While litigation in the criminal sector can be an exhausting proposition, there are times when a diligent attorney can be proactive before anyone is ever charged with a crime. This is what is called a “Case Evaluation.”
In criminal law, a “case evaluation” allows defense counsel to do things such as psychological evaluations, sex therapy, and private polygraphs. All of these things play a role in a wide array of issues for the creative criminal defense attorney. To learn more about this concept, we sat down with several of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state of Michigan.
Scott Grabel is the founder of Grabel and Associates and is known for having the top criminal defense firm in the state of Michigan. When asked about the “case evaluation,” Grabel said, “We run many case evaluations on CSC cases. This helps obtain favorable bond results if arraignment is forthcoming and it also provides an opportunity to have the case dismissed before ever reaching the courthouse steps. Many firms do not understand how much work needs to go into the pre-charge, but when a case evaluation is done properly, it can allow for the best possible result for the client.”
William Amadeo is a partner at McManus and Amadeo in Ann Arbor, Michigan and a Senior Associate for Grabel and Associates. Amadeo has become known as the top criminal defense lawyer in Washtenaw County, and he provided commentary when he stated, “There is a 7-step process for running a proper case evaluation, and if each step is not followed, the client will suffer. When you obtain a case eval, you have to move with speed. The first thing that you should do is contact the prosecutor and tell them if a warrant is issued we can arrange self-surrender. This saves the county time, money and danger. With that statement in place, you are letting the prosecutor know that you are going to cooperate and understand the pressures of their job, but you are also ready to fight for your client. Sadly, I see many lawyers just take money from clients with the eval by selling them a false sense of security. The reality is that a case eval is a chance to beat the charge to the punch and we have a responsibility to work every anger respectfully and aggressively.”
Matthew McManus is the Managing Member of McManus and Amadeo and known a top researcher in Michigan. McManus added, “In Washtenaw County, research is essential. There are so many aspects to a case that we can examine in the pre-charge arena that gives us a chance to see the entire playing field. If we can create discovery before being given discovery, we stay ahead of the curve.”
While many firms do not offer case evaluations as a service, it is a hidden gem in the field of criminal law, especially in Washtenaw County. When done correctly, a reliable “case evaluation” can be the difference between one being able to maintain their freedom or ending up in the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC).