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How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016 in Criminal Defense | 2 comments

How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or your loved one is convicted of a crime, selecting the right criminal defense attorney for your case can be one of the hardest parts of the entire procedure. Below is a guide outlining the important points to be aware about and the procedure of selecting a criminal defense attorney in Denver, Houston, Miami, New York or anywhere in the United States.

Important Things to know when selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

What does a Defense Attorney do?

A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer who represents people convicted with the charge of a criminal offence. These attorneys often know the prosecutors who are involved, have most probably handled cases similar to yours’ in the past, can get you concessions, and can advise you appropriately.

They also understand your case in-depth, identify critical issues, and take actions to help improve your situation.

Who’s a public defender? Should I opt for one?

Public defenders are lawyers generally reserved to represent the cases of individuals who can’t afford private attorneys. Many of the public defenders manage about 200 cases at once, whereas 100 cases is the recommended guideline by the American Bar Association. Hence, they usually have little resources or time to work on specific cases.

It is advisable to opt for a private defense attorney if you can afford one.

How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

Following is a set of parameters on the basis on which it will be easier to compare and select a criminal defense attorney:

What kind of criminal defense attorney do you need?

Depending on the type of your case, you can choose between a state and federal attorney. If you have violated a law pertaining to the state, you should opt for an attorney that specializes in state law. If you have broken a law of the US Constitution, you need to opt for a federal attorney.

Cases that are involved in federal laws are often more complex. Also, on breaking a federal law, the prosecution takes place from the United States Attorney’s office. Hence it is important that you choose a well-experienced attorney with prominent credentials.

Can I find a specialized defense attorney?

There are a number of criminal defense attorneys who hold specialization in one or more focused domain. There are attorneys who focus on DUI, domestic violence, child abuse, drug possession, sex crimes etc. Find an attorney who specializes in the crime involved in your case and has experience in representing the same.

Also, ensure that you select your attorney based on the stage of your case. A number of attorneys represent clients in the trial stage. Appellate attorneys represent clients in specific courts and require additional certifications and experience. Choose your attorney according to the stage that you require for.

What qualities should my attorney have?

There are certain qualities of your attorney that would impact your case – his communication skills, his knowledge and experience, past record etc.

Check if your attorney has handled cases similar to yours in nature, in the past. If yes, what were the outcomes? Was the attorney able to get the best possible outcome for his client? These factors will help you gauge his specific experience in the field and the attorney’s execution.

What is my lawyer’s background?

Research is a critical factor in the selection of a criminal defense attorney. You should research and learn about your attorney’s background in detail, before selecting. Following are the factors you should consider:

1)  Know about the legal organizations that he belongs to. Extensive association with criminal law associations like NACDL, ABA etc. indicate that he has focused interest in the field of criminal defense.

2)  Find out his educational details – which college/law school has he attended – and the degrees he holds. It’ll help you ascertain his standing in the legal community.

The above mentioned aspects will help you in determining which criminal defense attorney is appropriate for you. Make the right choice for a secure future!

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Five Potential Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Domestic Violence | 0 comments

If you are currently under investigation for charges against domestic violence and you feel you are falsely accused of these charges; your domestic violence defense attorney can help build a powerful defense based on a few criteria. The domestic violence charge is defined to be a case of assault, criminal harassment, stalking, sexual assault, abuse, or battery against a victim perpetrated by a member of the family, same household, life partner, or serious dating relationship partner. Usually a domestic violence charge has more serious consequences than regular charges of assault and battery. The charges also need to be proved against every element associated with the domestic violence before the prosecutor can move for full conviction. In such a scenario, your criminal defense attorney can use one or more of the five most possible defenses to present your case in court.

Your lawyer can arrange for an affirmative defense

Under this kind of defense, your lawyer might present that your actions were a result of self-defense. The first responders to a domestic violence case are often called upon to assess who might have been the principal aggressor in a case where both parties have sustained physical injuries. In this kind of defense, even with the presence of physical evidence of violence an acquittal can be expected.

Inability of the prosecution to prove all elements of the charge

Most domestic violence charges are clearly demarcated in the law. The prosecutor has to prove every element of a charge to the jury and the judge beyond any reasonable doubt to get a conviction against the charge. If you have been falsely accused of a DV charge, your domestic violence defense attorney might call into question each element separately. For instance, if it is a stalking charge, the elements of undesired, harassing, uninvited, and intrusive have to be proven beyond a shadow of doubt.

Whether the defendant actually committed the act

The domestic violence attorney might call into question the authenticity of the direction of the charges. In this scenario, even with the presence of physical evidence of violence, there is a chance of acquittal. The defense lawyer can argue that the defendant did not commit the violence. If the entire case is balanced on a struggle between the victim’s claims and the defendant’s claims, the prosecutor will need additional evidence to move the case in the victim’s favor.

Whether the charges were fabricated

In this scenario, your domestic violence defense attorney will call the victim’s authenticity into question. It has to be proved without reasonable doubt that the assault, stalking or abuse has occurred before the case can progress to conviction against the defendant.

