Most of the time the criminal justice system gets it right – from the reporting and investigation of crimes and public safety to criminal convictions and incarceration for those truly deserving. However, the system is far from perfect and many are innocent of the charges they face while others simply deserved a real advocate in the courtroom and of a fair chance to recover from a momentary lapse in judgment. It’s because of these people that we do criminal defense.
Most people do not break a law on purpose. Being investigated or arrested for a crime is a terrible experience. Aggressive, Strategic, Bold, and Solid. These are the qualities a good legal defense counsel should possess. For over twenty-five years, Spencer & Sundstrom has provided hundreds of clients with aggressive, strategic, bold and solid criminal defense against a wide array of charges including:
With past experience prosecuting cases on behalf of the cities of Ridgefield, La Center and Battle Ground, Washington, Clayton Spencer and Chris Sundstrom are familiar with the approach and tactics of local prosecutors and, most importantly, they know that the prosecution is not always right.
As criminal defense lawyers, it’s our job to aggressively investigate a case and to bring to the attention of the prosecuting attorney deficits in their cases with the aim of exonerating our clients from the charges that they face. Aggressive investigation of a case can involve identifying violations of our client’s rights by law enforcement officers; finding inconsistencies and contradictions in witness accounts; or by demonstrating the incompatibility of the physical evidence with the prosecutor’s theory of the case. Without an aggressive defense, prosecutors are free to seek justice on their terms because they do not look for or see the weaknesses in their own case.
Our trial experience is really what sets us apart from other defense lawyers. Over the course of a long practice, good attorneys become skilled at identifying the motives, interests and biases that underlie many criminal prosecutions. We can recognize these and deal with them appropriately. We are intimately familiar with the law, procedure, judges and prosecuting attorneys through which a criminal charge must pass on its way to a final resolution.
Trials are full of uncertainty and expense and should be avoided where possible. The best cases are won without having to go to trial after a full, thorough and aggressive investigation into the facts of the case. That being said, there are times when a trial is the only resolution and having experienced counsel who are not afraid of appearing and representing you is key to a successful outcome of the case.
“A good lawyer knows the law; a great lawyer knows the judge.” This old adage is as true today as it was a hundred years ago.
The true asset of the attorney is being able to read and relate to people, whether that is the prosecutor, the witness, the judge or even a jury. When you know the courtroom culture like we do, and have practiced law in this area for such a long time, it’s easy to communicate and connect with the audience. Simply put, there is no substitute for experience in the actual courts in which the case is to be tried.
Successful criminal defense lies in the ability to work as a team with our client. While the attorney brings to the table knowledge of the law, the courts and the procedure, only our clients know the real facts of the case. The client is also often his/her own best investigator bringing unique insight into the evidence and witnesses to a crime.
Mistakes happen too often in court proceedings, especially for attorneys who rush the process or don’t have the proper experience. In even the smallest of criminal cases, there is usually too much at stake to let the inexperienced represent you. Choosing your attorney is like choosing your doctor – You want one that listens to you, gets understands your case, and works hard to find the right fix.