Being a Criminal Defense Attorney comes with a pre-defined stigma. Very little thought is given to the other side of the coin simply because of the negativity associated with the term ‘criminal’. The reality is that being charged with a crime should not label someone as a criminal. Many things happen circumstantially; those accused of a crime have a background and context that needs to be taken into consideration.
I take a great pride in being a Criminal Defense Lawyer because I see it as an opportunity to provide a fighting chance to those who may otherwise find themselves helpless. Subsequently, I find it important to bring to light the good in people. Everyone makes mistakes, it is part of being human. It doesn’t mean that this one mistake should define who a person is or be used as an excuse to label someone as a criminal. Even good people can make mistakes; good people can be at the wrong place at the wrong time or get involved in something that does not represent who they actually are.
Consider the example of a young adult who has lost his parents to a tragedy and now finds solace in drugs. This young man had an emotional reason to take this route and could have had a brilliant future if he was helped throughout the process. Instead of seeing him as some teenager who was charged with drugs, he should be seen as someone who needs help.
Many people are arrested everyday for theft, driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, assault, amongst several other crimes. Though there is no excuse for any of these, there are underlying causes that lead to these arrests, which many of us can relate to and maybe even sympathize toward even if it is on a minuscule level.
If we as Americans allow these accused to only to be seen through the lens of the crime they committed, we have failed as a nation. We would all be sinners and there would be no motivation for rehabilitation. Many people think that being a defense attorney is solely about getting people off of a crime. Not only is that foolish but it is an incredibly poor and surface level understanding of what it means to be a defense attorney. It is my duty and motivation as a defense attorney to seek help for those who need it most. I spend many hours of my day speaking with my clients, urging them to attend alcohol anonymous meetings, narcotics anonymous, anger management courses, etc. I do this because I truly believe in it. I have seen people learn from their mistakes and turn their lives around. Sometimes all it takes for someone to turn their life around is having one person believe in them and fight for them.
Not a lot of people believe in giving a second chance to someone who has committed a crime. The irony is that this outlook changes if the roles are switched and it becomes their loved ones standing behind bars. Everyone is someone’s father, brother, sister mother, son, etc. I find it important to protect the rights and liberties of all to ensure the rights and liberties of none are at risk. Being an attorney, I know I can play a huge role in helping someone turn his or her life around. Making a positive impact in someone’s life is my drive for being a defense attorney; this is why I can sleep soundly at night.