7.13.2012

Choosing a dui criminal attorney in los angeles

Just about every criminal attorney in Los Angeles wants to defend DUI cases because they are the most common crime prosecuted in criminal court and there is a potentially high volume of clients. The sad truth is that most of the lawyers do not care to do the hard work it takes to fully litigate all of the legal issues involved. Many prey on their clients fear. It is natural for a person to feel fear after being arrested or given a citation for a DUI. DUI is after all a misdemeanor crime that can prevent future employers and state licensing boards from approving acceptance of a candidate, and it can stand in the way of leasing and other business transactions and government benefits.

Fear is often heightened if the person actually did ingest either a little or a lot of alcohol. Frequently, that fear and anxiety motivates the accused person to plead no contest or guilty when they hear a non-jail plea deal before all of the legal issues have been fully litigated by their criminal attorney. Indeed, you may be paying a pretty penny for your criminal attorney services in Los Angeles. Make sure that your criminal attorney deserves it.

10 questions to ask your criminal attorney before you plead no contest or guilty to a DUI:

1. If you are in custody, has the attorney analyzed the case thoroughly for a potential 991 motion to dismiss the entire case for lack of probable cause?

2. Has your attorney obtained the breath test machine accuracy and calibration logs available in Los Angeles to verify that the breath machine itself is a reliable source of admissible evidence against you? If the machine has malfunctioned recently, even if you think it was working when you breathed into it, an argument can be made to completely exclude that evidence due to the unreliable machine.

3. Has your attorney thoroughly analyzed the strength and weaknesses of the case based on the totality of how you were driving, whether you safely pulled over, whether you swerved, your performance on field sobriety tests, and other factors that a DUI criminal attorney in Los Angeles should always review carefully?

4. Has your criminal attorney ever won a DUI jury trial where the police report said the person failed all the field sobriety tests despite never swerving and a borderline level of breath or blood alcohol? Does the prosecutor think that your lawyer pleads out all of their DUI cases, and is afraid to take a DUI case to trial just because the Los Angeles police report looks like you failed every test when you know you were not drunk?

5. What expert witnesses has your DUI criminal attorney used in past DUI cases to argue that field sobriety tests are not conclusive evidence that a person is under the influence because personal coordination and ability to balance and perform under pressure varies. Which forensic toxicologist in Los Angeles has your criminal attorney utilized to establish that the horizontal nystagmus field sobriety test is not conclusive evidence of being under the influence and can be a symptom of other physical conditions?

6. What specific resources has your criminal attorney utilized to examine the legality of the circumstances that led to the initial stop by police of your vehicle and the search and seizure of evidence? Was there probable cause for you to be pulled over and for charges to be filed against you? If not, has the attorney filed a motion for a hearing to litigate the potential dismissal of your case on constitutional grounds?

7. What effort has your criminal attorney made to examine the credibility of the Los Angeles police officers, Sheriff, or Highway Patrol officers that arrested you and obtained evidence against you? Have the officers been accused of any misconduct in the past? Would the officers be credible witnesses against you if the D.A. had to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt?

8. Does the lawyer that you hired personally show up in court to litigate your case? Surprise them and show up on your court date. Many of the most expensive firms with the highest ratings and awards routinely send inexperienced lawyers into court while telling you that there is no need for you to appear. They may claim to be supervising the appearance lawyers, but most of the time they don't even review the specific legal issues of your case thinking that you are so scared that you will eventually plead no contest without ever knowing whether all the legal issues were analyzed personally by the high priced criminal attorney that you paid for. No matter what they advertise or say, go to court and see for yourself whether they actually show up personally, or just take your money and send a less experienced attorney to the Superior Court in Los Angeles to represent you.

9. What specific effort has your DUI attorney made to argue legally for your case to be dismissed, reduce the charges, or minimize sentencing?

10. What are all of the terms and conditions of probationand other consequences of pleading no contest?





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