If you have been charged with Possession of Marijuana, Sale of Marijuana or any criminal offense in Arizona, chances are you feel anxious about the potential consequences. The State of Arizona imposes some of the harshest penalties in the country upon people who find themselves arrested and facing prosecution for any offense including DUI, Domestic Violence, Marijuana and Drug Possession or Sales or violent felony crimes. Immediate consequences can include expensive fines, probation, jail or even prison terms. Additionally, you run the risk of losing your drivers license, important civil rights such as voting or carrying a firearm and professional work related licenses.
Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
A recent news article highlighted the value in hiring an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Last week, a judge in Douglas County, Minnesota freed two men who were caught driving a camper loaded with marijuana valued over $4,000,000.00. The men were initially stopped for having a cracked windshield. Police claimed it was supposedly unusual for campers to be traveling on that particular highway and detained the men until a canine could come and sniff around the vehicle for illegal drugs. Once the dog arrived and signaled an alert to the presence of marijuana, police searched the vehicle and discovered nearly 900 pounds of marijuana along with packages of THC and cash.
Following an investigation by their attorneys and a motion to suppress evidence, the judge ruled that police had no basis to detain the men longer than what was required to issue a summons for the cracked windshield. As a result, all of the marijuana recovered during the camper search was suppressed and the case dismissed. The men were subsequently released from jail.
As this case illustrates, a good criminal defense attorney will thoroughly discuss the facts of your case with you, interview any witnesses including police officers and civilians, review body camera and police dash cam recordings and evaluate any legal issues which might be useful to resolve your case in the most favorable manner possible.
Some of the factors you might want to consider when choosing a criminal defense attorney to represent you include:
Experience: Perhaps the most important factor in choosing a lawyer to represent you in a criminal case is the attorney's background and experience. You should not seek to hire the lawyer who quotes you the cheapest price or has just recently graduated from law school and has opened his own firm. Rather, you are well advised to retain an attorney who has previously worked as a prosecutor or public defender, has conducted trials and has several years of experience in private practice. Additionally, although you must consider your own financial situation, you should expect to pay a fee which is commensurate with the attorney's experience and will permit your lawyer to devote necessary time to your case.
- Familiarity with Court Where Your Case will be Heard: Another important factor in choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is whether the attorney regularly practices in the Court where your case will be heard. The justice, city and superior courts throughout Arizona all vary in terms of scheduling, penalties they are likely to impose, etc. Moreover, each prosecutor's office may have different policies in how certain criminal charges are addressed. An attorney who is familiar with the judges and prosecutors in the court in which you are scheduled to appear will be best suited to guide you through the process and obtain the most favorable result.
- Communication: Often, many clients complain that they are unable to speak directly with their lawyer and have questions which remain unanswered. Certainly, the prospect of a criminal conviction and potential probation, jail or prison is probably the most stressful event in a person's life. Consequently, it is vital that communication remain open and continuous. When consulting with a lawyer regarding representation, you should always ask whether he will be available for questions or updates by e-mail, text or phone calls.
- Expect Specific and Direct Responses: The answers you receive during an initial consultation should be straightforward, clear and concise. A potential attorney who only answers your questions in general terms may not be as knowledgeable as he or she claims. Moreover, if an attorney is not able to communicate effectively with his own client, a jury will certainly tune him out during trial.
- Type of Law practice: You probable should be aware of attorneys who practice in several different areas of the law. The old saying "a jack of all trades is a master of none" serves you well when choosing an attorney for any type of matter. You should focus on attorneys who devote their practice to defending people charged with criminal offenses as they are more likely to be familiar with the current case law, potential defenses, possible outcomes, etc.
Call (480) 833-8613 for Immediate Help
If you have been charged with a crime or DUI in Arizona, contact me for a free and immediate consultation. I have represented thousands of individuals during the last twenty years who have been charged with offenses ranging from DUI and drug offenses to aggravated assault and homicide and have achieved very favorable results. I have also conducted a number of jury trials in the city, justice and superior courts throughout Maricopa County.