Pleading Guilty: Can You Expect Mercy from the Court or Should You Defend These Charges?
Interviewer: In a manslaughter case, when you’re working with a client and they just want to plead guilty, how do you counsel them at that point? Is it better for someone to plead guilty and throw themselves to the mercy of the court or should that person fight the case?
Paul Cramm: That is determined on a case-by-case basis and that is determined exclusively on the evidence and facts of each case. We will review the law enforcement report, incident report, accident report, and statements of witnesses. We will review everything in the prosecution’s file, page by page, line by line.
Your Attorney Reviews Every Detail of the Accident and May Enlist a Certified Accident Re-Constructionist to Review the Police Report
It is also common to enlist the assistance of a certified accident re-constructionist, first and foremost, to review the law enforcement report of the case. We can then see if our independent accident re-constructionist arrives at the same conclusions as law enforcement.
I want an independent third-party certified accident re-constructionist to review that law enforcement report very critically and very thoroughly.
It may be that following review of the law enforcement version of events, we may need to have that accident re-constructionist visit the scene and prepare an independent report. We may need to have that accident re-constructionist examine the vehicles after the accident has occurred.
We may need to file a motion with the court to have access to all of the data from the black boxes from each car that will confirm speed of vehicle at impact, throttle position, etc. We will need to conduct our own investigation of the accident and see how our perspective compares with that of law enforcement.
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- Penalties for Vehicular Homicide and Involuntary Manslaughter Charges
- What to Avoid If You Are Facing Vehicular Homicide or Manslaughter Charges
- Common Misconceptions about Vehicular Homicide and Manslaughter Charges
- In Legal Terms, How Does the State Differentiate between Homicide, Manslaughter and Murder?