The most important thing you must know when engaging in the trial of a criminal case is you have more power to win than you think.
The secret is very simple: It’s about how you play the poker.
You have to come to the table with a stack of chips and a winning strategy. The prosecutor comes to the table with a stack of chips and a strategy. He eyes you across the table and gauges your ability to play the game.
Do you have chips enough to beat the prosecutor?
When multi-millionaire Dominique Straus-Kahn was accused of rape in New York City in 2011, he came to the table with a huge stack of chips.
The head of the International Monetary Fund and a very wealthy man, Straus-Kahn was rumored to be the favorite to win election as the next president of France. When a housekeeper in a posh New York hotel accused him of rape, police seized Straus-Kahn off of a plane at JFK Airport and dragged him to jail.
The media, which loves monikers, dubbed him DSK and then the media convicted him in the press. Straus-Kahn fought back. He came to the table with a huge stack of chips. He hired the best lawyers and hired the best private detectives to unravel the case against him.
The prosecutors came to the poker table and realized the government had fewer chips than DSK. Normally, the prosecution relies on the fact it has greater financial resources – a bigger stack of chips -- when it comes to prosecuting cases. The government has forensic pathologists, scientists, DNA experts, detectives, technicians – all on salary. The government usually comes to the table with a huge stack of chips.
The average defendant has little or no money to hire experts, and usually doesn’t have a clue where to find experts if he does. Sadly, many attorneys who are what I call “casual criminal defense attorneys” – lawyers who tinker in criminal defense – don’t either. They don't know there is a fund to tap into to hire experts for financially strapped clients.
Straus-Kahn had the bucks to hire all of the lawyers and experts he needed.
His team learned many negative things about the accuser, took apart her story, discovered she’d lied about other serious accusations in the past, and tore the credibility of the accuser to ribbons.
The defense team pushed their chips across the poker table and held their cards and the prosecution folded. It was a perfect poker bluff.
That’s the poker of criminal defense.
(Required by Alabama law: No representation is made that the quality of legal services is better than other lawyers.)