KB Law Wins Again
Tuesday evening marked another win for the Law Offices of Kelli J. Bynum, P.A. My client was facing two counts of Aggravated Assault, punishable by a minimum mandatory of three years in the Florida State Prison. After a thirty-five minute deliberation by the jury, the only thing he was facing was dinner with his family and a good night’s sleep in his own bed.
I find it so refreshing when the people of Jacksonville take their civic duty of jury service seriously enough to listen to the facts of the case, see the reasonable doubt, and render a verdict that is fair and just. That verdict in this case was not guilty and it was the right one.
FL/GA Weekend- The Nation’s Largest Cocktail Party
This weekend is FL/GA here in Jacksonville, also known as the Nation’s largest cocktail party. Whether you are a Gator, a Bulldog, or a Seminole like myself with no dog in the fight, you are bound to use Saturday as an excuse to party. Despite the well known fact that JSO will be on the prowl, there is always an unbelievable number of people who refuse to enjoy themselves responsibility, landing them in the drunk tank for a night to sober up and see the Judge. As a former prosecutor, I can honestly say, there is nothing more unfortunate than first appearance court duty the Sunday morning after a FL/GA Saturday. You are always there until the sun goes down. There is no way around it.
I encourage everyone to have a fun, yet safe and responsible weekend. However, if the fun outweighs the safe or responsible, as it oftentimes does, and you find yourself in the drunk tank, contemplating your options before seeing the Judge, refrain from pleading guilty before consulting with an attorney. Many aspects of your life may be affected after a plea to even the simplest of misdemeanors, especially if that misdemeanor is for Driving Under the Influence. Call The Law Offices of Kelli J. Bynum, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your rights.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
A lot of people are surprised that I am a criminal defense attorney when they first meet me. I’m not sure what they think a criminal defense attorney should look like, but judging from the reaction I commonly receive, it is clearly not a twenty-something female who was once a prosecutor. They immediately ask questions like, “How do you do that?,” “Do you enjoy getting bad guys off?,” or, my personal favorite, “How do you sleep at night?”
I sleep very soundly, actually, knowing that, if someone is represented by me, they have received competent, zealous representation from an attorney who has the experience to defend them to the end. When a case is brought to trial I make a point in jury selection to educate the potential jurors on the right afforded to all of us to be considered and presumed innocent until proven guilty. When a person is brought to trial by the State, that charge is nothing more than an allegation or an accusation. It is not a conviction. It is the State’s burden to prove them guilty. It is not my client’s burden to prove his innocence.
Our justice system is not perfect, because we as humans are not perfect. To be tried by a jury of one’s peers, however, is the best way I’ve seen it done. I’ve lost trials, but I’ve also won. There are two sides to every story and I am thankful there are jurors out there who are willing to consider both, who are willing to see my client cloaked with innocence unless the State presents enough evidence to pull it away. When the men and women on a jury panel listen to the reasonable doubt in a case and render their verdict accordingly, I do not feel as though a “bad guy” has gotten off. And when the words “not guilty” are read by the clerk, I could not be more proud of what I do.