What Can DUI Lawyer Help You With

Can you beat a DUI with a public defender?

A DUI charge is an extremely serious offense, which is why the penalties for a DUI conviction can be so severe. You can have your driver’s license revoked, you can end up paying huge fines, and you can even get jail time. That is why you want the best possible defense when facing a DUI charge. An attorney who specializes in DUI cases is ideal, but what if, for some reason, that option is not available to you? If you cannot get an experienced DUI lawyer, then you may have to make do with a public defender instead. Can you get adept representation from a public defender? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Public Defender?

When a defendant cannot afford a lawyer, that individual is declared to be indigent and a public defender is assigned to them. The public defender’s office is a government-funded agency that provides lawyers to indigent defendants; a public defender is one of those lawyers. If a defendant is indigent, then the court appoints a public defender’s office to represent them and the office assigns a public defender to represent that individual.

There are certain assumptions and misconceptions related to public defenders, some of which have a basis in the truth. One of them is that public defenders are often underfunded, underpaid, and overworked. This can be true in many cases since public defenders often have a heavy workload. There is a recommended limit to how many cases a public defender can take, but many of them go over the limit because there are not enough public defenders to go around.

That is a result of the underpaid assumption, which is also sometimes true. The lower salary means that many lawyers do not choose to become public defenders, instead choosing to join the private sector. One misconception is that public defenders are bad lawyers but that is not usually the case. Rather, public defenders are dedicated attorneys who believe in helping people who cannot afford a private lawyer. If they underperform, then that is because they typically have a huge caseload that any talented attorney would struggle to balance.

 

Private DUI Defense Lawyers

When you select a private DUI attorney, the motivation and attitude is often different. Private attorneys are inherently hungrier for wins in the courtroom and they’re often very crafty. You will want to choose a private attorney with a lot of experience and a great track record so that you can be sure he or she knows their way around a court room. Private lawyers go into great detail about how to get their clients off the hook. That’s because this is their livelihood. A public defender is an employee while a private attorney is self-employed. His or her track record will make or break their business. For that reason, you may be getting a better deal when you go with a private attorney in these cases.

 

A Privately Retained DUI Lawyer Can Appear In Court Without You

Unless you’re charged with a felony DUI or a misdemeanor DUI, but with a separate felony charge, a privately DUI lawyer can appear in court on your behalf. This would not be the case if you were represented by a public defender. Although your non-appearance in court will not offer any strategic advantage in the defense of your case, it is a convenience many of  clients appreciate as a diligent and thorough DUI pretrial period could involve multiple court appearances over the span of several months.

 

What Can Court-Appointed Attorneys Help With?

A DUI arrest normally results in two separate proceedings: an administrative proceeding through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a criminal case. Although a DUI conviction will normally result in license suspension, the DMV can suspend a driver’s license even without a conviction in criminal court. The implied consent laws of most states require the DMV to administratively suspend the license of any driver who was arrested for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.

Drivers who want to contest an administrative license suspension must request a hearing. At these administrative DMV hearings, there’s no right to court-appointed counsel. Defendants who want legal representation at the administrative hearing must hire an attorney.

When Is an Attorney Appointed?

At the first court appearance (usually the arraignment), the judge will typically advise defendants of the right to have an attorney and ask if they want a court-appointed lawyer. The defendant can opt to hire a private attorney or request that the judge appoint an attorney. Though generally not advisable, defendants also have the option of waiving the right to counsel and representing themselves (called “pro se”).

An appointed lawyer generally continues to represent the defendant through all criminal court proceedings resulting from the defendant’s DUI arrest.

 

Is a Public Defender as Good as a Private Attorney?

It’s hard to definitely say whether hiring a private attorney will get you a better outcome than a public defender. However, her are some factors you might want to consider.

If you can’t afford an attorney, you will benefit from a public defender’s efforts. But public defenders, because of their heavy workload, typically won’t be able to spend a lot of time explaining things to you and giving you special attention.

If you want to make sure you have substantial one-on-one time with a lawyer and you can afford to hire one, you may be better served by a private lawyer.

Of course, some practical realities can also affect the quality of legal representation. For example, PDs may be overworked and understaffed, but they usually know the courtroom players well and also take quite a few cases to trial. This experience can be a valuable asset in defending against any charge.

One reason that weighs in favor of hiring a private attorney is to represent you in administrative DMV hearings. A private attorney can represent you at both the court and DMV hearings, but a PD will represent you only in court (because the DMV hearing has no potential for jail time). Because DMV hearings are typically held prior to DUI trials, it may benefit you to have an attorney present at the DMV hearing to preview the evidence to be used against you at trial.

