Attorney Birckhead recently represented a juvenile who had been involved in an incident between two groups of individuals that resulted in her client shooting someone in front of many witnesses.  The victim, who had his own criminal record, was badly injured but thankfully survived. 

Initially the prosecutor was recommending a 10 year sentence.  Attorney Birckhead arranged for her client to be evaluated by a forensic psychologist as well as a mitigation specialist, both of whom prepared detailed reports emphasizing the client's low risk of reoffending.  Attorney Birckhead provided these reports to the prosecutor, highlighting the client's youth, vulnerability to peer influences, diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder, and the successes achieved during pretrial incarceration.

After 18 months of sentencing advocacy and negotiation with the State, Attorney Birckhead ultimately persuaded the prosecutor to agree to a 6 year sentence on reduced charges.

Although no amount of jail time is a "win," this was likely the very best result that was possible, and the client and family were very satisfied with her determined and effective representation.

Practice area(s): Criminal Defense

Tamar Birckhead

Tamar R. Birckhead graduated with honors from Yale University and Harvard Law School.  After a decade as a public defender in Massachusetts, she taught criminal and juvenile defense as a tenured law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where she also served a...