There are two ways for a case to get to court: In one way, the prosecution and police investigate a case, file a complaint or request an indictment when they have enough evidence, and ask a court to issue arrest warrants. The police then go out and make arrests based on those warrants.
The other way is for the police to react to a report of a crime, make an arrest, and then submit their reports to the prosecutor. The prosecutor makes a decision on what crimes to charge (if any) based on the evidence that is indicated by the police reports and file a complaint.
Another question I hear all the time is “How many cases have you won?” When I ask further about what the potential client really wants to know, the potential client usually is interested in knowing how many “not guilty” verdicts have I won in cases like his or hers.
In my opinion, this is not the right question to ask. If a client of mine has to go to trial, that means that all forms of negotiation have broken down; the client has committed to a higher fee to try the case; and the client has decided to “roll the dice” before a jury. Placing my client’s liberty at stake in a trial is the last resort to a successful outcome of a case. Trials can be time-consuming, stress-producing and expen$ive.
Instead, I think that a potential client would be more interested in knowing how many and what kinds of results I have received for my clients? What are typical results? What would the lawyer consider to be a good result based on the many variable factors (some are known and some may be unknown)? Has the lawyer ever received the desired result for a previous client? How realistic is the desired result?
Positive results can range from reduced charges or sentences to full dismissal. All cases are different.
Again, choosing a lawyer is a very important matter and can affect the rest of your life. Be sure to find someone who is knowledgeable, thorough and and can communicate well with the client – as the client you deserve to know what to expect.