Displaying items by tag: Criminal Defense

If you were recently arrested or received a summons in the mail to appear on a criminal charge, it is important that you deal with your legal issues promptly. Around the holidays, many people want to put off dealing with the cost and the stress of the criminal justice system until later in the new year. This can be a very bad decision that leads to more negative consequences than anticipated.

 Reasons To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

 

There are many reasons to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately but here are just a few:

1. Evidence can be more difficult to collect the longer you wait. For example, if a video of the incident would be helpful to your case, be aware that videos are often deleted or destroyed after weeks or months. Additionally, witnesses are harder to track down over time and their memories are less clear. Therefore, your exculpatory evidence could be gone by the time your attorney requests it.
2. There are criminal and civil timelines that absolutely inflexible. For example, if you miss your DOL deadline on a DUI, you will be suspended.
3. Appearing with an attorney can help a person be released on their personal recognizance. If you fail to appear at a hearing, it is likely that a judge or a prosecutor will believe you are a flight risk and your conditions of release will be much tougher when you finally appear.
4. Proactive measures need to start immediately. The time between your arraignment and your pretrial is valuable time! Your attorney can help you by creating a roadmap of proactive steps that facilitate a more positive resolution of your case.

If You Are Unsure About Hiring A Defense Attorney

 

If you are unsure of how to handle your criminal case and need to consult with an attorney, give our office a call. We can help inform you of the risks you could be facing if you delay. Our consultations are free and we have offices in Poulsbo, Bremerton and Gig Harbor. If you are interested in more articles on the law or criminal defense, CLICK HERE to read our blog.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Everyone knows about their right to remain silent—or at least, they should—which protects suspects from being forced to say things which may aid in the case against them.
However, few civilians realize that self-incrimination doesn’t always come in the form of the spoken word. Because, while the right to free speech is a sacred one in the United States, that’s not the same as the right to avoid consequences for all but admitting to a crime on Facebook or Twitter.


Self-Incrimination Through Social Media


Privacy is a huge concern for folks who engage with social media sites, but often, users don’t even need to be hacked to get in trouble—they post evidence that’s at least circumstantial (and in some cases, fairly damaging) all on their own. In the last year, several high-profile cases have been brought to trial thanks to popularity on Facebook. Two of the most viral include:


• A Florida man who was convicted of second degree murder after he posted grisly photos of his deceased wife on Facebook.
• A North Carolina woman who taped her dogs mouth shut and, after the post spread across Facebook, was arrested and convicted of animal abuse.
• Actress Vanessa Hudgens is currently under investigation after posting a selfie in Sedona, Arizona. The image, which has since been deleted, allegedly showed her initials, as well as those of her boyfriend, carved into a rock—which might be part of National Forest and thus, Federal property.


The list goes on and on. In the age of public sharing (and public shaming), defacement of property, animal abuse, and even DUIs have all become spectator sports—and often, even if a person deletes a post, once it’s gone viral, it can be hard to get back.


And while a good defense attorney can help fight claims based on just a photo or mention on social media, the fact is that once the evidence is out there, it’s hard to get back.

Be Careful What You Post!

The best thing for social media users to do is be careful about what they post—and think critically about whether or not they may be breaking any laws in their photos and updates. When in doubt, just don’t post the images; in these instances, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


Even if you may have incriminated yourself, a knowledgeable, supportive attorney can help you navigate the complexities of a criminal charge and get your life back on track.


The expert criminal defense lawyers at the Witt Law Group defend the rights of individuals facing criminal charges in Kitsap County, including Bremerton, Port Orchard, Silverdale and beyond. We have offices in Poulsbo, Bremerton and Gig Harbor for your convenience.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Hello. My name is Becky. Will you be my friend? 


The Police look at the Facebook’s of people that they have some suspicion about. It is not random. It is when the Police believe that a suspect did something, but feel that they don’t have 100% proof. It is when they think they know who did something, but they are not 100% sure.

Facebook is an investigative tool.


Facebook is a phenomenal investigative tool. Maybe (for a hypothetical) you went to the Vance Creek Bridge (Trespassing) and the Deputies didn’t see you, but they did run your license plate. So you, as the owner of the car, are a suspect. True, anyone could be driving your car. You could have loaned it to any number of people. However, when you go home and upload photos onto your personal Facebook page, you have turned their suspicion into a conclusion.


We could come up with a million hypotheticals where law enforcement has a mere suspicion, and then with the help of you and your Facebook, they have a conclusion. The common and most damaging ingredient is you. But for you and your post, law enforcement would not be able to establish probable cause to take the case forward for arrest or charging.


