Criminal Defense Lawyer - Finding the Best Defense Lawyer for You

There are a number of reasons that someone may need the help of a criminal defense lawyer. A good one is not cheap, but a conviction on your record can cost you over and over for the rest of your life. First of all are the very real possibilities of large fines and time behind bars. However, even misdemeanor convictions can keep you from getting a good job. Although many potential employers will tell you that they will only check back through 7 years of your criminal history, that is largely a myth. When a criminal history report is generated your ENTIRE criminal history will be visible. Whether an employer admits it or not, your history will influence your chances of being hired no matter how far back the charges or convictions may have occurred. Many offenses will keep you from being able to rent an apartment or condominium.

Prior convictions will cause law enforcement to scrutinize you more closely if you are suspected of or charged with a crime in the future. It may influence sentencing in future cases and can wreak havoc in your life in many ways. These days, people even check criminal history reports before going on a date for the first time. In other words, if the need arises you need to defend yourself vigorously to achieve the best outcome possible and the best way to do that is to hire the best defense attorney you can find and can afford.

The most common areas where people may need the assistance of a criminal defense attorney are:

  1. Domestic Violence- In some domestic violence cases, false accusations are made out of spite or to further the alleged victim's own agenda. In a divorce proceeding, for example, a mother may claim spousal abuse in order to harm her husband's credibility in a custody battle.

  2. DUI and DWI Cases- When are stopped by a law enforcement official for suspicion of drunk driving, there are defined rules which must be followed prior to and during the stop. A violation of procedures may be a violation of your rights and might significantly weaken the prosecution's case against you. Look for a defense attorney who specializes in this area of criminal law. They will look for the following:
    • Was there probable cause to stop you
    • Was a breath test properly administered
    • Was the person administering the test qualified to do so
    • Was the test equipment accurate and functioning properly
  3. Juvenile Crimes - In the case of juvenile charges, a criminal defense attorney is needed who knows how to work within the juvenile system. You need a good negotiator and someone who is skilled at getting the charges reduced or dropped.

  4. Federal Charges - The time to hire a good attorney in federal cases is ideally while an investigation is under way prior to charges being filed. Federal charges are generally serious and carry stiff penalties. An attorney who is experienced with the federal criminal justice system and understands the investigative process and procedural steps is critical to initiate a good defense. Some of the most common legal problems associated with federal charges include:
    • Medicare and Medicaid fraud
    • Drug conspiracy
    • Mortgage Fraud
    • Money laundering
    • Tax fraud
    • RICO Act and Racketeering Crimes

When you are faced with criminal charges or under investigation, an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights. A criminal defense lawyer who understands the law, the process and has experience in the area of criminal law which applies to your situation can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

Understanding Juvenile Criminal Law - Why Hire a Juvenile Criminal Attorney?

Why Hire an Attorney Specialized in Juvenile Criminal Law?

While it may be tempting to try to avoid the expense of hiring an attorney for the less serious offenses, it is wise not to underestimate the consequences of inexperienced defense. What might result in a simple fine or slap on the wrist in adult court could lead to a minor's removal from his home to a juvenile detention center. Likewise, an overworked and underpaid court-appointed lawyer could be the unwitting catalyst to your child's incarceration.

An experienced juvenile criminal law attorney takes it upon him/herself to know the particulars of the juvenile's situation, from their standing at school to their home life. The juvenile lawyer spends the time getting to know the minor that a public defender simply doesn't have, and in turn relays that minor's story to the judge, district attorney and probation officer; in effect, the attorney becomes the voice of the minor.

An attorney specialized and experienced in juvenile law understands the amount of discretion a judge in juvenile court has and is well versed in how to make a case for rehabilitation rather than punishment. An experienced attorney could also mean the difference between the minor being detained or allowed to go home for the time period of the initial hearing. There are numerous consequences to hiring inadequate counsel in this delicate area of the law, such as:

  • The minor may be incarcerated due to inexperienced negotiating on the part of the attorney
  • The parents will have to foot the bill for the incarceration period at a juvenile detention hall
  • The chances of the minor getting locked up with gang members is substantial
  • The offense will go on the minor's permanent record
  • In the event of incarceration, the minor may have to be moved to a different school district after release, depending on the leniency of the current district

An experienced juvenile criminal lawyer may be able to achieve non-incarceration solutions that a non-specialized lawyer cannot, such as placement of the minor in rehabilitation programs, payment of restitution to victims, imposition of court-imposed curfews, mandatory school attendance, or placement in a juvenile detention facility. The judgments made at this crux in the minor's life can very often determine his/her path well into adult life; the election of a skilled and specialized attorney is crucial.

