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Choosing a Competent Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are brought up against criminal charges, you probably know that your best bet in getting out of the dilemma with as whole a skin as you can manage is to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent you. However, not all criminal defense lawyers are created equal.

Take the case of the criminal defense lawyer in Illinois who not only failed to successfully challenge the prosecution’s case, but actually made it worse for the client, and got suspended for it as well. The case involved an undercover drug (Hydrocodone) buy in which the defendant was charged with the illegal sale of a prescription drug. In the course of discovery, the prosecution provided the defendant’s lawyer with a video capturing the crucial moment of purchase.

For whatever reason, perhaps a misplaced sense of “Eureka!” the defense lawyer posted the video on YouTube and claimed that it showed that the undercover police had planted drugs on the defendant. More careful scrutiny showed that in fact the video documented the drug sale, inexorably implicating the defendant and inevitably leading to a conviction. After a second look, the defense lawyer concurred and advised the client to accept a plea. The defense lawyer was suspended for five months for posting the video.

It would be a mistake to presume that a criminal defense lawyer is competent just because he or she is licensed to practice in the state. It is important to choose a lawyer or a law firm with a proven track record in defending clients and ensuring that the case is prepared carefully and accurately. The defendant in the above case observed that the video created a lot of adverse publicity for her, something that would not have happened if the video had not been posted.

If you are facing criminal charges, make sure that you engage the services of a reputable lawyer in your area. If you have doubts about the lawyer’s competence, do not hesitate to find another one.

Effects of Drunken Driving Charges

It has always been said, advertised and taught even to those still applying for a license, that drinking and driving are a dangerous combination. The many lives that drunken drivers put at risk give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) all the reasons to be aggressive in catching and charging drivers with a driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense.

DUI/DWI is a major traffic violation in all US states. Thus, despite the low 0.08% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit level, the NHTSA still moves to lower it to 0.05%, as different studies have clearly shown that even this level is enough to impair a person, reducing his/her capability to react on time in the event of emergency road situations.

The penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction can include large fines, time in jail, community service, compulsory attendance in a DUI class and/or suspension or revocation of driver’s license. And, depending on the severity or frequency of the offense, the court has the authority to require the installation of an Interlock Ignition Device (IID) inside the offender’s vehicle. Much like a breath analyzer, the IID is designed to detect the BAC level of the driver; it will not allow the vehicle to start if the BAC level detected exceeds the device’s programmed limit (which is much lower than 0.08%).

Another requirement the court may make is the application for an SR-22 form, which is actually a Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form, which will prove that the driver (required of it) carries car liability insurance coverage. An SR-22 lasts for three years; it also requires higher premiums for car liability insurance.

The consequences of a DUI/DWI conviction extend beyond the court room. It can affect one’s employment, dreams of traveling abroad, fight for child custody, renting an apartment, application for a professional license, and many other things. These are some of the major reasons why some of those who have been charged of the offense look for all possible means to save themselves from being convicted, even erasing the record of charge under their name, if possible.

Hiring very competent lawyers, such as a Dallas DWI lawyer, is the first step necessary for that high possibility of getting an acquittal instead of a conviction. Being a serious offense, one should only look these experienced and determined legal professionals, who will always be prepared with a strong and convincing defense. Essentially, with the help of an experienced DUI attorney, your case’s chances of success will be much higher than if you went alone.