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Aggressive Criminal Lawyer or Intelligent Criminal Lawyer

Aggressive Criminal Lawyer

Aggressive Criminal Lawyer and Street Certified Bad Ass*

Searching for an Aggressive Criminal Lawyer

A Google search for “aggressive criminal lawyer” returns 9,780,000 results.  A Google search for “intelligent criminal lawyer” returns 651,000 results. Clearly, people associate the term “aggressive” with “good.”  Let’s rephrase that.  People confuse the term “good criminal lawyer” with “aggressive criminal lawyer.”  The two are not always the same.  Take a moment to think about this.  Would you rather have an aggressive criminal defense attorney or an intelligent criminal defense attorney? An intelligent criminal defense attorney knows when to be aggressive and also knows when to lay off.  An aggressive criminal defense attorney who is not intelligent is just a jerk.

Aggressive Marketing

Why do so many criminal defense attorneys call themselves aggressive?  It all comes down to money. Law firms are businesses.  Attorneys who run the law firms are businessmen.  Businessmen want to make money.  Businesses advertise using the keywords that people search.  More clicks, more clients. More clients, more money.

This post is a pretty good example.  The keyword, or phrase, I choose is “aggressive criminal lawyer.” I did not choose “intelligent criminal lawyer” because the word aggressive will get more clicks.   That is also why I repeat the phrase “aggressive criminal lawyer.”  The search engines will see this post as relevant to “aggressive criminal lawyer” and I will get more clicks.  However, while you are here, I figure I should tell you the truth.

Why People Want an Aggressive Lawyer

I’ve tried a lot of cases.  However, the majority of my cases do not go to trial.  It is that way for every criminal defense attorney. In the cases that go to trial, it is likely my client’s first and last trial experience.  Most of my clients have never seen a criminal trial outside of watching a 20-minute murder trial on Law & Order.  A lot of people form their opinions based on a fictional television show.

The media typical portrays effective criminal defense attorneys in a negative light.  The characters are rude, condescending, abrasive and otherwise jerks.  People have been taught that this is effective.  They want and even expect to see an attorney verbally pound on a state’s witness.  They think that an aggressive criminal lawyer will verbally beat on a witness until they get a “Perry Mason Moment.”  A “Perry Mason Moment” is when the defense attorney gives such a horrific verbal beatdown that the witness breaks down and confesses that he is the real culprit rather than continuing with the mental torment of the questioning.  It seems pretty cool on TV, but it doesn’t work.

How to Lose a Criminal Trial

The easiest way to lose a criminal trial is to make the jury hate you. The easiest way to make a jury hate you is to unnecessarily “beat up” on witnesses. You want the jury to see me as the most reasonable person in the room.

Some people are going to want an aggressive criminal lawyer no matter what I say.  I’ll give you the good news first.  There are plenty of attorneys who will give you what you want.  Now the bad news. Some of the worst cross-examinations I have ever witnessed ended with the client telling his lawyer “great job!”  Usually, the client heard the word “guilty” at the end of the trial.  Why did the client say “great job?”  Because the attorney was aggressive.  That is the same reason he was found guilty.  The jury hated the attorney because he was aggressive.  He was rude, condescending, abrasive, demeaning, belittling, sarcastic and otherwise a jerk.

Aggressive, Persuasive and Effective

There is a difference between aggressive and effective.  Persuasive is effective, aggressive is not.  An intelligent attorney knows the difference. Just because an attorney is not aggressive, in the traditional sense, doesn’t mean that he or she is going to roll over and play dead.    A persuasive attorney will win more cases than an aggressive attorney.

I am not alone in my thoughts.  While doing some research for this post, I came across a blog called Defending People.  We seem to have a similar opinion concerning the phrase “aggressive criminal lawyer.”   It is better for advertising than the courtroom.

Changing Your Approach

Any attorney who is looking to improve their cross-examination skills needs to read MacCarthy on Cross-Examination.  The author, Terence MacCarthy, teaches a simple, extremely effective method of cross-examination that can be used in any type of case and on any type of witness.  Mr. MacCarthy is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on cross-examination and his book explains exactly why aggressive fails and persuasive wins.

Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney, Michael Dye, likes to think of himself as a reasonable and persuasive attorney.  Please note that his ex-wife’s opinion may differ.  Mr. Dye represents individuals charged with criminal offenses ranging from DUI to murder. For additional information, please contact us at:

The Law Offices of Michael A. Dye, PA, 1 East Broward Boulevard #700, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 (954)990-0525.

* Credit for Picture: Miami Criminal Attorney Michael A. Haber, Esq.