Be smart with what you post or (gulp) decide to not post at all.


At the Witt Law Group we have dealt with many cases that have a social media component. Facebook and Instagram come up more and more frequently in law enforcement investigations. It is a simple tool that they use now in virtually all unsolved cases. Think before you post.


The Witt Law Group practices Criminal Defense in Pierce and Kitsap Counties.  We have offices in Poulsbo, Bremerton and Gig Harbor Washington. Ironically, we also have a Facebook page. 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Witt Law Group PS has an office in Poulsbo and handles misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses, including DUI / DWI and other offenses such as theft or shoplifting. In the summer, Poulsbo Police write the occasional BUI, which we also handle. If you were cited for a traffic infraction, such as speeding, we can help with that as well. The attorneys at Witt Law Group have been defending these types of matters since 2004 with excellent results.

We can help you at the earliest stages of the process


We take calls from the roadside and can assist in the multitude of decisions that law enforcement will force an individual to make throughout the early stages of the investigative process. A large number of these decisions can have an impact on the strength of the City’s case. We will always answer whatever questions we can and we encourage individuals to give us a call at any time in the process.

Have you been charged with a crime in the City of Poulsbo?


The lawyers at Witt Law Group PS are there for our clients at each step of the process and we always try to have an open line of communication. Navigating a criminal charge is a stressful process and we want our clients to rest assured that their futures are in good hands. We answer the phones in the evenings and throughout the weekends. This is to ensure that we, and our clients, will be prepared to face the task ahead. Ryan Witt has been defending criminal cases such DUI / DWI in Western Washington for more than 14 years. Call our local Poulsbo office at (360) 773-8598 for a free consultation.

Our office is located at:


19793 Hamilton Court NE

Suite 101 B

Poulsbo WA 98370

 

We look forward to assisting you if you are in need of Poulsbo criminal defense. If you have any questions about our exceptional results or what our clients have to say about us, please refer to Ryan’s reviews on AVVO or our Google Business page.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

Check fraud may seem like an uncommon occurrence, but the truth is, plenty of people are still stealing checks, forging checks, and trying to cash other people’s checks illegally. Often, these crimes aren’t committed out of malice, but rather, economic hardship.


If you’ve been accused of check fraud, it’s not the end of the world—there are lots of options, and crucial legal distinctions to be aware of. And if you aren't sure, it’s good to know why and how you may be accused.

Different Kinds of Check Fraud


Check fraud is a catch-all term referring to several kinds of criminal activity. It may include (but isn’t limited to) forgery, check kiting, counterfeiting or alteration, and even some forms of identity theft (i.e., when someone cashes a check that wasn’t made out to them).


Checks may be completely fabricated—simply printed off or copied—or they may be altered, both of which are illegal. Check washing, as it’s often called, is the process of removing signatures or designated amounts from checks in order to steal money.


Checks may also be cut without proper authorization; in the case of businesses, this usually means someone has gotten ahold of checks and is making them out without permission.

Avoiding Check Fraud


As a private citizen, it’s important to guard your checks and always check your bank statements. Additionally, taking protective steps—like only accepting checks during business hours to ensure that they’re legitimate, never endorsing checks before you’re ready to cash or deposit them, or using pens which make check-washing less viable—can help you keep your finances secure.


Sometimes, unsuspecting citizens find themselves in possession of fraudulent checks without realizing it, or may think that it’s ok to cash a check on behalf of a family member. For this reason, it’s important to know the laws around check cashing; if a relative or friend signs a check over to you, you may cash it. However, without their express permission, you may inadvertently find yourself committing fraud.


If you’ve been accused of fraud, the best thing to do is obtain experienced, professional legal counsel.


At the Witt Law Group, we believe that all persons are innocent until proven guilty, and that everyone deserves their day in court—no matter the charge. We handle criminal defense cases in Kitsap County and have offices in Bremerton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor for your convenience.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog
May 06, 2019

No One Seems To Care

When you find yourself charged with a crime, it is normal to go through a state of shock. After all, if you’re like 90% of our clients, you’ve never been in trouble before. Nearly half of our criminal defense clients have never even had a speeding ticket. An arrest and possible jail time is an unthinkable situation for most people.

In response to this state of shock, we often hear about every wonderful thing our clients have done in their lives. They are not “criminals” and this can’t really be happening. This is a tough spot for defense attorneys. We see this phase so often that we want to blow right past it and move to important things—relevancy and admissibility. It can seem that we don’t care. We do! However, our job is to care by doing what is best for you. This means getting to the facts of the case, the elements of the crime, and what we will use to negotiate a resolution in your favor.

