We’ve said it before – your choice of lawyer is critical. Not all attorneys are created equal, and if you go to trial with an inexperienced, easily intimidated, or lazy attorney, your outcome is going to reflect that choice. It’s the same reason we tell people that just accepting whatever attorney the court assigns you is a bad idea. The Kronzek Firm takes dozen of phone calls from people convicted of serious crimes and reports of terrible lawyering during the trial.
It’s not that court-appointed attorneys are necessarily bad attorneys (sometimes they can be really good at what they do!). But you have to remember that the deck is stacked against them. They’re operating on a minuscule budget, they have way more cases than they can typically handle, and the resources available to them are very limited. Which means that in the end, you often get what you paid for.
A current Michigan case highlights the ‘lawyer’ issue perfectly!
Desirae Glatfelter, a woman living in Kent County, was convicted of domestic violence in 2016 for biting off part of her boyfriend’s tongue. It may sound extreme and violent, but there is a very interesting backstory here. Glatfelter and her boyfriend at the time, Aaron Hollowell, were having an argument about his faithfulness to her. Instead of talking to her about his issues when she got upset, Hollowell decided that the best way to calm his girlfriend down was to overpower her, kissing her forcefully against her wishes and “bear hugging” her.
In response, and in her own defense, Glatfelter bit down on the tongue he pushed into her mouth. The cops were called, Hollowell claimed she assaulted him, and because of his injuries she was arrested. But this is where it gets tricky. No experts were brought in to testify on Glatfelter’s behalf, or explain to the jury how traumatic this experience was for her or why she responded the way she did. And as such, she didn’t receive an “effective” defense which the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees to all of us.
So what happens now that her rights have been violated?
Glatfelter was aware of the fact that her lawyer did a sub-par job, and her conviction was appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, who ruled that she deserved a new trial. According to the Appeals Court, an expert could have explained to the jury what Glatfelter felt when Hollowell forced himself on her in that moment, and why she reacted with violence. Among possible defenses, battered spouse defenses are permitted here in Michigan.
This expert testimony, say the Appeals Court Judges, could have made a difference to the outcome of her previous trial. And as such, she should be retried. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to have an experienced and aggressive defense attorney right from the start. An attorney with a long track record of success, and access to top-of-the-line expert witnesses and investigators.
The Kronzek Firm offers all of that and more!
We’re glad for Ms. Glatfelter that she’s getting a new trial – she deserves one. But we can’t help feeling that she should have had a fair trial the FIRST time around. After all, that’s the point of the American justice system, and the reason why we have a Constitution – to ensure that our rights are clearly spelled out and honored. As we’ve pointed out many times before in our blogs and articles, the lawyer you have matters, so make sure you get the best!
Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced trial team has access to a wide range of respected experts and investigators who assist us in making sure our client’s case receives the attention it deserves, and achieves the best outcome. So if you live in Lansing, Coldwater, Grand Rapids, Oakland County or Mason County, and you’ve been charged with a crime, make sure you do it right the first time around. Call 866 7NoJail now to ensure that your defense attorney is top notch, and your future is protected. We can be reached 365 days a year at 1 866 766-5245.