale. Through our investigation, we found multiple mistakes made by the arresting officer. These errors were used      to get the prosecution to reduce the alleged offense to a charge with no jail time.