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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.

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