(NORTH CAROLINA) – Raleigh construction worker Mark Smith will be spending a few more years in his own home, rather than a jail cell, thanks to the diligence of his lawyer. Criminal defense attorney Pat Roberts used the facts he learned of his client's criminal arrest to negotiate an 80 month prison sentence down to only 10 months. The criminal attorney used information gleaned by truly getting to know his client to help get the sentence reduced.  In discussions with the Wake County District Attorney's Office, Roberts determined key facts about the case that assisted in obtaining a more reasonable sentence.

The facts of the case: Smith faced two counts of drug trafficking after police recovered a large quantity of cocaine from a house where Smith stayed. Although there were witnesses willing to testify against Smith, Mr. Roberts negotiated a plea bargain with the Assistant District Attorney, allowing Smith to plead guilty to possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, rather than the more serious cocaine trafficking charges. Under the terms of the plea deal, Smith received a sentence of 10 to 12 months – a substantial reduction from the mandatory 70 to 80 month sentence for the more serious charge. 

Mr. Roberts' success in the case was a direct result of the time he spent getting to know his client and understand the facts of the incident. "It is very important for a criminal lawyer to dig deep into the facts and spend a lot of time with the client, in order to understand exactly what happened; seemingly insignificant facts can end up having a huge impact on the final result of a case," Mr. Roberts said. "Even though my client's co-defendants were going to testify against him, we still managed to negotiate a plea deal for significantly less jail time."

“If you’re facing a serious criminal accusation, you really want a criminal attorney who’ll listen to your side of the story and use that information to fight for your rights,” said Smith. “I’m glad I had a lawyer like that.”