Some people think they can fight a criminal case alone, but if they break their leg, most people will go to a doctor, not set it themselves. It’s no different with the law; although there’s no physical pain involved, there’s another type of pain possible when someone is convicted of a crime. You don’t play a game where you don’t know the rules, and since, in the grand scheme of things the government treats this as a game, you’d better know the rules.
Furthermore, if you have a lawyer representing you, that lawyer won’t have an emotional stake in the game, so he can give you calm, cool, collected advice, whereas the person charged is under the gun and more likely to make bad decisions.
Why hire me versus a public defender? Well, for one thing, I only take the cases I have time for. There are a lot of good public defenders out there, but they have to take whatever they’re given, however many cases that is. I can put more time into a case than a public defender, because they often don’t have the time or the budget, and they don’t have the specialized training I have.
Do You Have Any Favorite Victories in Defending Criminal Cases?
I remember a DUI client who had a 0.22 blood alcohol content who was driving 97 miles an hour, pulled over on the left-hand side of the road, failed the field sobriety test, and I got a not guilty at a jury trial. The blood alcohol charge was dismissed by the judge because I exposed the hospital didn’t follow the law or science in their blood testing method. The jury found my client not guilty of the impaired DUI charge and I exposed the State Police Troopers lying about the odor of alcohol. Their report said he had a strong odor of alcohol but on tape they were seen and heard discussing how he didn’t smell of alcohol.
I recently had a case change from a DUI to a reckless endangerment charge, which means he got probation and no license loss, whereas with a DUI he would have gone to jail 3-6 months and lost his license for a year. I was able to do that because the video showed that the police officer who testified at the preliminary hearing said he administered the field sobriety tests. Well he did not another officer did. It was a complete lie.
I once had a case in which a woman was alleged to have a 0.315 BAC when she went around a turn and took out three brand-new cars at a dealership. She fought with the police officers after they took her out of the car, where she had been sitting on her bag of marijuana. She was facing 90 days to five years and since she’s from out of state, she would have lost her job and paid a tremendous amount of money. My expert and I looked at the test results and noticed that fermentation had occurred, so the district attorney dropped the BAC charge and she pled guilty to just driving while impaired for five days to six months, and got to keep her job.
I’m the first lawyer in the country at the trial level to get a judge to declare a synthetic marijuana statute unconstitutional, and I did so using my knowledge of chemistry and contacts in the scientific community. I hired John W. Huffman, who created this compound, to testify in this case, and he said that the substance didn’t even fit the chemical class that the PB-22 does, PB-22 being the compound on the incense. A judge in York dismissed the case entirely, and declared the old synthetic cannabinoid definition unconstitutional.
My greatest accomplishment was getting a death penalty designation thrown out before trial in a case where my client even confessed to the murder.
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