Whether the victim falls under the category of people protected under the domestic violence statute

Your defense lawyer might argue that the victim does not fall under the class of people protected under a domestic violence statute, thus getting your case considered under a general assault charge. However, in case actual evidence of physical violence is present, there can still be a full conviction and sentencing against the charges.

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Possible Defensive Propositions by a Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Child Abuse | Comments Off on Possible Defensive Propositions by a Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Possible Defensive Propositions by a Child Abuse Defense Attorney

It is really a hard task to defend against charges of child abuse, especially if the case involves strong evidence or the testimony of a child. Furthermore, the typical negative mood created by the media will go against you, as far as weighing public opinion is concerned. The allegation would have a severe impact on the life and career of the accused if it is proved positive. In such utterly trying times you have no aid waiting for you except the legal defense of an attorney experienced in child abuse cases with a great track record of acquitting offenders from such cases. In the state of Colorado child abuse charges face strict legal provisions in respect of sentence and fine. Contacting an expert child abuse defense attorney in Denver can prove to be crucial for the life of the accused. Let us discuss here some of the credible defense propositions in most child abuse cases.

False allegations

False allegations are most common in a variety of circumstances. In case of dysfunctional families or in legal battles concerning the custody of a child these allegations are common. Counter attacking such allegations with proofs of innocence is enough to prove the accused innocence in most of such cases.

The injury resulted from anything than child abuse

According to most state laws, accidents are not punishable and proving that the injury is caused by an accident or similar situation the accused can be saved. Another line of defense that takes a similar route is showing that the injury is caused by a fight among children, deteriorating acts contributing to existing injury or medical condition, etc. Proving any of these with valid evidences will make a great defense in favor of the accused.

Right of parents to take disciplinary measures

As per law, parents are given full freedom to take disciplinary actions of their children except causing physical injury or any excesses that cause permanent disability or suffering. So in case of minor injuries, the defense can prove it as the outcome of such disciplinary measure by the parents. The same line of defense applies to teachers who on his authority can take certain measures legitimately to discipline the child.

Munchausen proxy syndrome

With a great array of child abuse cases, this is a common defense proposition advocated by lawyers. The syndrome refers to a situation where the mother of the child hurts and causes injury to the child to draw sympathy for herself. Generally, such syndrome is observed in cases where poverty or extra marital relation plays a role in the situation of the accused offender. For this defensive proposition, the lawyer must provide evidence with psychological and medical data concerning the presence of such syndrome in accused.

Religious exemption

In certain religious communities certain customs require inflicting minor injuries on children. Circumcision, religious marks on body, certain physical rituals that may cause pain or injury come under this category. Though exemption on grounds of religious customs and beliefs happens in only a handful of states, it is always regarded as a contentious issue.

An experienced child abuse defense attorney after judging the merits of different defense propositions and possibilities concerning your situation and severity of the allegations can appropriately prescribe a line of defense that either can save you from the punishment or can reduce the sentence and fine to a great extent.

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Top 5 Things To Do If You Are Pulled Over For DUI

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in DUI | 0 comments

Top 5 Things To Do If You Are Pulled Over For DUI

DUI is a serious offense and if you are pulled over for the charge, it can lead to serious ramifications depending on the severity of your case. Fortunately, you can be proactive in taking a few steps to make sure you are better protected during your case proceedings later on. Here are five things to do if you are pulled over for DUI/DWI charge.

Pull over and park safely

As soon as you are pulled over for a DUI/DWI charge, the police officer starts observing your behavior and notes them down concisely in a report. It is therefore necessary that you do not show any traces of erratic driving or sudden moves during the parking process. Do not be abrupt, slow down gradually, pull over in a safe spot, and remain seating with your hands clearly visible on the steering wheel. It is very important to not make any sudden movements because police officers are trained to react fast to sudden threats.

Do not be rude but answer questions judiciously

If you are hostile or unintentionally rude, you are most likely to be arrested and put in a holding cell overnight. Comply with the officers’ directions to step out of the car, and provide your name, and license details immediately. However, be judicious when answering questions. You are allowed to remain silent as your right. If you feel an answer to a question might incriminate you, politely decline answering the question. However, do not lie. If you have consumed just a couple of drinks, you can say so to the officer because they will most likely not put you over the legal limit of blood alcohol level.

Refuse FSTs and PASs

Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) and a hand –held breathalyzer tests (Preliminary Alcohol Screening or PAS) are the first two tests that a police officer might ask you to take. However, you are well within your rights to deny taking these tests. These are unreliable indicators of intoxication levels and the results can be very subjective which might weaken your case in court.

Do not resist a chemical test at the station

Legally you are obligated to take the chemical test at the police station, which might include either a blood or breath test to verify blood alcohol level. DUI attorney Denver often suggests opting for the breath test because they can be contested later in court for their validity.

Contact your DUI attorney

Immediately after being released from the police station, consult with a professional attorney specializing in DUI cases. Your attorney will ask you to go over each detail of the event as closely as possible. It helps if you make note of pertinent details such as where were you during the arrest, what you were doing, how much alcohol you actually consumed, and how long after your last drink were you pulled over. Whether you were read your Miranda rights and how long after you last drank did you take the chemical test are important details crucial to your case.

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