The Interview

When interviewing a client, defense attorney are concerned with two basic rules in criminal procedure: 1) is the information provided by my client actually relevant, and 2) if it is, will it be helpful with negotiating a pretrial resolution or, if the case goes to trail, will it be admissible in court. This means, when a DUI client tells us that the car isn’t registered to her, that is not relevant. Vehicle registration is not an element of the crime of DUI. And, if you tell us that you can’t go to jail because you are a single parent, that is not relevant to the elements of your crime. We are listening for things such as, “I was drugged and therefore I was involuntarily intoxicated” because voluntary intoxication is relevant to the elements of the charge of DUI.

To understand why we get so focused on relevancy and admissibility, you need to understand how crimes are charged and how a prosecutor’s office works. When you are arrested for a crime, the officer has some discretion whether to arrest you and what he will write as the crime you committed. He just needs to believe there is probable cause (a fairly low standard as compared to beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial) to believe you committed that crime. When the prosecutor receives the police report and reviews it for probable cause, she can 1) agree with the officer and charge you with the same crime as listed, 2) find there was no probable cause and release you, 3) find additional crimes were committed and add to your charges, or 4) find the facts warrant a higher level of charging such as a felony level crime rather than a misdemeanor. This means the criminal charge is never really “set” until a prosecutor sees the reports. This also means your defense attorney never really knows how good or bad your case is until the reports are provided.

Are There Bad Facts?

When discovery is provided to us, we also look for other “bad facts” that might hinder the strength of your case. These are not necessarily facts that relate to relevancy and admissibility but have more to do with how you interacted with law enforcement. Most prosecutors have drawn a much tougher line when it comes to misconduct or foul language with law enforcement. If you were calling the officer a “pig” or said “my attorney will get me out of this,” the prosecutor will be less likely to see you as a person who is genuinely remorseful. So, while the defendant before you with an identical DUI scenario received a Pretrial Diversion Agreement, you might not be offered the same deal if you called the officer names during your arrest. If drugs or alcohol was involved in your arrest, you might not remember doing something so out of character. Unfortunately, law enforcement never forgets to write these facts down and they are serious factors for us as we determine how to negotiate a case.

When you meet with your attorney, please realize that information is being “processed” as you’re talking. If the initial meeting seems a bit like an interrogation, that is usually because we’re trying to find relevant facts to know before heading into your first appearance or arraignment. No defense attorney wants to be blind-sided. We also need to know if you have criminal history. Nothing looks worse to a prosecutor than a defense attorney who claims the client has no criminal history but is then surprised by the secret out of state DUI or theft charge. The defense attorney instantly loses all credibility (and negotiation strength) if inaccurate or false statements are made. Your attorney should know the good facts but it is absolutely critical that he know the bad facts, too!

Have Patience

As the case progresses, the reality of how a prosecutor’s office runs becomes even more important to understand. It is NOTHING like you see on television. There are hundreds of cases assigned to a prosecutor and she is juggling far more than a private defense attorney. In most counties, prosecutors are on triage mode. This means, if she doesn’t have your case set for trial next week, it is not relevant to her work load this week. Negotiations happen at the leisure of the prosecutors and they have very little time to talk, email, or negotiate. There will be some discussion with the prosecutor in court but, typically, that will be under 5 minutes due to dozens of other cases set for the same time. Most negotiation happens via email. Your attorney begins “the attack” against the elements of the crime and whether the prosecutor can convict you of the crime charged. The prosecutor might respond quickly or, if in trial or busy, respond a week later. This stage is all about relevancy and admissibility. Unfortunately for clients, this stage takes time.

When this phase becomes drawn out, clients often get quite frustrated. It seems unthinkable that you would have court on Wednesday but the prosecutor won’t respond to your defense attorney’s emails until Tuesday (or the morning of court on Wednesday). This is just the reality of criminal defense. It is stressful and there is nothing we can do about it. Whether you need to arrange child care, take time off of work, or handle a family emergency are all irrelevant to the prosecutor. They don’t care if you’re in limbo. They don’t care if you will lose your job or business. They don’t care if you’re a single parent. The response is the same—don’t get into trouble if you have that much riding on you. In the criminal justice system, the only facts the prosecutor wants to hear are those that are relevant to the crime charged. It is a rough reality that we try to prepare our clients to understand.

