Modern drug cases are a whole new beast. The Government has sophisticated techniques to watch and follow suspects; to obtain wiretaps that allow them to listen and record every telephone conversation, or conversation occurring near a cell phone; they can obtain video surveillance from a plethora of every-day sources; and they utilize an alphabet soup of paid snitches: confidential reliable informants (CRI), human sources (HS), source of information (SOI), and paid reliable informants. Each of these tools of law enforcement must be subjected to the experienced eye of a dedicated defense attorney to ensure the Government has stayed within their Constitutionally mandated parameters. They can catch drug dealers, but they can’t cheat to do so, and they cannot arrest and convict innocent people who are merely in the cross-hairs of a junkie working for the Government’s money.
Unfortunately, conspiracy charges are the darling of the modern prosecutor’s office and the scope reaches far and deep: a person who agrees with another to commit any criminal act, even if petty or small, may be held responsible for the actions of the partner, even if the partner’s actions were beyond what the defendant thought they agreed to — if it is a legally foreseeable consequence, the two become co-defendants, and likely facing charges of exponential seriousness.
As soon as you suspect the police are interested in you, you must immediately contact an experienced defense counsel who can preserve your rights.
White Collar Crime:
The Federal Government is increasingly pursuing business people and formerly law abiding citizens when businesses fail with criminal charges. Although many people’s initial inclination is to comply with Government requests and cooperate with law enforcement, you should have an experienced advocate by your side to advise you in these matters.
You can be cooperative and still protect yourself. Obtaining copies of your relevant documents quickly, to guarantee you have them in the face of search warrant can be an important first step in protecting your rights.
Careful interviewing of relevant witnesses, coupled with a detailed examination of business records and documents will be pivotal to guard against the charges levied against you.
Early intervention by a seasoned criminal defense attorney, and not just the former business attorney will be critical to ensure honest business failures are not re-characterized and pursued as criminal acts.
I have had significant successes with vehicular accident (car crash) cases and work with top experts to assist in presenting and defending your case. Science is making these cases increasingly more difficult; there are now devices in our automobiles that will record the vehicle speed, throttle, engine revolutions, and break light indicators immediately prior to a collision.
In my experience with these cases, I find it critical to work with an expert who is certified to download and make an independent assessment of the data in your accident, as well as rely on established investigation techniques at the scene, and in the actual examination of the cars.
The evidence is also fleeting, and cases can sometimes be won simply by getting an investigator, an expert, and the lawyer on scene immediately following the police investigation. In car crash cases, some attorneys will approach the case strictly “from the paper,” that is, they will not go to the scene, or get dirty examining the cars. I think the difference between achieving success in these cases requires extensive, personal review of the cars, the scene, and the data: by the expert, and by the attorney personally.
Many people believe their self defense wardrobe stops with the purchase of a firearm, carry leather, and perhaps flashlights and pepper spray. Hopefully, you have added high quality training to your repertoire, so that you are able to properly utilize your tools within a reasonable continuum of force.
Unfortunately, there is one additional expenditure that should be considered: a consultation with a competent criminal defense attorney. If you are going to contemplate carrying a firearm, you have surely realized you may need to use it to defend yourself or your family, but the use of a firearm always involves the police and the attendant risk that the criminal justice system will become involved.
First, although you will hear some firearms instructors or gun advocates urging that you may use deadly force to stop a felony in progress, such as a burglary or the theft of an automobile, even IF state law would support your decisions to utilize deadly force (and the vast majority do not), it is a short-sited and dumb solution. Buy insurance: Insurance will cover the cost of damage to property or the loss of property. The only time deadly force should be employed is to protect yourself or your loved ones from an imminent threat. The paperwork and process alone should be enough to dissuade even the most enthusiastic shooter to use discretion in situations where they are not in physical danger.
Generally speaking, if you believe another person is going to try to maim, rape, or kill you right this very moment, you are legally authorized to use deadly force in self defense, or to defend a third party. But “generally speaking” does not give you the security of being advised on the particular laws in your jurisdiction.
Deadly force is not always justified: most states require somewhat of a proportioned response – if someone is going to hit you, you are going to have to work very hard to explain why deadly force was the only possible option. Police work though what is referred to as a continuum of force: Usually, First verbal commands, then pepper spray, tazer guns, and finally lethal force. Some martial arts enthusiasts are unaware that maneuvers they have learned through their craft constitute the application of deadly force. Most people would be surprised to learn that a baseball bat, a pair of cowboy boots, or other household items may constitute a deadly weapon. Meeting with a seasoned criminal defense attorney, familiar with self defense training will help you to sort out what your personal continuum of force should be.
One way otherwise law abiding citizens get themselves in trouble is either by owning a gun that is “cool,” but not legal, or by failing to obtain a concealed weapons permit because it seems like too much trouble. Get the permit, and skip the cool guns if you have any question whether they comply with state law. Then educate yourself on the requirements of State Law, and consult with a trained, experienced, defense attorney to make sure you protect not only your family, but your future.
I have a particular interest in self defense cases, believing everyone can and should defend themselves in the face of uninvited aggression. These situations can involve both domestic situations, as well as stranger cases. I have extensive self defense training myself, and have completed training courses at Insights Training Center in Seattle, International Training Inc in Virginia, and Thunder Ranch in Texas. This experience and insight allows me to compellingly argue your case. I am intimately familiar with the issues involved in such cases, and can quickly get the literature and the experts we need to back up a client’s version of events that culminated in their use of force.
Even where self defense does not apply, there are other avenues we can pursue to protect your rights and defend these types of charges. This is an area where thorough investigation, and the proper use of experts may be vital to saving a client from the dire consequences a conviction would bring. I represent individuals charged with assault, domestic violence, murder, manslaughter, robbery, and other violent felony charges.