Tips To Find Good Criminal Defense Attorney

Tips to Help You Find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney

If you already understand the importance of having an excellent attorney when you’re facing a criminal charge, the next step is finding the best criminal defense attorney to represent you. Not all lawyers are created the same, and finding the right attorney can make all the difference when it comes to putting up the best defense possible.

An Attorney Should Be Responsive

When you’re facing a criminal charge, time is of the essence. Time lost is a case lost. You need a criminal defense attorney that’s going to get to work on the case right away.

The Right Attorney Specializes in Criminal Law

Although they don’t have to practice criminal law exclusively, the right attorney at least specializes in criminal law. If you don’t see anything on the attorney’s website about criminal law, it’s likely that they’re not the right lawyer for your needs.

Choose Someone Experienced in the Local Courts

In addition to finding a lawyer that’s qualified in criminal law, you should look for an attorney that’s experienced in the local courts. This aspect of deciding on the right attorney is one that is often overlooked, but local connections and relationships can go a long way when fighting a criminal charge.

Check Reputable Sources

You can learn a lot about an attorney on the internet. Some of these sources are reputable, and some are not. You can check the State Bar of Nevada to see if a lawyer has any formal discipline on their record. This is a good place to start, but your research shouldn’t stop there

 

Tips To Finding A Great Criminal Defense Attorney

an Experienced Attorney Gives You the Best Chance of Achieving a Favorable Outcome

In Fort Worth, Texas and all the states in the union, prosecutors have to prove the accused person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that if your defense attorney is able to raise a reasonable doubt during the trial, the jury must come back with a verdict of “not guilty.” In order for this to happen, it’s essential that you work with a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney with experience with your particular criminal charge. Each kind of criminal charge carries with it particular nuances and circumstances, that an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to understand and use for your trial. When facing criminal charges in Fort Worth, choose a criminal defense attorney who has “been there” before and knows how best to handle your defense.

Seek Representation Even If You’re Only Under Investigation

Don’t make the mistake of waiting to hire a Fort Worth criminal defense lawyer until you’ve actually been arrested. Often, it makes sense to seek representation even if you’re “only” under investigation. While most people would agree that it makes sense to always help law enforcement with their investigation, authorities are not infallible. You could become a victim of mistaken identity or something else if you are not legally represented early on in the investigation. If you’re in this situation, contact the law offices of Townsend, Gebhardt, Eppes for a consultation.

Never Assume You Are Above Prosecution

If you are being investigated for a criminal offense, or have been arrested for a criminal offense, it’s important that you not assume you will be exonerated. Any criminal offense is punishable up to the maximum allowable by law, even if you’ve never been accused or implicated in a crime in the past. While your past reputation may be honorable, you can’t rely on it to automatically get you “off the hook” for a criminal offense in which you’ve been named.  At the first sign of criminal legal trouble, you should consult a good criminal defense attorney to help you decide the best course of action

Being notified that you have a warrant out for your arrest is never something anyone wants to hear. However frightening this may be, it does happen from time to time. The important thing is to find out what needs to be done to resolve any possible issue before things get out of hand. There are a few different things that you should do and each will help to take care of the problems that you are facing.

Start by contacting a good criminal defense lawyer before you turn yourself in. Alternatively, you can have a family member or friend do this once you have been taken into custody. You will of course be given the chance to contact a lawyer once you are in custody but you should have a basic idea of what you are going to do before you turn yourself in. Avoiding the warrant is not going to make it go away and is likely going to make it far worse for you when you are apprehended.

 

HOW TO FIND A GOOD CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

If you have been charged with a crime, you are entering the complex world of the United States criminal justice system and will more than likely need a lawyer by your side. In this realm, your ability to work with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will be crucial in helping manage your case and obtaining the best possible outcome. While many defendants will be able to acquire a public defender who will represent them free of charge, others may not meet the financial requirements or simply opt to hire a private lawyer. If you fall into the latter category, you may be wondering what characteristics to look for when deciding who to hire.