Seek Wisdom Over Wives' Tales

For this reason, if you have trouble managing the uncertainty and the stress of being in limbo, it is important to find a counselor or friend who can help you manage that anxiety. We suggest you don’t include people who focus too much on “this is an outrage” or “my friend blew a .18 and he never went to jail.” The advice from this type of friend tends to be counterproductive for your case. Rarely, does the friend understand admissibility of evidence and how that played into the outcome of another person’s case (i.e. perhaps their other friend was pulled over on a pretextual stop and evidence was excluded as a result of the motion). If a great resolution is reached for your case, the “outraged” friend can keep you from making a good decision moving forward. Let your friends help with stress but let your experienced criminal defense attorney (who has prosecuted and defended a 1000+ criminal charges) give you legal advice.

We understand that it feels unfair to be just a case number. We try to soften that reality the best we can. Everyone in our office knows that clients are stressed and facing life-changing consequences as a result of a criminal charge. We definitely get it! However, it is our job to provide the best defense for you and negotiate the best outcome for your future—which may not include sharing your personal story. In fact, most of the time, we don’t want to get to the “share your hardship” phase. If you’re sharing your story, it is probably because you’re in court for sentencing, which means you were convicted at trial. That is not the outcome we want for you.

This long and overwhelming process is handled better with a support system. As a result, we strongly encourage proactive self-care and looking for ways to manage stress. We understand that you are scared and want the prosecutor to hear about everything you stand to lose. After all, that is typically all our clients can think about. We simply can’t do that and the prosecutor won’t have it. Please understand that it has nothing to do with a lack of compassion. In truth, we do care and our passion is finding fair resolutions. Caring for our clients means we will always stay focused on what will actually help you. We are in your corner and we will use everything that is relevant and helpful for your defense.

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

The issue of bail is always challenging. First, it can be expensive. Second, if you want your loved one to “learn a lesson,” is it best to leave her in jail? Finally, will the Court consider the person less “upstanding” at the Arraignment if he or she was unable to bail out?

 

All of those considerations are relevant. However, for a defense attorney, the biggest consideration (often overlooked) is how remaining in custody will ultimately impact the final resolution of the case. When a defendant is held in custody, it often results in many unintended negative consequences. Here are some factors to consider if you’re struggling with the notion of posting bail:

1.  If Incustody, The State Has All The Power

When a person sits in-custody, the State Attorney has all the power. If a person was arrested on a Friday and sits in-custody all weekend, by Monday’s Arraignment, they have most likely served their sentence. The person is faced with the option to plead guilty and get out of jail or, continue the case, and potentially remain in custody. Basically, if a person is in custody but can be immediately set free by pleading to the charge, the State can leverage them into pleading guilty. While in jail, people think about their jobs, family, pets and shame. It often leads them to the conclusion that they should plead guilty at the earliest opportunity so that they can return to their responsibilities. Young people will often plead guilty to get out of jail quickly and hide the matter from their parents.

 2. If Incustody, Your Representation Is A Gamble 

An in-custody defendant does not get the attorney of their choice. If a person is in-custody, the Court automatically appoints them an attorney. They may get a terrific public defender or they may get a public defender who is too busy to be much help. Either way, the in-custody defendant does not get to choose who represents them at Arraignment.

 3. Deals / Plea Negotiations Do Not Flow As Easily To The Incustody Defendant

Deals that are often available to out-of-custody defendants are not typically presented to those who are in-custody. This is due, in part, to the fact that the prosecuting attorneys know they have leverage over the in-custody defendant. If the prosecutor plays it right, they can usually squeeze a guilty plea out of someone whose case, if out of custody, would be resolved in a more lenient way. Anyone who has worked in a prosecutor’s office knows that statistics are critical. The more guilty pleas, the better the statistics for the office. Clearly, it is easier to improve those stats by forcing pleas out of in-custody defendants.

Don't Be A Stastic!

Don’t let a friend or loved one be a statistic for the State. From our perspective, there is a big disadvantage to defense if a person is held in-custody. While it may not “teach him a lesson” to bail your loved one out right away, being out of jail will help immensely in the defense of the case. Criminal cases always carry some “lessons” and there is no need to add the punishment of remaining in-custody. If you help your friend or family member with bail, it allows us to get the client moving on “tasks” they can do ahead of court dates. We can present a better case to the Prosecutor and a better client to the Court by being proactive. Ultimately, the goal is to learn from being criminal charged but also to move forward in a positive way with life. Think long term and not on the short term lesson.

