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FL Criminal Defense Attorney Shares His Insights From His Experience

July 12, 2013 01:46pm  

Melbourne, FL—After 10 years as a prosecutor and another 10 as a private defense lawyer, Alan Diamond says he's started to see some serious changes in how the government treats people accused of a crime. 

“The legislature, both in Florida and in the country, have gotten stricter on mandatory minimum sentencing,” Diamond told in a recent interview.  “People seem to be warehoused in prison, and the human factor is not considered when it comes to sentencing.” 

Mandatory minimum sentencing laws, which impose a strict sentence on convicted criminals automatically, rather than letting judges or juries decide their fate based on circumstances, have led to a substantial increase in the prison population in 21st century America.  Many of these mandatory minimum sentencing laws apply to drug crimes—a situation that Diamond believes is patently unfair. 

“In the state of Florida, a person in possession of 45 pills of oxycontin can get a 25 year prison sentence, and that is just absurd,” Diamond says.  “I've seen people who are guilty of killing people who get a lesser sentence.” 

In many situations, this means that Diamond's job is, he says, “trying to convince the judge and prosecutor that despite their guilt, defendants are human beings, and warehousing them in prison is not the best solution.” 

Making the switch from one side of the courtroom to the other didn't come easily to Diamond.  “When I switched over to the other side from prosecutor to defense, I had to get rid of my prosecutor's perspective,” he explains.  “It was a bit of a transition to become a defense attorney, because as a prosecutor, I used to assume that if a defendant was accused or charged with a crime, it was probably because they did it.  I've learned that is not always the case.  It was an eye opening experience.” 

Diamond's firm, the Law Offices of Funk, Szachacz & Diamond, is a criminal defense firm that offers representation exclusively from Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys.  Getting to that experience level, Diamond says, requires passion and dedication. 

“You have to enjoy and thrive on being in the courtroom and dealing with people.  Knowing the law and being well versed in the evidence code is important, but attorneys who are able to deal with people, such as prosecutors, judges, police officers, jurors and clients are the ones who rise to the top.  If dealing with people is not your forte, then this path is not for you,” he says. 

While Funk, Szachacz & Diamond has represented a number of high profile clients, including a NASA quality engineer, celebrities, judges, other attorneys, and police officers, in Diamond's experience, clients are mostly the same in the ways that matter. 

“They really don't want anything significantly different,” he says of his high-profile clients.  “Every client I get wants this all to go away as quickly as possible.  Usually, with high-profile clients, you have to deal with the media a lot more.  Sometimes, the judge or prosecutor may, in turn, be harsher, because the case will be in the public eye and they don't want to appear soft.” 

To learn more about Alan Diamond, Funk, Szachacz & Diamond LLC. click here.


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