Getting involved in a DUI (Driving under Influence) or DWI (Driving while intoxicated) case can create quite an unpleasant scenario for you. When you are involved in this messy case, the only person who will be able to get you out of this mess is an experienced DUI lawyers in
. When you are charged in DUI case, you will be required to pay an exorbitant amount towards fine. You will also be asked to attend training programs, alcoholic anonymous awareness sessions, and mandatory treatments and more – all of which can cost you a bomb.
If the accident has resulted in any death/deaths, you could be jailed as well. Therefore, being charged with a DUI case can be quite frightening and upsetting at the same time. This is why it is very important to choose the right criminal defense lawyer in
. Here are some points that you have to bear in mind while choosing one:
1. Start off the initial discussion with experienced potential attorneys
Check for the potential DUI attorneys in your locality by checking with local references. Get in touch with your friends who have previously availed the services of a DUI attorney for good leads. You can also check in groups like your respective state’s Bar Association, Association of criminal defense lawyer in
and the like. Choose a group of potential attorneys from these and have personal discussions with them to understand if they have represented any DUI/DWI cases previously in the court, their approach to work, success rate, fees and their overall professionalism & experience.
2. Local expertise
Choose a DUI criminal defense lawyer in
who has ample knowledge about the local laws and regulations. He should have the license to operate in your state. This way, your attorney will be available whenever the judge announces the date of hearing of your case. Also, if your DUI attorney is quite famous enjoys a good reputation in your locality it can work to your benefit and help you get a reduced fine or sentence.
3. Honesty and transparency
When you are involved in DUI or DWI cases, you must know that the chances of you coming out unscathed (emotionally and financially) out of it are almost impossible. Hence, choose an attorney who is quite honest about your case and who keeps you prepared about the huge financial losses that you would have to experience at the end of the case. Fatal accidents guarantee you a jail sentence, and your lawyer should be brutally honest with you about that as well. Stay away from lawyers who promise to get you out of the DUI case, without a scratch.
4. Payment terms
DUI lawyers in
do charge you a hefty sum, but this is because they try to minimize your punishment and sentence as much as they can. Therefore, choose a DUI Defense lawyer in
, who spells out his payment terms clearly right during the first discussion, the installments in which he expects them and the mode of payment preferred. Get these terms in writing, so that you don’t have to deal with unpleasant surprises in the form of hidden charges, later on.
This is a professional who can be hired to defend both corporations and individuals. In a legal setting they are referred to as the defendant and have been arrested as a suspect in an unlawful activity. This lawyer may also be referred to as a criminal lawyer or defense attorney/lawyer. They are responsible for representing people in court who have been accused of some form of criminal activity. In court the jury and judge will be the ones who decide if the accused is innocent or guilty. A criminal defense attorney should have a good knowledge about how the court system works and the law. Normally after attending law school they will have many years of working experience. Working as a criminal defense attorney they can be appointed by the court if the accused cannot afford an attorney or the defendant can hire them. A good lawyer can be very expensive. They can charge an hourly fee of three hundred dollars or more plus other fees.The defendant will meet with the defense attorney to develop the best way to decrease whatever the consequences of the unlawful activity the defendant could have been involved in. If the defendant is innocent then it will be the responsibility criminal defense attorney to prove that to the jury and judge. These lawyers also have the job of giving their client a reality check. This is especially true if they believe that there will not be any type of consequence at all for the crime they are accused of committing. A criminal defense attorney will also negotiate deals with the prosecutors, helping to decrease any jail time or fees that their defendant might be facing. This lawyer could also help to customize the sentence for their client that will help them stay out of trouble in the future, especially in family or juvenile court cases.A criminal defense attorney that is good will know the ins and outs of a local court circuit and will also know which tactics work for each judge when they are attempting to get the case thrown out or getting a reduced sentence for their client. They also know who has the power to settle different cases out of the courtroom. They also know how to find little-known laws that may help their client and can also use any lawful means that is necessary to prove to the judge and jury that their client is not guilty. Some criminal defense attorneys will take on only low-profile cases that are heard in little county court rooms, while others want to work on big, high profile cases.
