Neill Wente, a Criminal Defense Attorney with offices in Lexington/Rockbridge and Bedford, Virginia, prides himself on his reputation as a first-class criminal defense lawyer who consistently produces outstanding results for his clients. This reputation has been carefully earned in the courtrooms throughout central and western Virginia. Neill represents clients on felonies and misdemeanors throughout his service area.
Neill carefully investigates the facts of each case. This includes vigorous discovery, interviewing the witnesses and carefully reviewing scientific reports and tangible evidence, including video/audio recordings when available.
After gaining a full understanding of the evidence in the case, Neill will discuss potential offers to resolve the case by agreement with the prosecutor. He will negotiate the best offer possible, and the client then has the choice of accepting this offer or proceeding to trial.
Preparation in advance of negotiations is crucial to leveraging the best deal possible. And prosecutors know that they are dealing with a top-rate defense attorney who represents his client vigorously at trial.
Too many attorneys wait for the day of a hearing to ask what the offer is or wait for the prosecutor to approach them with an offer. This approach is just lazy and cedes critical bargaining position to the other side.
In some cases, especially high-profile cases of a serious nature, there is no offer for a sentence in exchange for a plea. In these cases, specifically, when the evidence is not in favor of the Defendant, the client may make the difficult decision to plead guilty without a deal. In such cases the sentencing hearing is critical and Neill will put forth incredible effort to help the client present evidence in extenuation and mitigation, in order to achieve the best result possible. Having an excellent advocate in your corner in such a case is critical.
When the difficult decision is made to go to trial, whether a trial by judge or jury, you can rest assured knowing that Neill has the experience to fight the case to verdict. With over 30 jury trials as lead counsel and hundreds of bench trials under his belt, Neill has consistently produced top results at trial. He has tried numerous felonies and misdemeanors to verdict with outstanding results, including an acquittal on a charge of forcible rape before a jury, as well as acquittals in numerous drug cases, domestic violence charges, and many other kinds of cases.
Frequently, prospective clients will mention that they have contacted Neill because he is a former prosecutor. Neill is very proud of the time that he served as a military and state prosecutor, and the valuable experience he gained in those positions. However, he wants you to understand that there is an extremely important distinction between being a former prosecutor and an excellent defense attorney: not all former prosecutors make good defense attorneys. Neill has observed many “former prosecutors” now attempting to defend clients in court, who actually seem to continue in the role of prosecutor as they chastise their clients before the Judge and make critical tactical errors while attempting to gain favor with the court. These attempts are misplaced and the results then speak for themselves. You need somebody who will fight and advocate for you, not against you. Being an outstanding defense attorney is a state of mind that is not simply turned on or off like changing coats. It requires a level of advocacy that comes from deep within the heart and unfortunately is difficult to find. Neill’s got it!