Interview with Attorney Brian Jones
#1: What made you choose a career in criminal law?
When I was young, I was accused of hit-skip (causing an accident and fleeing). No amount of pleading with the officer would convince him I was not the person that had been in the accident, so I fought the charge. I experienced first-hand what my clients go through. I trusted my attorney and we tried the case. I was acquitted and the feeling of "Not Guilty" has resounded with me ever since.
#2: In your opinion, what sets your firm apart from other firms in the area?
We provide a personal touch to our cases that is not found in other firms. We return phone calls and emails within 24 hours. We meet with our clients. We reenact case scenarios in order to get a feeling of the emotion generated by the incident. The direct contact we have with clients from start to finish makes us better lawyers, gets clients better results and sets us apart from our peers.
#3: Tell us about a case that you are particularly proud of:
I am particularly proud of a case I handled for a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. The client was accused of thirteen offenses ranging from Aggravated Menacing and Violations of a Protection Order, to Theft and Criminal Damaging. The client constantly maintained his innocence despite significant evidence to the contrary. Through investigation and scientific analysis, we were able to determine that the complaining witness, his ex-girlfriend, had fabricated text messages and convinced other witnesses to lie about other allegations. We took the case to trial and a jury returned Not Guilty verdicts on all counts. Afterwards, we were able to successfully sue the Complaining Witness for the damage caused in my client's life.
#4: What steps do you take to prepare for a difficult case?
Our preparation process is extensive. A large portion of that process is explained in our "How We Do It" blog series. In short, we look at case from the burden the government bears and determine what evidence needs challenged. We also take steps to gather additional information to assist in understanding why the accusation is being made. Finally, we challenge the government's allegedly scientific evidence with real science. When it comes time for trial, we are the keepers of the information. We make it our mission to ensure we are the most prepared attorneys in the room and know the case better than anyone else involved.
#5: How do you view your role in the attorney-client relationship?
I am a counselor in the word's truest sense. More often than not, the government's evidence is overwhelming. In those cases, it becomes critical to take steps to mitigate harm. Sometimes that comes in the form of psychological counseling. Sometimes that comes in the form of drug or alcohol treatment. Sometimes it's about taking a gun safety class. It is always about making the client's life better than it was before the incident that landed them in my office. Before, during and after litigation concludes, the attorneys in our office are available to help in any way we can.
Of course, there is a legal aspect to our cases as well. In that sense, my job is to analyze the facts, apply the law and advise my client of potential outcomes. I have extensive experience with criminal matters and I apply the knowledge I've gained from that experience to inform the client of what I think will likely happen.
#6: What sets you apart from other criminal defense attorneys – why is this important?
I'm fiercely dedicated to my clients. It is critical to have an attorney willing to put himself in harm's way because you never know when a judge or a prosecutor will go too far. There are many lawyers who handle criminal defense cases. They are not criminal defense lawyers. They will never stand between their client's freedom and the overreaching government. There are still other attorneys who view their role as criminal defense lawyers as a cushion for the fall into jail or prison they plan on ushering their obviously guilty client. Any other lawyer who knows me knows I will fight with every option available to ensure the best possible outcome for my client regardless of the personal cost.
#7: How does having experience benefit your clients?
Experience comes in a variety of ways. From knowing and understanding a particular prosecutor or judge to knowing what motions to file and how to challenge forensic "science" the best results come after having done it a few times. I've handled thousands of criminal matters in courtrooms from Cleveland to Marietta. My experience benefits my clients by allowing me to focus on important matters rather than trying to learn the law and science, employ techniques that obtain results rather than engage in pointless chest-pounding and guide my clients to understanding the law as it applies to their case and how we can reach the best result possible.
#8: What types of cases do you specifically handle?
Under Ohio ethical rules, I am prohibited from calling myself a specialist except under very strict circumstances. While I handle all criminal matters, I focus my continuing legal education on the law and science of operating a motor vehicle under the influence (DUI, DWI, OVI) and allegations of sexual assault.
#9: In your opinion, what is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Hearing a juror say Not Guilty.
#10: What advice do you most often give your clients & why?
Don't talk to the police. You can not help yourself by talking. You may simply misspeak. You may give a full confession. The officer has no power to engage in plea negotiations. The officer is not your friend. The officer is not there to help you. The officer's sole duty is to gather the evidence needed to convict you and bring the fullest punishment the law has to bring down on your head. Don't talk to the police.