Why does the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA, handle criminal law?
Keith Bregoff began doing criminal defense once he opened his own firm. Initially, starting as a prosecutor doing juvenile types of prosecution and then being promoted to being the senior lead felony prosecuting attorney for two divisions, what he began to see was that the system was not perfect, and what he saw happening was some people would be punished inappropriately based on maybe the first time of making a mistake. It could be a crime such as possession of cocaine, DUI, something where you are not talking about where there is a victim. He saw the need to represent that type of person, so that their one mistake, which everybody makes, does not haunt them for the rest of their life.
When he opened his own firm and was deciding on what types of law to practice, what stuck out foremost to him is that there was a place to represent people who are being accused of a crime where clearly the evidence shows they have not committed one. Also, there were many other people who may have made a bad decision, which everybody does, yet, this one bad decision has turned into an unfortunate situation in which the police were involved. Representing those people, to help them out and make sure that it does not become the defining factor of their life, gives Mr. Bregoff a lot of gratification.
What types of cases does the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA, take on?
Our firm will handle criminal defense cases all the way from murder cases down to misdemeanor DUIs, or it can encompass the whole realm of charged crimes which would be first degree felonies, second degree felonies, third degree felonies, or misdemeanors, including violations of probation. We have experience in handling all different types of cases. Almost any type of charge that deals with a criminal offense can be handled by our firm.
Do all criminal cases go to court?
Well, the interesting part of that question is “go to court.” The way that this works is, and many people do not know this, when you are arrested for an alleged offense, you have a police officer who is a non-professional legal person who is making a decision that you did wrong. They arrest you on that. They book you on that, and you go to jail. If you can bond out, you bond out. If you cannot bond out, then you stay in jail until a final decision is made by the legal expert, which in this case would be the prosecutor.
Our firm had a case where an individual was charged by the police with aggravated assault for holding a knife out to another individual. That other individual, our client says, came at him with a brick and was going to smash him on the side of the head, and he held up the knife to stop him from doing it. Our client was arrested for aggravated assault and put in jail.
Now, the state has to determine if they will pick up the charges, meaning they now have to look at all the evidence and make a decision whether they are going to file formal charges, which in this area is “filing an information”.
That is where retaining an attorney at the very beginning can become so important. You may think that you have been charged with a crime, but you technically have not been legally charged with a crime. You have been arrested for a crime, but you have not been charged with it to where you are going to be going to court.
What happens then is that during that time period where the prosecutor is now bringing in the police officer, asking him what he saw, asking about what is in his police report, and talking to witnesses, the defendant who has been accused has no right in this process. He does not get to come in and speak with the prosecutor, obviously, because he is the defendant. Therefore, hiring an attorney during this time period to be able to speak with the prosecutor and substantiate the other person’s side of the story, along with any witnesses that the defendant may have, could very well end up in what is called a “no information”. What that means is, instead of filing an indictment against you, if, in fact, you can substantiate that what the allegations against you were, based on the other witnesses, do not add up or do not make sense, a prosecutor may very well decide to not even move forward with any charges. That all occurs before you even are told to go to court.
When you are dealing with how cases could end up going to court, it is after the prosecutor looks at the evidence and says, “Okay, based on what this evidence is, this is what crime it fits. These are the elements of the crime that we think this case fits.” You could be charged with, or arrested for, aggravated assault by the police. However, the prosecutor looks at it and says, “This does not add up to aggravated assault. This is just a mere assault, a misdemeanor.” So, although you are arrested for aggravated assault, you are going to court for an assault, which is a completely different charge than what you were arrested for, and that can happen in any case. Obtaining an attorney early on is very important.
If the prosecutor files the formal information, that now means that you are going to court and that you will have a court date where you must go in front of the judge. You will be arraigned where you tell the court initially whether you plead guilty or not guilty and will be appointed an attorney, if you have not already retained one.
Referencing the amount of cases that actually go to trial in criminal court, I would say, are not that many. Many criminal defense attorneys will quote a total fee, a flat fee, non-refundable fee, which will involve representing you from the time that you retain that attorney, and it may be before a formal “information” has been filed all the way through including up and through trial. The Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA, does not do that because most cases do not end up in trial. We do not charge initially for trial work if we are not going to have a trial. When we give you a quote, it is for representing you all the way through the case based on resolution by a plea or motion to dismiss.
If, in fact, it does have to go to trial, there will be an additional amount, but at least the individual is paying specifically for the work for the attorney, not for the potential work of the attorney, which may never be done because of the fact that most cases resolve in a plea.
Why choose the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff, PA?
It relates to how we feel that our prior knowledge and experience makes a difference. Initially, working as a prosecutor and moving up through the ranks of a prosecutor, dealing with hundreds of different criminal defense attorneys, and then becoming a senior lead felony prosecutor over two divisions handling murder cases, trafficking cocaine cases, first degree felony cases, punishable by life in prison, Mr. Bregoff has learned all aspects of all different types of cases.
He also learned and experienced much more time in the courtroom in front of judges and dealing with judges, because that was the major part of his job.
He went to court usually every day in a courtroom. He became comfortable in a courtroom, and that became second nature. That fact, combined with knowing how prosecutors usually will move forward with cases, all comes back into play when he is now representing an individual. Mr. Bregoff will do his best to obtain for each of his clients the best outcome possible, whatever that may be.
Everyone has to remember that prosecutors are humans just like anybody else. Depending on how you relate to them, how you deal with them, the respect you give them, the things you say about your client, about the facts of the case, all are intertwined in how the case resolves. Having done it on so many cases from the other side and now for years in representing individuals, the combination has helped Mr. Bregoff in obtaining the most beneficial outcome of a case for clients.
Call the Law Offices of Keith Bregoff PA today (772) 492-8967.