Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Criminal Defense Lawyers: A Timeline of a Case Assignment

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

Depending on where you stand, a criminal defense attorney can either be society’s hero or its own worst enemy. Alleged murderers, minor offenders, arsonists--these lawyers stand by their accused to defend their constitutional rights and make sure that they are given due process in court. All this is done despite bystanders’ opinion of their client’s guilt.

At the get-go, this may sound like a job that is not for the weak of heart – and you are correct to posit this. The main goal of a criminal defense attorney is to rally for a fair trial for their clients, but let’s shift the focus on them in this article. Here’s a general process of how they do their job in the USA--from case assignment to the final sentencing.

First step: Case assignment

A criminal defense lawyer can either be hired by their defendants or appointed by the court. In most cases, a criminal defense attorney gets contacted directly by their defendant to represent them in court.

However, other lawyers who work for the public defender’s office get assigned by their local or federal courts.

Second step: Interview with the client

Once a working relationship has been established, the defense lawyer then gathers all the facts about the case. He/she will interview the client, asking as many specific questions as they can. Once they are satisfied with the facts that they have gathered, only then will they work on a possible defense based on the merits of the case. This is a comprehensive and exhaustive step for both the defender and the defendant.

Third step: Case investigation

By this time, the defense lawyer should have gathered enough know-how about the case. Still, this isn’t enough, and he/she must conduct their own queries, investigating every possible avenue in the case. This includes going to the police for clarifications, interviewing witnesses, etc. All of this is done to make sure that they build a solid case to acquit their client.

Fourth step: Review legal theories that apply to the case

Once all the information has been gathered, a defense attorney then takes stock of all the legal theories that possibly apply in the case. He/she will review the laws that apply and other previous rulings that held in court.

Fifth step: Assistance in jury selection

Essentially, jurors should not have biases or cause for impartiality towards the case--and a criminal defense attorney has to make sure of this. They will carefully de-select jurors who they think might not give their clients a fair trial. All this is done through a combination of due diligence and a strong gut feeling on the lawyer’s part.

Sixth step: Making plea deals

A plea bargain is when a lawyer tries to come up with a favorable deal for both parties involved in the case. This should, in most cases, result in the reduction of the charge or lesser jail time for their client.

Seventh step: Trial

Now comes the part we often see on TV: the trial. Contrary to what the networks would have you believe, there is rarely any court drama involved here. It is mainly a calm presentation of facts and proof from both parties.

Eighth step: Sentencing of the crime

A lawyer, whether or not his/her original plea bargain has been accepted, will likely discuss all possible avenues for acquittal and terms of incarceration. Their goal is to make sure that their client and everyone involved have considered all possible alternatives for the sentencing.

These are the eight steps that most criminal defense lawyers go through once they take on a client. Of course, in the duration of these steps, they should keep in constant communication with their clients to update them on any developments in the case.

4 Questions to Always Ask Your OUI Lawyer on The First Meeting

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Let’s say you or someone close to you have made a series of bad decisions that ended up with you or them in a serious OUI lawsuit. Naturally, you might be feeling a little antsy at the moment – and to top it all off, you’re about to meet your OUI attorney for the first time.

We’re here to tell you that there is no reason for you to stress over this meeting. These OUI lawyers in the USA are specialists in this legal field, and they have likely handled cases like yours before. But here’s the thing: know that you have a say on whether or not you would like to hire this OUI attorney.

This initial exchange is done to size up the dynamics between the two of you. Your lawyer will see if there is merit in your case and if he/she would like to represent you. You, on the other hand, will gauge if you can trust this professional with your case. So, what are the essential things that you need to check with your prospective OUI lawyer in this first meeting? We’ve listed some questions that you can ask during this initial consultation.

1.   So what’s our plan?

After giving your prospective lawyer the facts, he/she should be able to provide you with an initial plan. An experienced OUI lawyer should be able to provide you with possible contingency plans at the get-go, a testament of how much they know their field.

You, in return, should be able to feel more relieved after this meeting. That is one thing about these defense lawyers, after all, you should be able to put your complete trust to them.