How to Hire a Juvenile Criminal Law Attorney

The fee range for juvenile criminal law representation is very wide, but it will increase greatly if the matter must actually be tried in front of a judge; hence, it is highly advisable to hire the most experienced attorney that can be afforded.

Certain documents should be prepared ahead of time before the first meeting with a juvenile criminal law attorney. These documents may include: the minor's birth certificate, school work documentation, such as report cards, special awards, etc., documentation of employment, such as pay stubs, proof of church involvement, if applicable, and copies of prior juvenile court records or police reports. Additionally, if the minor has any health conditions that may be seriously complicated by detention, proof in the form of medical records or doctor's notes should also be provided. Witness information should also be prepared at this time.

Know the Criminal Defense Lawyer Fees Before Hiring an Attorney For Your Case

There might be times when you will need to go to a defense lawyer. If you are in the United States, it will be great to get attorneys who offer initial consultation without any charge. They commonly set flat criminal defense lawyer fees. You will be required to pay up to $5,000 if you are confronting a misdemeanor criminal lawsuit. DUI cases have a higher rate; it might cost you up to $10,000. And finally, if you are dealing with criminal law violation case, the rate might reach $25,000. However, that is not the last bill that will come to you; the fees for federal or state courts can cost you much higher.

In every meeting with your lawyer, always tell him the facts of the case as well as your history so that the attorney can make an accurate assessment. Those facts you give to him will be reviewed. The lawyer will then try to find the possible defenses to help you in the court.

Defense attorneys are professionals who are able to assess your situation. Your lawyer will tell you honestly about any difficulties to resolve your case. It will be important for you to be comfortable with your legal counsel. You can assure this by conducting meetings with him. You cannot expect to resolve a legal case on your own; you will need the help of a good defense lawyer.

A good defense attorney will not supply you with sweet promises. Professional lawyers will only present you with facts. So if you meet a legal professional who says that you can definitely win the case with his help, go away from him. Get a defense lawyer who possesses good reputation and great work ethic to assist you with your situation. A professional attorney will provide you with the details of the case and the laws that you have to deal with. He will require you to pay 25 to 50 percent of the fee as a down payment.

The string of payments is not over at this point. After paying your lawyer, you still have many bills to pay. There are some expenses like government documents, expert witnesses, deposition rooms, record copies, transcripts, process servers, depositions, witness fees, and many others.

All of those expenses are addressed to you and are not part of the legal fees. You must know all of those expenses in order to measure your potential ability to hire a defense lawyer. Settling a problem in the court is never cheap, so learn more about the law so that you might not break it again in the future.

Though you might easily find criminal defense lawyers, it is a great idea to know the kind of actions that are regarded as criminal law violation. Some of those crime are felony offense, drug possession, marijuana use, juvenile, state crimes, misdemeanor, violent crimes, guns possessions, burglaries, etc. You must not underestimate the importance of a lawyer consultation because you cannot escape after you break the law.

If you are involved in an incident, go to a defense attorney as soon as possible. He will help you to determine your level of guilt in the case. You might want to take advantage of their free consultation service if it is available.

Criminal Law Case Study - Preventing Future WikiLeak Fiascos - Make Fewer Documents Classified

With the nearly one-million people with some form of security clearance in our government or access to such documents in the private sector, it shouldn't surprise anyone that whistle blower" websites like WikiLeaks are able to get their hands on 100s of thousands of documents and mutli-media classified, confidential, or even perhaps top secret documents.

The government is obviously doing whatever they can to shore up the classified, confidential, or top secret leaks. In fact, the Obama Administration sent out a memo on this to all the agencies. It was a confidential memo of course, so it immediately ended up on all the websites. But I guess that shows how endemic the problem is, and how tough the future challenge might be.

There was an interesting book, report put out recently, that I think anyone interested in this topic ought to read, as it is well worth your time, go ahead and read it now, and then come back to this article of mine and let's talk;

Interesting report recently titled; "What Should Be Classified - A Framework with Application to the Global Force Management Data Initiative" by MC Libicki, BA Jackson, DR Frelinger, BE Lachman, and N Kalra; RAND Corp, Santa Monica, CA, (2011), 110 pages, Library of Congress Control Number: 2010940485; ISBN: 978-0-8330-5001-4.

The most interesting thing in all this is Daniel Ellsberg, the traitor in the Pentagon Papers Case (look that up on WikiPedia and then again come back to this article) actually took those documents from the RAND Corp, the same group that wrote this book or report - so I bet, they ought to know a thing or two about that. Similarly, Private Manning who data dumped massive amounts of classified intelligence on WikiLeaks betrayed our nation and his sworn duty.

Now then, how do we stop all this? Well, there are a couple of things we do need to change. One is we need to stop stamping everything "classified" or "confidential" when it really isn't. I've had conversations with people in government who couldn't believe all the things I knew about, which they believed were classified, of course, they couldn't confirm or deny it, nor did I want them too for their own sake and job security.

