Selecting a Lawyer
There are lawyers for every conceivable legal problem. However, if you face criminal charges in either federal or state court or you are under investigation, your legal situation is totally different from any other legal problem. In a criminal case, the GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU PERSONALLY!
Most attorneys specialize in an area of law that deals with an amount of money as the ultimate outcome. The amount of money determines “victory” or “defeat”.
Criminal defense attorneys, however, do not deal with an amount of money. Instead, they deal with your (and your family’s) personal future, whether it involves the loss of freedom (i.e., jail or prison) or the loss of a professional license (i.e. accountant, lawyer, or doctor).
Unfortunately, many people who face serious criminal charges simply do not realize that all lawyers, like doctors, are different. For example, you would not see a dermatologist if you felt chest pains and needed an internist, even if both doctors went to the same medical school. Similarly, some attorneys purport to specialize in criminal defense even though they handle civil matters such as divorce, business, and wills for 90% of their income and time. The 10% devoted to “criminal defense” may be “O.K.” if you are only fighting a speeding ticket and do not care about your insurance rates.
Every good criminal defense lawyer must be a good, experienced trial attorney. Every lawyer, like every doctor and every pilot, has his “first” trial, surgery, or flight. Experience is the key to success. Would you want to be the doctor’s first surgery patient when your future may be determined by the results? Not likely.
Therefore, when your personal future is at stake, try to find the most experienced criminal defense lawyer. An experienced attorney will get the most respect from the prosecutor’s office and your judge. Your attorney is in a superior position to advise you whether to go to trial or not. If the case is not likely to result in a jury saying “Not Guilty”, the attorney can do the investigation, handle the necessary pre-trial motion work, and usually obtain far superior results for you by knowing exactly when to strike a “plea-bargain”.
My objective is to fight aggressively and thoroughly. I am always on the offensive. Even when I know we cannot avoid a conviction, the prosecutor never knows what I have planned for the defense at trial. Usually if I know the case must be “dealt-out”, it happens at the last minute, when the prosecutor experiences the most stress and uncertainty about getting a conviction. For them, any “deal” is better than going to trial and risking a loss.