I often get asked, “Why do you practice criminal defense?” or “how can you defend criminals?”
The answers is simple: to protect the Constitution, fight the power of accusation, and care for my fellow man.
First, the Constitution. Our Founding Fathers wrote criminal defense attorneys into the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights. the Sixth Amendment says in part, “…to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” The Founders were talking about, you guessed it, criminal defense attorneys. Criminal defense has been a benchmark in the American legal system since its inception. Defending criminally accused is an honor and a responsibility, which I do not take lightly.
Our state and federal government have incredible police power. The Constitution is meaningless, if does not protect all citizens, including criminals. I fight for my clients rights, because no one in the system does, except defense attorneys. The Constitution and its principles go to the core of why I am a Soldier and an attorney. The Constitution has survived for generations in part, because of the dedicated advocates who fight for its protection. The United States Constitution will someday protect no one, if it does not protect the criminally accused.
The Power of Accusation
Second, the Power of Accusation. The police and prosecutors do not need proof beyond a reasonable doubt to arrest or charge someone with a crime, even murder. Police and prosecutors do not have the time or resources to completely investigate every case prior to making an arrest or deciding to charge someone with a crime. Police may receive one accusation and decide to arrest the accused. Prosecutors may have one witness and decide to charge someone with a serious crime. My job – all criminal defense attorneys’ jobs – consists of telling our client’s story and Fighting for their Rights. I force prosecutors to examine my client’s perspective and hold them to the burden of proving my client’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. I am honored to follow in the footsteps of some of our Nations finest, Abraham Lincoln and John Adams (who stated late in life one of his greatest services was defending British Soldiers from being charged with murder in a case labelled by the mob, the Boston Massacre). Throughout our history great Americans have faced public distain and anger to Fight for Freedom and against the power of accusations.
Nearly everyone in America knows someone who has been accused of or charged with a crime. No matter what you or your loved one are accused of, there is at least one person who will Fight for Your Rights, the criminal defense attorney.
Finally, often criminal defendants are arrested and charged without their side of the story ever being considered. Without an advocate a defendants may never be heard. Many defendants accept responsibility for their actions and only want to be treated fairly and have their rights protected. Limited time to review each case and broad prosecutorial discretion sometimes leads to overcharging, a bar fight turns into a serious felony charge or what should be a civil matter turns into people being arrested and charged with crimes that should never have gone so far. I have represented hundreds of clients charged with crimes across the spectrum and far more often than not, a decent human being in an instant makes a bad choice, which turn into being thrown into our justice system and being labelled a criminal. Most criminal defendants are not evil people, they are fallible humans that make mistakes. But choices and mistakes have consequences and criminal defense attorneys are there to protect the accused.
I will Fight for Your Rights
I Fight for my clients Rights, so an instant doesn’t define a life. Even obviously guilty people or those who cause great harm deserve a defense and deserve someone to Fight for their Rights. “I don’t agree with what you’re saying but I’ll die defending your right to say it” comes to mind. I do not have to endorse your client’s conduct to stand up and Fight for their Rights.
I hope you and your loved ones are never caught in the criminal justice system, but if you are, I will be there just like many great men and women before me. Contact CANNON & ASSOCIATES, PLLC to learn more about me and how I will Fight for your Rights.