Still, there is a whole lot in the media, which is widely common knowledge in various industries, or to news junkies. And since these days with the rapid informational flow - classified really means, "oh like one week, two at tops!" So, one the cat is out of the bag, un-classify all this old stuff because that will do three things;

(1) It will get the workforce handling the information more serious about what still is classified.
(2) It will increase speed of communication, thus efficiency.
(3) It will save a ton of money trying to keep things secret which aren't and everyone knows it.

Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers - 6 Things to Remember When Looking For a Qualified Attorney

Most people never think they will ever need the help of a criminal defense lawyer and therefore really have no idea what they should be looking for should the unfortunate task of looking for one come up. Whether you are guilty or not guilty of any particular criminal offense, it is still important to get the best lawyer you possibly can find for what you might be charged with. There are tons of federal criminal defense lawyers listed in the Internet and it can be a huge task just trying to go through the lists to find one.

When looking for one, the most important issues you will need to face is trust, whether or not you feel you can trust the lawyer you hire. With so many federal criminal defense lawyers out there to choose from it is hard to know whom to trust. The guides below should make your search a little less daunting overall.

1) It does not matter if you know your case is going to trial or if there has been a plea bargain in the offering, you still want to make sure you feel that you can trust the lawyer and his or her skills. You need to find out if the attorney you might be considering has many experience in federal cases and if they have had a lot of trial and jury experience. Even if it is not going to trial, it is best that the lawyer does have this experience. A legal counsel that is inexperienced is going to run into problems understanding and visualizing all of the strengths and or weaknesses of your particular case. This could end up hurting your case in the end.

2) Make sure that you do not go with an attorney that gets involved with other types of law like divorce law, personal injury law, etc. This means in the long run that this type of lawyer does not specialize in the types of things that is important to your case. This type of legal professional is not going to be knowledgeable enough to understand everything that is needed to handle your case.

3) It is also important to note that you should stay away from lawyers that make promises about your case and the final outcome. It is truly impossible to be able to predict exactly how the case will end up. You should never trust an attorney that promises that they will be definitely be able to win your case, because any good lawyer knows that is an impossible promise because anything can happen during the length of the case. Lawyers that make improbable promises should be avoided at all cost.

4) The attorney you choose should be able to go over your case with you and explain it in words that are easy for you to understand. They should be able to easily explain your charges and what to expect at the trial. They should be able to explain to you concisely what the prosecutor needs to do to prove their case against you and what to expect during your trial. A qualified and good lawyer needs to be able to be boldly honest with you about what could happen to you if they do not win your case.

5) Although money of course is an issue when it comes to finding a lawyer, it truly should not be your top priority. You need to understand when you have federal criminal charges against you there are far more things at stake than just money. You need to make sure that the lawyer you choose is not only trained well and knowledgeable about federal and criminal laws but is also compassionate about their work.

6) Always feel free to discuss the cost with your attorney. A qualified lawyer should be knowledgeable enough to be able to give you a true quote within your first consultation. Generally, fees are based upon whether it is going to trial and the severity of the crime that you are being charged with.

Any lawyer that you pick should be willing to talk to you when it comes to your case in terms that you understand. They should be willing to break it down into terms easy for you to comprehend. They should be willing to talk to you about your case at any time and be willing to return your calls in a timely manner and answer any of the questions that you might have. They also should be able to give you continual updates on your case and how it is going.

Criminal Law - Artificial Intelligent Court Rooms - What are the Future Implications?

In 2001 someone created virtual reality court room games which were used to help train trial lawyers. Soon, the government wanted to use AI virtual reality software systems to choose jurors. Next, the software makers came up with decision matrix systems to run scenarios of the most possible outcomes of a trial if the given jurors were to listen to the trial and come to a verdict, which brings me to my next comment, a question actually, one which may very well be met with animosity by all the humans running the so-called "fair" judicial system.

Why do we need humans to run the court system at all?

Why not have robotic police pick up human criminals, and take them to a cell, then to court, day or night and try them right then and there based on the algorithms and data programmed into the Artificial Intelligence software from 100,000 trials and court cases? Updated daily, in real-time in the remaining human court run systems. After all, we need to save budget money right, and the tax payer's want a discount right?

And currently, most folks who get into hot water with the law cannot afford 1000s of dollars to get out of Dodge. Indeed, not too long ago, I was discussing this topic with a fellow think tanker, Troy Laclaire. He was concerned that the court system running solely by computer might become compromised. Still, I like the idea myself as a tax payer, and so I told him point blank; "The court system is already compromised, there is only the illusion of justice now. It's better than most countries obviously, but, it couldn't get worse with AI."