2.   How many cases have you handled with similar facts to mine?

Any OUI attorney can have ample experience, but you still need to make sure that they have handled enough cases that involve chemical test results. This way, they will be better prepared for your defense. If they have enough experience on the matter, then you can rest assured that you will have better chances of appealing for an acquittal.

Extra tip: Don’t hesitate to ask them for sample cases and the rulings for each.

3.   Do you specialize in OUI defense?

See, here’s the thing, any defense attorney can claim to have the capacity to represent you. However, not all of them are specialists for OUI cases. This is a very particular field of law with very complex proceedings--you want someone who dedicates most of their practice to this field.

This is the thing about lawyers: they can practice in multiple fields, but you always want to work with someone who is an authority in their field.

So, again we will always repeat this: don’t be afraid to ask your prospective lawyer about their practice and the field that they specialize in.

4.   Do you think there’s a chance for me to win this case?

Ok, now this is a trick question. If they can answer in absolute yes or no, then the chances are that they might not be the lawyer for you. This is different from item number 1 about them having a plan. That was about having a roadmap in your defense, this is about them either promising to win your case or not. A diligent OUI attorney should tell you that he/she still need to either gather enough evidence for your case or conduct their own inquiries regarding the matter.

We know that these can be difficult questions to ask, but if you aren’t meticulous in your search, you might end up with the wrong OUI attorney defending you.

Getting A Lawyer After A Car Accident – Weigh The Pros And Cons

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Getting in a car accident can be a traumatic rollercoaster of emotions--not to mention, you might have sustained injuries from the ordeal too. However, more than just dealing with the emotional and physical consequences of the accident, you need to consider your legal actions too. At this point, you may want to consider hiring an auto accident lawyer to help you look out for your best interests.

An auto accident lawyer in the USA will be able to help you expedite your benefits claims, make sure that you are well-represented at all times, and even make sure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Want to explore the idea of hiring a car accident lawyer a bit more? We’ve listed down the pros and cons to help you decide if you need legal aid or not.

Pros of Hiring an Auto Accident Lawyer

1.   They can take care of your insurance claims

The truth about insurance companies is that they don’t always look out for your best interests. They would rather drag out paying you your settlement, or they might even go as far as denying your claim for your benefits. At times like this, you will need a car accident lawyer by your side. Not only will they make sure that you receive the full amount for your claim, but they can expedite this process as well.

2.   They can build a case in your favor

With the right research, medical consultation, and interviewing of witnesses, a good auto accident lawyer will be able to help you establish your innocence. Of course, under their oath to the law, they will not be able to shift the blame on someone else if you are, indeed, the one at fault.

3.   They can help you file for a lawsuit if needed

Lawsuits are an unpleasant and draining business. However, when push comes to shove, you might need to file for a personal injury lawsuit. This can be done with the help of an auto accident lawyer. Normally, an auto accident lawyer will strive to give you a fair settlement without getting the court involved. However, if your insurance company will refuse to provide you with the compensation and benefits that you deserve, then there might be a need for a lawsuit.

Cons of Hiring an Auto Accident Lawyer

1.   They can be quite pricey

Lawyers are professionals who have spent a great deal of their career path studying law and honing their craft. Naturally, enlisting their services will come at a price. Still, with these professionals helping you navigate the unpleasant business that is often connected to insurance claims, paying for convenience and a smooth process will be worth it.

2.   There is still no guarantee that you get full compensation

Your auto accident lawyer will always look out for your best interest. They will give you legal advice and make sure that you are fairly compensated for the injuries and losses that you have sustained. However, as with any legal matter, the results still aren’t guaranteed. With them by your side, you can rest assured that they will fight for fair compensation, but your insurance company might still vehemently fight against giving you your due. Of course, when this happens, you can easily take the situation to court, but the process may be dragged out longer than what is necessary.

Working with an auto accident lawyer will increase your chances of winning a lawsuit and securing the benefits that are owed to you. These professionals are invaluable in this endeavor, and if you ask us, it’s still always a good idea to have someone protect your rights and look out for your best interests.