The Qualities Of An Attorney Best Suited To Defend A Theft Crime Charge

Interviewer: What would you say makes your reputation different or more particularly suited to these kind of cases versus another attorney?

Ben Kelsen: One thing is that I will go in, and I look through the case itself, I look through the discovery, I demand the discovery, I demand that the store shows up, I will not go in on a first appearance and plead guilty. I want to make sure that the store has provided all the evidence that they’re supposed to provide. I want to make sure that the state can prove its case before I let my client take a plea when they haven’t even considered a plea. The other thing that I try to do a little bit different is that even though we’ve all heard all the stories before, I’d like to talk to my client – I want to know what motivated them. If it’s something like, ‘I couldn’t feed my kids I just didn’t know what else to do’ so, you tell them, ‘Listen there’s numbers – here’s where you can get social services and some help – but be that as it may, you can’t do this and we’ll try to figure it out’.

A Competent Defense Attorney Will Try His Level Best To Mitigate Potential Damages to a Defendant

One case – I actually berated the store manager that you know a woman’s telling you that she can’t feed her child and you decide to prosecute her instead of giving her baby formula and diapers? What are you doing? On the flip side, if the client comes to me and says, ‘I had a party to go to and I really liked those jeans and the boots’, so we’ve got to deal with those facts. And in that case, I’ll do my best to mitigate the damages. I will go through and make sure that the proper discovery is there, and I’ll try to get the best deal for my client but obviously, I’m not going to commit perjury. I’m not going to let the kid up on the stand and say, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’ so in that case we may do a trial if the client wants to, but I may be more likely to try to get a deal on that case. So I think the notion of not only just personal attention, but the understanding that each case is unique and each case has its own set of factors and its own set of details, and things going on and a story behind it, that makes the way that I and my firm represent clients different from the way others do. We don’t just come into the court and just not read the discovery, not watch the video – if there’s a video, I’ll watch that video over and over again to make sure that I know every single second of that video, almost as well if not as well as my favorite movie. Others don’t even bother asking for the videos.

Some Attorneys Don’t Review The Evidence To Verify If The Store Has Proper Discovery Required By The Law

Some attorneys don’t review the evidence to make sure that the store actually has the proper discoveries required by law – those that say, ‘okay the store made a claim and we’ve got to go deal with it’ and they’ll take somebody’s money, go and make a deal or leave. So I try to be very cognizant of the fact that everybody makes mistakes, that a theft record is really not a good thing, it could be very detrimental to people and that every case is unique therefore we have to focus on every case because it’s very important for every person, and I try to make them as best as I can – that I can consider the case and treat the case to be as important as it is to my client.

Upon Close Examination Mitigating Factors Reveal Themselves in A Theft Case

Interviewer: If you closely examine the case, how often do you find things that can turn a case around or get an advantage for your client, just because you look carefully?

Ben Kelsen: There actually are times when you can see that. What will happen is that you’ll see that the proper video is not there. Either the video is not there, they don’t have the right stuff, nobody showed up, things like that. There are times – I’m not going to say it happens all the time but there are significant times where by spending a little bit of time looking through the discovery, you’d be able to come up with something a little bit better.

A Favorable Result Can Be Achieved By A Competent Attorney Most Of The Time

Interviewer: In these kind of cases how often are you able to get a more positive result than when the whole thing started? Maybe reduce charges  or minimum time.

Ben Kelsen: Most of the times we walk out with a better charge than where we were. Very often we’ll be able to do something – whether it’s a dismissal or a plea to causing a disturbance, or disorderly conduct versus shoplifting but no jail time or no probation; depends a lot on the case itself. And it depends on the unique situation of the case and ninety-nine percent of the time we can do better than what is the potential exposure based on statute. Is that always going to be a dismissal and walking away free and clear from the whole thing? No. But ninety-nine percent of the time we’re able to do better than they would have done, had the judge or the court gone straight by the statute.

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