LOCAL LEVERAGE

Similar to having home-field advantage in sports, hiring a criminal defense attorney with experience in the courthouse where your case is pending can end in a much more favorable ruling rather than hiring a lawyer who is not familiar with the procedures of the local courthouse handling your case. For example, the District Attorney in Maricopa County, AZ may have a no-plea-bargaining policy with respect to a particular offense, whereas the D.A. in neighboring Yuma County, AZ may not have that same policy. If you had a case pending in the former county, it would be beneficial to hire a seasoned Phoenix criminal defense attorney who may know which prosecutors will negotiate in advance and those that are more likely to plead just before trial. While a strong understanding of local courthouse procedures is important, another advantage to hiring a local attorney is that he or she will typically know the police officers and how they perform before juries

CIVIL VS. CRIMINAL LAWYERS

The attorney you will want to represent you will usually not be the same person who handled your will or whom helped your uncle receive compensation when he slipped on a wet floor and injured himself at the grocery store. While there is a time and place for civil attorneys, you will want someone who specializes in criminal law. Private criminal defense lawyers generally practice in small partnerships or on their own, and as mentioned above, in a specific geographical area. Conversely, civil attorneys typically practice in large corporate law firms with branch offices located in various cities

PAST EXPERIENCE

If you are looking to obtain the best possible verdict for your criminal case, it should come as no surprise that retaining a lawyer who has represented defendants charged with very similar offenses will be highly advantageous. Due to the complexity of modern criminal law, most attorneys focus on specific types of crimes such as drunk driving, domestic violence, sex crimes, and the like. When meeting with an attorney for the first time, be sure to inquire about his or her experience so that you can make the best hiring decision as possible

BEFORE YOU HIRE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Prior to choosing a lawyer, you should feel comfortable enough to speak with him or her about all aspects of your criminal charge.

 

Tips to Help You Decide What Criminal Defense Law Firm to Hire

Look for a law firm with experience

How many years of experience does the law firm have successfully helping people facing criminal charges? How much experience does the criminal defense firm have defending clients facing the specific criminal charges you are facing?

Read reviews and testimonials from former clients

While experience is nice, it is important to hear from previous clients as to how the law firm handled their cases. You should review the criminal law firm’s website to find testimonials and case results. Ask the attorney where to go to find this information. In addition, check review sites such as Yelp and Google Plus to see what past clients are saying about the firm

Find a firm with experience in the local courts

Experience is key when hiring a criminal defense law firm. The law firm you hire should not only have years of experience practicing criminal defense, but the firm should also have substantial experience in the court where your case is pending.

Find a firm with experience in the local courts

Experience is key when hiring a criminal defense law firm. The law firm you hire should not only have years of experience practicing criminal defense, but the firm should also have substantial experience in the court where your case is pending.

Know if you’re hiring an attorney or a team of attorneys

When searching for a law firm, you will want to find one that employs multiple experienced criminal defense attorneys. Criminal defense matters can be very complicated. You will be much better off if you retain a law firm with multiple lawyers who have been practicing criminal defense for years so that they can work together to plan your defense. A defense lawyer who works alone on your case or only with one partner will not be able to strategize the same way and may not have time to prioritize your case.

 

Criminal Defense Strategies

A criminal defense strategy for your criminal prosecution will emerge as your criminal defense attorney finds out more about what the prosecutor plans to do in your case. If a prosecutor lays out a story that has the defendant at the scene of the crime, the defense attorney will probably ask questions that may lay out a different story showing the defendant at another location. Additionally, how the criminal defendant acts and answers questions that the prosecutor poses can also change the criminal defense strategy

The best criminal defense strategy comes when the defendant and the defense attorney present a story that is based in truth and shows the defendant in the best light possible. Depicting a story in a better light could lead to a plea bargain, conviction on a lesser charge, or even a finding of not guilty

Criminal Defense: The “Truth”

A prosecutor and a defense attorney can both use the same foundation of factual events and come up with two completely different stories. Think of this in the way that you would think of a map of the United States. In one map, you have the states depicted in their geographic areas with the state borders in dark lines. However, the other map instead shows the United States in a gradient scale of colors based upon the average income per population. Although both maps are true, they will probably look nothing alike.

Denials and Admissions of Guilt

It’s almost impossible for two defendants to come up with the exact same version of the events that took place during the crime

A “confession” story. This is where a defendant admits the crime to their attorney. As an example, the defendant comes into the attorney’s office and admits that, “yes, I did break into the car and steal the radio as well as the money in the glove compartment.”

Learn To Be A Criminal Defense Attorney

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

Criminal defense attorneys research the facts, investigate the case against their clients and try to negotiate deals with their adversaries (prosecutors). These deals may include reduced bail, reduced charges, and reduced sentences. Because of a number of factors—political and public pressure, overcrowded jails, overloaded court calendars—deal-making has grown in importance and has become an essential element in unclogging the criminal justice system.

