When a person receives a serious medical diagnosis from a doctor, it is common to seek a second opinion from another physician to verify the diagnosis and to review additional treatment options. This same process should be followed by someone facing serious criminal charges in either federal or state court, especially when that person has no prior criminal record. In this situation, you risk the loss of their freedom, job, home, and family. Obtaining a second legal opinion can help protect yourself and your loved ones.
When You Need a Second Opinion
Many people who are already represented by private or public defenders have turned to Stechschulte Nell for a second opinion on their case. Typically, these clients were represented by their attorney for 6 to 18 months prior to contacting our firm, and whose cases almost concluded. Often they were presented with a negotiated plea agreement in either federal or state court but were unhappy with the offer, especially when it involved a prison sentence. In these situations, they turned to us to explore alternatives that their current attorney had not pursued.
Most people who come to us seeking a second opinion have been indicted by the US Attorney’s Office based on an investigation by the DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, or ICE. We are also contacted regarding serious state court cases, especially when someone is charged with a sexual offense, such as child pornography, sexual enticement or similar crimes.
Even where you have hired an experienced and competent attorney, the second set of eyes is always helpful. We often have more experience with specific types of cases than most attorneys and have the expertise to achieve a better outcome.
Obtaining a Second Opinion
If you want a second opinion on your criminal case, simply contact our office and schedule an appointment. After we receive the request for a second opinion, we will contact your attorney to discuss the situation and you will sign a release that gives us access to your case records. Once the information is received, we review how your attorney has managed your case as well as all applicable discovery including police reports, evidence, and witness statements. We will then present you with a detailed opinion letter that discusses the pros and cons of your case and includes a full analysis and recommendations. Some of our recommendations may include:
- Hire an Expert to better review the evidence and explore additional defense opportunities.
- Extensive Counseling, such as residential programs, that go beyond recommended treatments to demonstrate to the state or federal prosecutor that you are not only amenable to treatment, but has actively sought it.
- Change in the Plea Agreement or Resolution Process based on an evidentiary review where we found something in the police report or other documents that we believe could result in a better outcome.
- Change of Strategy that may be more aggressive process or identify alternative defense strategies that those offered by the representing lawyer.
After delivering the second opinion, some clients choose to hire our firm. In these situations, we consult with the other lawyer to determine the best avenue for the client as we move forward with the case.
We are proud that many people represented by other qualified attorneys have sought out our firm to supply this second opinion analysis. Our extensive experience in both state and federal court has gained us a reputation as a law firm you can trust with your case, and your life. Our primary criminal defense attorney is Ben Stechschulte, a former Florida prosecutor and board certified in criminal trial attorney with the expertise achieve the best outcomes for your circumstances. Contact us to obtain a second opinion on your criminal matter.