Whether you have received a misdemeanor summons or were taken into custody, the criminal process has begun. Attorney Paz works with clients and their families to pursue bond modifications during the pendency of the proceedings, investigate allegations, and work towards successful resolution of the case. Attorney Paz evaluates each case to determine the best strategy for each client.
If you have been charged with an offense and have no prior criminal history, you may be eligible for a diversionary program. The State of Connecticut offers a number of programs to help accused individuals save their criminal records by participating in programs. A few of which are: Accelerated Rehabilitation, Family Violence Education, Supervised Diversionary Program, Drug Education Program, and CADAC. Eligibility for these programs depend on the type of case, offense charged and prior criminal history.
Attorney Paz has had success litigating suppression issues. If you were taken into custody and interrogated without being provided with Miranda warnings and waiving your right to remain silent, your statements may be subject to suppression. If you were stopped without reasonable suspicion and searched without a warrant, the stop and subsequent seizure of contraband may be ripe for suppression. Litigation of suppression issues have an effect on offers made to clients and often are powerful negotiating tools when dealing with the State's Attorney.
This is the period where defense attorneys negotiate with the state attorney to determine whether an agreement can be reached short of a trial. In Attorney Paz's years of experience, she may recommend to clients that they engage in treatment or to provide character letters, it may also be negotiated that the client do community service in exchange for the state's decision to drop the charges (nolle).
The pre-trial process also may include input from the judge. In the event that the state chooses to pursue prosecution, the judge has the ability to reduce the client's offered sentence. Attorney Paz likes to do this by putting forth a package on the client's behalf which will provide the judge insight on the accused's character and life apart from the discreet incidents that led to the arrest.
In the event that the case cannot be resolved prior to trial, Attorney Paz has trial experience in serious felony cases, including jury selection, cross-examination, and witness preparation. The decision to take a case to trial lies solely with the accused but should be made in conjunction with an attorney who will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case, what the criminal defense bar calls "the trial tax," as well as the decision to testify in your own defense.
Many times, placing a case on the trial list can be used as a strategic tool to encourage the settlement of issues. Even if trial is undesirable by the accused, it may be recommended to place the case on the trial list for a variety of reasons, including: the state attorney will not be able to prove his case due to unavailability or lack of cooperation of key witnesses; upon placement on the trial list a particular state attorney will be assigned to the case who is likely to review the case and conclude that it is not worth pursuing and make a better offer; or after the passage of time the state attorney handling the case will make a better offer in effort to settle the case rather than expend time and resources trying it. Attorney Paz is experienced in these issues and qualified to provide each client with recommendations relating to taking a case to trial.
For example, see this case where the state dropped the charges on the eve of trial: