Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Represent Me if I Have Multiple Dispositions?


Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Represent Me if I Have Multiple Dispositions?

Criminal defense lawyers get a bad rap. Like, a really bad rap. People think they’re slimy and unethical just because they represent folks accused of crimes. But that’s totally unfair! Defense attorneys play a super important role in the justice system. Let’s chat about it, shall we?

So you got arrested. Now what? Enter: your trusty criminal defense attorney. This person is your advocate, your advisor, your lifeline in the confusing criminal justice system. They’re the yang to the prosecutor’s yin, making sure the scales of justice don’t tip too far in one direction.

But what if you’ve been in trouble with the law before? Multiple times, even. Will any lawyer even want to represent you?

Short answer: yes! Most criminal defense attorneys will take on clients with prior convictions. But having multiple dispositions on your record can make things trickier, no doubt. The key is finding an experienced lawyer who knows how to navigate these choppy waters.

Let’s break it down:

Why a lawyer might hesitate

Some attorneys may hesitate to take your case if you’ve got a lengthy rap sheet. Why? Well, the prosecutor will likely try to use your criminal history against you. They’ll argue it shows a pattern of lawbreaking behavior or that you’re unable to be rehabilitated. Not exactly a fun position for a defense lawyer to be in!

There’s also concern you might disregard the lawyer’s advice and do something to torpedo your own case. Folks with multiple convictions don’t always have, shall we say, stellar decision-making skills. But any decent attorney knows not to judge a book by its cover.

How a great lawyer can help

Now let’s focus on the good stuff. An amazing criminal defense attorney won’t simply write you off because of your past. Here are some ways they can help:

  • Argue your history is irrelevant. Your savvy lawyer will fight to keep prior offenses out of the courtroom. They’ll say the only thing that matters is what you’re charged with now.
  • Paint you in a positive light. Even if your record comes up, your attorney can show you’ve changed. Maybe you’ve been clean and sober for years or finally landed a stable job. Progress!
  • Challenge improper use of convictions. If the prosecutor tries to sway the judge with your rap sheet, your lawyer can cry foul. Past crimes can’t be used to poison the well.
  • Negotiate plea deals. For certain charges, your attorney may be able to negotiate a lighter sentence or probation if you plead guilty. Better than the alternative!
  • Advocate for rehabilitation over punishment. Your lawyer can argue for mandatory counseling or treatment programs instead of just locking you up and throwing away the key.

See, an experienced criminal defense attorney has tons of tools in their toolbox. Your past doesn’t have to define your future.

But I need a GOOD lawyer…how do I find one?

You’re not gonna just close your eyes, spin around and point. Finding the right criminal defense attorney takes work. Here are some tips:

  • Ask trusted friends for recommendations. Word-of-mouth is often the best resource.
  • Search lawyer directories and look at reviews. But take them with a grain of salt – some are fake.
  • Check credentials. You want someone well-versed in criminal law with plenty of courtroom experience.
  • Meet with several lawyers before deciding. Make sure you vibe with them personally and professionally.
  • Ask lots of questions. How often do they take cases like yours? What are possible outcomes? What’s their strategy?
  • Discuss fees upfront. Some lawyers charge flat rates while others bill by the hour. Know what to expect.
  • Go with your gut. You’ll be working closely together, so make sure you feel comfortable and confident in their skills.

Once you’ve found the right criminal defense attorney, they’ll start reviewing your case and figuring out the best way forward. This could involve negotiating with the prosecutor, filing motions to suppress evidence, digging into the details of your arrest, examining police procedures, contacting witnesses, and lots more.

Bottom line? Having multiple dispositions on your record makes things harder, but it’s not an automatic dead end. Plenty of defense lawyers recognize that people can reform and deserve second chances. With the right legal guidance and advocacy, justice is still possible. So don’t lose hope!

Now go out there and find your Perry Mason. You got this.