Criminal defense attorneys also examine witnesses, help formulate a plea, analyze the prosecutor’s case, assess the potential sentences (and the likelihood of a particular judge awarding such a sentence), review search and seizure procedures, question witnesses, and gather evidence. Defense counsel also provide more personal services by giving the defendant a reality check as to the possible outcomes, and by helping the defendant to deal with the frustrations, humiliations, and fears resulting from being thrown into the criminal justice system. And of course, if no plea deal can be made, the defense lawyer represents the defendant at trial.

 

Why are Criminal Defense Attorneys Important?

Criminal law is a complex body of state and federal legislation. In fact, each state often sets its own definitions and punishments for state crimes. The majority of crimes are state crimes. Exceptions include causing damage to federal property or inflicting injury upon a federal employee.

The average person will not have an understanding of criminal law or the criminal justice process. Unfortunately ignorance or failing to understand criminal law is rarely an adequate defense to avoid being found guilty.

Although an individual has the right to represent himself or herself during criminal trial proceedings, the consequences of having poor legal representation can be severe. Misdemeanors, which are lesser crimes, might only entail a fine or a brief jail sentence, but felonies, which are more serious crimes, can lead to long prison terms. This is why it is so important to have someone knowledgeable about the law argue on your behalf.

 

Criminal Lawyer Skills & Competencies

Criminal lawyers must possess a variety of additional skills to succeed in their jobs, including the following:

  • Writing and speaking skills: Excellent oral and written advocacy skills in order to argue a client’s case before a judge and persuade a jury.
  • Research and investigative skills: Investigative and research skills are also important in building a client’s case and establishing a strong defense.
  • Creative and analytical skills: Strong creative thinking and analytical skills to develop a legal strategy, analyze case law and litigate complex cases.
  • Legal knowledge and experience: In-depth understanding of state, federal and local rules, court procedures, evidentiary laws, and local judges to navigate the criminal justice system efficiently and competently.
  • Interpersonal skills: Excellent interpersonal skills are necessary to build a strong client-attorney relationship. Criminal defendants are a finicky group who sometimes go through many lawyers before settling on one they like. Therefore, the ability to attract and retain clients is essential to a thriving criminal defense practice.

 

Top 10 Attributes of an Effective Defense Attorney

Attorneys defend the rights of all sorts of criminals, from drug dealers to murderers. Although the public may view them with disdain — particularly if they win cases for their clients — defense attorneys have an important role. It is the right of every American to have a fair trial, and it is the defense attorney’s responsibility to see that it happens. His attributes and skills ensure that he fills that role.

  1. Integrity

A defense attorney, as with all lawyers, must have a high level of integrity. He must be honest with his client, keeping him informed of the progress of his case and the likely outcome of the proceedings.

  1. Research Skills

He must be able to conduct research — not only legal research to find precedents and other cases with a bearing on his, but also research into the alleged crime committed by his client and circumstances that the police may have overlooked.

  1. Negotiating Skills

The overwhelming number of legal cases are settled out of court. Defense and prosecutors negotiate agreements and take them to the judge for his approval. The defense attorney must be able to make the best possible deal for his client.

  1. Courtroom Demeanor

Courtroom proceedings are formal and proscribed. Working within the legal setting, the defense attorney must be theatrical when appropriate. He must not be intimidated by the judge or the prosecutors.

  1. Perseverence

With dogged determination, the defense attorney must exploit every avenue that is available to him to defend his client. He must pursue every opportunity to sway the judge and jury if his case goes to court, and, if his client is found guilty, he must exhaust all possible appeals.

  1. Analytical Skills

The defense attorney should have a sharp mind and be capable of making quick judgments. Whether negotiating a settlement, challenging the prosecution or making his arguments to the jury, the defense attorney must be thinking all the time.

  1. Knowledge

Having knowledge of the intricacies of the law is vital to his performance. So is his knowledge of the mannerisms and personalities of the judges who preside over his cases and the prosecutors who oppose him.

  1. Communications

The attorney is a skilled communicator. He is an excellent speaker and uses his skill in and out of the courtroom. His writing skills are also of the highest caliber which he demonstrates in his ability to write briefs and other documents.

  1. Understands Police

The defense attorney is on good terms with the police. He understand what they do and is able to extract information from them. His knowledge helps him better understand the evidence against his client.

  1. Caring

The defense attorney must care about his client, the client’s family and the consequences of the verdict. A guilty verdict, even with no jail sentence, could affect the client’s professional licenses and have additional consequences if his immigration status comes into question.

 

10 Tips to Help You Find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney

If you already understand the importance of having an excellent attorney when you’re facing a criminal charge, the next step is finding the best criminal defense attorney to represent you. Not all lawyers are created the same, and finding the right attorney can make all the difference when it comes to putting up the best defense possible.