I really doubt many would disagree with that reality. Troy considers all this and states; "I would think you would still have to have the human jurors, however if you can remove the "human element" you may get more cases decided on the "logic" rather than emotional aspects of a case."

Yes, there is always that risk, and yet, maybe criminals should have considered that before doing their crimes. I am pro-death penalty. Troy who is "not exactly against the death penalty" stated that; "we've heard of a few cases where the death penalty has been carried out and later found that the person was innocent, or people waiting to be put to death are released due to new information." Sure, but Troy also states; "I guess as the technology improves, these could be worked out however."

No doubt they would and the amount of money saved would pay for the system almost immediately, and we'd have more justice for all. Please consider all this.

Hiring a Criminal Attorney

For anyone who is facing criminal charges there is a right to a court appointed Tampa criminal attorney. However you may wish to hire a private attorney to represent you instead. Hiring a criminal attorney to give you legal counsel is an important part of presenting a successful defense of your case and the benefits of having a lawyer are numerous.

If you are thinking about hiring a Tampa criminal attorney then you should consider the benefits they can bring to your case which may not immediately be obvious. These benefits include some of the following:

  • Dealing with and communicating with court officials who may otherwise refuse to deal with defendants who want to represent themselves
  • Present the possibility of pre-trial programs
  • Give advice and support about the nature of the charges against the defendant and the potential outcome of a guilty verdict
  • Compiling a defense based on aspects of the law and other legal precedents, which have been interpreted and understood as being applicable to the particular case
  • Present an expert defense argument in court including finding witnesses for the defense, contradicting the prosecution's evidence and interviewing key witnesses

Whilst hiring a Tampa criminal attorney is an option for those who can afford it, others may wish to self-represent themselves in court. By and large this route is often unsuccessful and often ends with a judge ruling that the defendant is not legally competent enough to present an adequate defense. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney, then your best option is to request a court appointed lawyer through the court. It is worth noting that private lawyers have only a marginally higher success rate than their court appointed counterparts.

When looking for a criminal attorney you should remember that is best to hire a lawyer who practices within the state in which the crime was committed and ultimately your trial will be held. Many attorneys will take on any type of criminal case, but you may wish to seek a lawyer who specializes in cases relevant to yours. It is common to find attorneys who work as sole practitioners or within a larger firm or group of partners.

Choosing the right Tampa criminal attorney to represent you is a matter of personal choice and circumstances. You need to feel comfortable working with them and confident in their abilities to achieve the result you are looking for. Other factors will undoubtedly include cost, the method in which they wish to paid - many lawyers will want at least a portion of their fees upfront; and their accessibility, a common complaint is that lawyers are too difficult to contact in person.

Meet with several lawyers in your local area before deciding on whom to hire. If you have previously been to court then you may wish to hire the same attorney, or otherwise follow up on recommendations from friends and family.

Criminal Law - Risk Factors in Youth

In this article, we're going to be taking a look at some of the factors that play a part in youth committing crime. Juvenile delinquents are not rare by any means. In general, crime is higher in the age group encompassing fifteen and twenty-five. The range of crimes is also quite a long list and certainly not limited to violent crimes and other offenses where monetary gain is the main target.

Psychological and behavioural risk factors include, but are not limited to, intelligence, impulsiveness and the inability to delay aggression and other things like gratification. Another example is restlessness. Certain people with personality disorders are more likely to become criminals if their condition - when not properly treated regularly - results in restlessness and lack of empathy.

One affects the other, as we can see from a lot of studies conducted into juvenile delinquency statistics. Children with a lower intelligence are likely to not fare well in school and other state learning institutions, which then affects the child psychologically. With less chances of netting a high-paying job that will ensure a comfortable, stress-free life, kids will be more inclined to take out their rage and disappointment on others. Lack of educational excellence is a factor in crime in and of itself. The same children who do not perform to the highest standards at school are likely to also become truants, leading to opportunities for crime and hanging with the wrong crowd. The Farrington reports back this up, saying that truanting is linked to offending.

Attaining wealth and status the legal way, or at least seeing a clear path to such attainment, usually halts criminal activity. The criminal activity in this case, then, is not one to simply survive but also to flourish, shedding some light on human nature and the willingness to commit illegal activities in the face of underachievement.

Intelligence is definitely one of the biggest factors to consider. However, measuring, identifying and testing for intelligence can be extremely troublesome. Further to this is the fact that that so many studies and IQ tests are completely different! This does not inspire confidence in kids who will do well in one version of a test and fail in another version that is, for instance, more visual and not so much writing-oriented.

These are just a few of the things affecting today's youth. For further information, see the book "Understanding Criminology," written in 2003, a truly excellent resource.