So it happened again. My partner was about an hour into an initial consultation with a person accused of menacing and the person confided two things: First, that she appreciated his calm, thorough and honest evaluation of her case. Second, that several other lawyers she had spoken to had promised her “dismissal” of her case if only she hired them.
Lawyers promising dismissal is something we hear about frequently enough to make us believe that it is not a rare occurrence. And judging from the advertisements claiming “hundreds” of cases “dismissed” , it is probably more common than we even know.
One problem with combatting this notion of “dismissals” being some sort of predictable option in criminal cases is the public perception of criminal defense lawyers and the criminal justice system. The public perception, fueled by television and movie dramatizations, trains us to believe that there are a special group of magical criminal defense lawyers who, steeped in some secret knowledge, can manipulate technicalities in the law to bedazzle prosecutors, judges, and juries alike...and “get cases dismissed”. In a way it is fun to believe this. It also gives people in dire situations hope. But it also represents an opportunity for some lawyers to prey upon these wrong assumptions about criminal law without even having to say it directly. If you go into the search for a criminal lawyer steeped in these notions, then you are more likely to respond to them or not ask too many questions about some of the bold claims made. The lawyers who seek to take advantage of this are relying on it.
These preconceived wrong ideas about the criminal justice system are so powerful that when preyed upon by, for example, lawyers who promise dismissals in initial consultations, many people cannot be convinced that they are being misled. My partner and I have spent countless hours over the years essentially arguing with people who so desperately want to believe the myth, that even when we take time to lay out the truth, they will not accept it. Periodically, however, some of these people will call us back, after the fact, to tell us that things didn’t actually turn out the way the “dismissal lawyer” had promised. We take no joy in this, mind you.
But in response to this disturbing phenomenon, I have written an article that is meant to help people in need of a criminal defense lawyer in New Yok City to understand the real circumstances criminal cases get dismissed, why they are impossible to predict with certainty, and how lawyers who promise dismissals retreat to tortured lawyer answers to explain the difference between what they predicted and what actually happened.
Here is a link to this new article about lawyers promising dismissals in criminal cases : https://www.shalleyandmurray.com/dismissal-claims