The most common question I run into as a Washington State Criminal Defense Attorney is, "How can you defend criminals?" This question is generally based on two assumptions: 1. the Defendant is obviously guilty; and 2. by defending him or her, you are trying to let this obviously guilty person get away with their crime. As you will see, these assumptions turn out to be incorrect.Arrest Does Not Equal GuiltIt's tempting to think that a Defendant must be guilty because the police arrested him or her for something. However, the law has a much different standard for judging when an arrest is valid versus when a conviction is called for.A valid arrest requires Probable Cause. This term gets defined in different ways but generally exists when the facts and circumstances known to the arresting officer are sufficiently trustworthy to cause a reasonable person to believe that an offense has been committed. If you think about that definition for awhile, it becomes apparent that it's actually a very low standard; and it should be.The rule is designed to make sure that there is some evidence before an arrest is made but balance the requirements for how strong that evidence is with the speed of decision required to catch criminals.Here's an example: A woman tells the police that a man stole her purse. The police ask the man and he denies knowing anything about the purse. Finally, the purse cannot be located. Under Probable Cause, there would be enough to justify arresting the man since the woman said he stole her purse. Do we know whether or not he did it? No. Should we let the Court System determine whether or not the man is guilty? Of course!Knowing that an arrest simply starts the Court Process, Officers often err on the side of making an arrest in a close call; as they should. Even the instructions read to Jurors emphasize the point, stating that the fact the Defendant was arrested has no bearing on whether or not he or she is guilty of the crime charged.Beyond A Reasonable DoubtWe've all heard it on TV but the standard in a criminal case is "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." But what does that mean? The term "reasonable doubt" can be defined differently but is generally:One for which a reason exists and may arise from the evidence or lack of evidence. It is such a doubt as would exist in the mind of a reasonable person after fully, fairly, and carefully considering all of the evidence or lack of evidence.If we required a police officer to be convinced Beyond a Reasonable Doubt before they could even arrest someone, all of the "bad guys" would get away before the officer even concluded his investigation.What do you do if someone is guilty?If someone is guilty then there is nothing an Attorney can do about it. Keep in mind thatA jury is made up of regular people. No matter how skilled the attorney is, if the defendant is obviously guilty the jury will convict. In this case, the attorney's job has two parts: discovering which charges the defendant is actually guilty of and making sure the sentence is rational.Over ChargedPeople are often over charged, i.e. accused of more than the State can prove. An example of this is where someone is accused of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Reckless Driving. Very few cases of DUI also meet the standards required for Reckless Driving. In this case, if the Defendant is guilty of DUI but not reckless, a good Criminal Defense Attorney should be able to get the Reckless Driving charge thrown out even though the Defendant is ultimately convicted of DUI.Rational SentencingOnce a Defendant is found guilty, the Court's next job is to impose sentence. The Attorney's job becomes making sure that the sentence is appropriate for the crime charged and the Defendant's criminal history. As a general rule, the more criminal convictions someone has, the more harshly they will be sentenced on any new charges. Sometimes, however, the prosecution will seek to punish someone with little or no history the same as they would a career felon. By sentencing first time offenders and career criminals the same, we do not reward those people who have lived basically good lives nor punish hard enough those who choose a life of crime.What do you do if the State cannot prove the charge?There are two major categories of cases where the Prosecution fails to prove their case, either at the outset or at trial.At the OutsetThere are often times when the Prosecution simply does not have any evidence that a Defendant is guilty of a crime. In this case, you can file a Motion to Dismiss and ask that a Judge review the evidence to see if a dismissal is required. This motion can require that witnesses appear and give testimony or it can be based on the police reports themselves.At TrialIf the Prosecution has evidence that someone is guilty, that is not the end of the matter. How strong is that evidence? Are the witnesses believable? Do they have a grudge against the Defendant? The heart of our judicial system is the Jury Trial. A trial is literally the first time when anyone hears ALL of the evidence. Trials can be stressful but in a close case they can be a life saver.Technicalities and The LawI often hear people say that a Defendant got off due to some technicality. There are no "technicalities" in Law, there is only The Law. Should it apply to everyone or should we allow the government to be immune from following the law? If the police violate the law, then the remedy can range from suppressing evidence to throwing out the case entirely.The Court System is our best attempt at creating a process that is fair. Like any system, however, it is only as good as the people who work within it. Defending people accused of crimes is not about "helping them get away with it," rather it is about ensuring that everyone is treated fairly. At The Cahoon Law Office, we still focus on one client at a time and ensure that all legal defenses and rights for our clients are used and protected.Copyright (c) 2007 - The Cahoon Law Office - All Rights Reserved.