Taking the time to seek out the best defense attorney can ensure you are represented in the best light possible when you go to court. Although the process of searching for a lawyer can seem daunting, especially when dealing with the repercussions of a criminal charge, this is arguably one of the most important steps of the entire case. Here are ten tips to help you find the best Las Vegas criminal defense attorney.

  1. An Attorney Should Be Responsive

When you’re facing a criminal charge, time is of the essence. Time lost is a case lost. You need a criminal defense attorney that’s going to get to work on the case right away.

When you contact a lawyer, they should respond quickly. Their legal team should be able to arrange a meeting with you within one day. If they’re quick to answer to your phone call or email, they’re probably going to be equally on the ball when it comes to defending you.

  1. The Right Attorney Specializes in Criminal Law

Although they don’t have to practice criminal law exclusively, the right attorney at least specializes in criminal law. If you don’t see anything on the attorney’s website about criminal law, it’s likely that they’re not the right lawyer for your needs.

The practice of law is just that — practice. Your attorney needs regular involvement in criminal law to stay up to date on the nuances of this type of law and the best possible defenses.

  1. Choose Someone Experienced in the Local Courts

In addition to finding a lawyer that’s qualified in criminal law, you should look for an attorney that’s experienced in the local courts. This aspect of deciding on the right attorney is one that is often overlooked, but local connections and relationships can go a long way when fighting a criminal charge.

Not only does each court do things their own way, but each judge does things their own way too. Knowing the ins and outs of the court you’re up against can help you create a winning strategy for your case.

  1. Check Reputable Sources

You can learn a lot about an attorney on the internet. Some of these sources are reputable, and some are not. You can check the State Bar of Nevada to see if a lawyer has any formal discipline on their record. This is a good place to start, but your research shouldn’t stop there.

Some websites like Google+ and Facebook don’t let attorneys remove bad reviews, so these websites can be a good place to look at what other clients have to say. Other sites help attorneys paint a rosy picture. While you don’t want to count an attorney out because of one bad review, reading reviews can give you a general idea of what other clients have to say about them and their services.

  1. Ask for Referrals

One of the best ways to find the right attorney for you is asking your friends and family if they know any good lawyers. Those with first-hand knowledge of how an attorney operates can help offer you insight into how they will handle your case.

Also, if you use a lawyer for business or estate planning matters, you can ask them who they recommend for a criminal case. Word of mouth can be a great way to get an honest opinion especially when the person you’re asking wants what’s best for you.

  1. The Right Attorney Knows the Basics Off the Top of Their Head

An attorney doesn’t have to know everything without having to look things up, but they should know the basics of the most common crimes. They should be able to explain to you the possible and likely penalties for the charges against you.

They should know the questions to ask you to determine if nuances apply to the case. The best criminal defense attorney has a certain level of familiarity and comfort with the laws and the criminal justice system.

  1. Look for a Clear Fee Structure

The best defense attorney doesn’t want confusion about their bill. Instead, they’re going to explain in simple terms how they bill and give you an idea of what you can expect regarding their fees for services and the total cost of your defense.

The least expensive lawyer isn’t always best. Instead, you should ask what their services include and make sure that your attorney is up for mounting a vigorous defense.

  1. Gauge Their Enthusiasm

Some attorneys work harder than others. You will want a lawyer that conducts a thorough investigation. They should go to trial when it’s best to go to trial, and they should encourage you to accept a plea offer only when it’s really in your best interest. When it’s time to decide whether to go to trial or accept a plea, the right attorney can articulate what choice they feel is in your best interest and why.

The way to find this attorney is to look for enthusiasm. While your attorney should be experienced, the number of years of experience isn’t everything. The right attorney has a certain level of sincere interest in their work, and they must be eager to dive into your case on your behalf.

  1. They Have Courtroom Confidence

One type of experience that matters is courtroom experience. Criminal trials move fast. Sometimes, your attorney has mere seconds to make an objection that could impact the outcome of the case. Make sure your attorney has enough experience to know the court rules and have confidence and comfort in a court hearing.

In this regard, you can judge a book by its cover. If an attorney has a neat appearance and is well spoken when you meet with them, they’re likely to be the same way in court. The attorney you choose speaks on your behalf. When you meet, you should like the way they present themselves, because they’re going to be speaking for you.

  1. They Take Direction From You

Ultimately, your criminal charge is yours to defend. Your attorney should control the specific methods of mounting your defense like filing court motions and what witnesses to call, but the big decisions are up to you.

It’s up to you to decide if you plead guilty or go to trial. Your attorney should take the time to understand your goals and priorities and take them into account when they’re helping you make your action plan.