Many People Have Common Emotional Reactions When Facing Criminal Charges

Interviewer: In the 42 years that you’ve been practicing, what have you learned about people’s behavior? What is their reaction to being arrested and prosecuted for a crime?  What human insights have you gained into the whole process?

Jack O’Donnell: Generally there’s a great deal of panic, and my job is to calm them down.  When somebody is too composed after an arrest it’s probably because they’ve been through the system before and they are immune to the process.

More often than not, people are worried and they want to know what game plan you have for their defense. There are an assortment of things that we can do, depending upon their prior record generally and the severity of the crime.

Your Attorney May Advise You to Seek Treatment or Counseling

Oftentimes we can get them into various programs; whether it’s a domestic violence program, or a drug program, an anger management program. A program along those lines, if successfully completed would result in a favorable outcome in the case.

If they’re not program eligible for whatever reason, then you have to start looking at minimizing the potential punishment.  This is after you have established that there is ample evidence to convict them, you now turn your attention to how you minimize the impact on their lives.

Interviewer: Do you find that at times you have to be more of a counselor sometimes and try to calm them down a bit, and make it seem like it’s all right for them?

Jack O’Donnell: Yes, and that’s one of my strengths. I do convey they’re in good hands, that my experience, and my knowledge and skillset is such that if there’s going to be a favorable disposition, it will be as a result of my representation.  Most clients seem to walk out of my office comforted by that.

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