If you don’t think that hiring a good lawyer matters, think again. Not having the best advocate arguing for you in criminal matter can cost you your freedom. Worse, it can cost you your career, your family, or your life. Or maybe all of it. Don’t believe me – ask any of the individuals that have been exonerated from prison over the past 20 years about their attorneys
“They didn’t read me my rights. They have to dismiss my case, right?” This is a common refrain from the accused. Unfortunately, the answer is almost certainly “no.” This is super common misunderstanding that people have about their constitutional criminal rights. People mistakenly believe that because the police did not read them their [Miranda] rights, the case must be “thrown out of court.” Sadly, this is not how it works.
If you are in trouble with the law and desperately need help, then get yourself the best help you can get by hiring and retaining a board-certified criminal trial attorney to get you through the crisis. Less than ½ of 1 percent of attorneys in Florida are board-certified in criminal trial. You will be glad you hired a board-certified criminal trial attorney.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no misdemeanor crime of domestic violence battery in Florida. A thorough review of the statutes supports this shocking conclusion. There are many criminal offenses in Florida, but “domestic violence” misdemeanor battery is not one them. Florida does not recognize “domestic violence battery” as a crime, only misdemeanor battery.
While there are many good law enforcement officers out there, there are just as many that are terrible. Some of the worst are worse than the criminals they purport to protect society against. This is no longer about the “good cops,” it is what are we as a society going to do about the “bad cops?”
Without exception, Florida takes the position a person cannot be convicted of a non-existent offense.
Years ago, a wise judge used to pose the following question to defendants who demanded their constitutional right to represent themselves in trial. He would ask politely, “sir, as you stand here right now, if your appendix burst, would you operate on yourself?” The question was rhetorical and barely escapes its own statement as to is ridiculousness. Yet, many individuals simply are their own worst enemies.
It is unacceptable in a criminal investigation to create evidence. Period. It should not even be up for discussion.
When an assistant, paralegal, or subordinate attorney makes a mistake – you as the attorney needs to own it. Own it as your own because you are the attorney, and it is your own mistake. It is your bar number on the pleading or motion. It is your signature on the document. It is your responsibility. Period. End of sentence. It is non-negotiable. Even if your assistance does something unforgivable like faxing a picture of his butt to the court with “kiss it” written on it – – you as the attorney must own it because you are the attorney, and it is your mistake.
My advice is simple – treat all the court report personnel with the utmost respect and you will get the same treatment from them. While the judge might not rule in your favor, the court room personnel will not think you are a jerk. This kind of respect works both ways and you will thank me down the road. You are forewarded. Plus, over the years some of my best friends I have ever made are the court personnel.