 

If you would like to ask an attorney further questions about how remaining in custody could impact your specific case, give our office a call.  Witt Law Group is a criminal defense / DUI Defense law firm with offices Gig Harbor and Bremerton Washington. 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog
December 09, 2018

Hit and Run

 

 

In Washington, the crime of Hit and Run can be either a Simple Misdemeanor or a Gross Misdemeanor, depending on the way the crime is charged. The factor that determines if it is the more serious charge (Gross Misdemeanor) is whether the defendant hit an attended vehicle. A description of each charge is as follows:

 

Hit and Run – Attended Vehicle

This is the more serious of the two misdemeanor level charges. It is a Gross Misdemeanor, meaning that you can potentially be sentenced up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. A conviction to this offense also leads to a one year license suspension from the Department of Licensing.


The Elements


1. The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to a vehicle which is driven or attended by any person [shall immediately move the vehicle to the nearest suitable location] and remain at this location until the driver has provided his or her name, address, insurance company, insurance policy number and vehicle license number and exhibit his or her driver’s license number.

2. Any driver … failing to stop or to comply with any of the requirements listed above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

In simple terms, if an individual strikes another vehicle that is occupied, they must immediately stop and exchange all relevant contact and insurance information. This is true even if you are not at fault!


Other Collateral Consequences of “Attended”


As mentioned above, a conviction will result in a one year loss of license. While the person is serving the term of their loss of license, they will be allowed to obtain an Occupational or Restricted License. In addition, for individuals with a CDL, there will most likely be a consequence to their privilege to operate a commercial vehicle. There are ways to resolve a Hit and Run Attended without all of these negative consequences, but that will be outlined after the section on Hit and Run Unattended, because these more favorable ways to resolve a case often apply to both Attended and Unattended.


Hit and Run – Unattended Vehicle or Other Property


This is the lesser of the two offenses. It is a Simple Misdemeanor, meaning that you can potentially be sentenced up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.


The Elements


(1) The operator of any vehicle which collided with any other vehicle which is unattended shall immediately stop and shall then and there either locate and notify the operator of owner of such vehicle [providing the owner of the struck vehicle your name and address]

(2) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting only in damage to property … adjacent to a public highway shall take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner … of such fact and of the name and address of the operator and owner of the vehicle striking such property, or shall leave in a conspicuous place upon the property struck a written notice [providing the owner your name and address…

 

In simple terms, a person who collides with an unattended vehicle, or property that is adjacent to the roadway must stop and either locate the owner of such property or leave in a conspicuous place a note providing all of your relevant information.


Other Collateral Consequences of “Unattended”

 

Unlike Hit and Run Attended, Unattended DOES NOT result in a suspension or revocation of a person’s drivers license. However, a conviction of this charge will most likely increase your insurance rates. Lastly, for the driver with a CDL, an Unattended will most likely result in a CDL disqualification, just as it does for an Attended. 

Hit and Run – Ways to Resolve


For both Hit and Run – Attended and Hit and Run – Unattended, many of the potential resolutions of the charges are the same. The attorneys at Witt Law Group are always looking to avoid a conviction when resolving a case, thus avoiding all the negative consequences that were discussed above.

Common ways that we avoid convictions for our clients are through two different instruments, 1. a Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement (or PDA), or 2. a Compromise of Misdemeanor. Typically, both will achieve the end result of dismissal of the charge.

Our website offers an in-depth analysis of both the PDA and the Compromise of Misdemeanor. To learn more about each, click the following links:

 

Pre-Trial Diversion Agreement

Compromise of Misdemeanor

 

Drivers who receive these charges often think this charge is going to be the end of the world. That is not the case. Our attorneys have been handling these cases for nearly two decades and the results are often surprisingly positive.
Witt Law Group is a Hit and Run defense law firm with locations in Bremerton and Gig Harbor Washington. Please reach out if you have been charged or have any question about this topic.

 

If you were involved in an accident in the middle of the night (attended or unattended), give our office a call immediately. There may be action that you can take to avoid the crime entirely or create an absolute defense if the crime is later charged.


If your Hit and Run is charged as a Felony, the above analysis does not apply. Call our office to discuss the specifics.

Published in Criminal Defense

Occasionally, we get calls from parents of potential clients asking about how to deal with their “kids” (often adult children) when it comes to a criminal issue that their child is facing. Specifically, if their child was arrested for DUI, should they leave the child in jail to “teach them a lesson” rather than bail them out?

 

Our position on this question comes from two concerns. First, from our perspective, there is no longer community policing and that greatly impacts the number of stops that have become “criminal” and lead to someone being arrested (in particular, marijuana-DUI arrests where the individual was not impaired). Cops no longer get cats out of trees. They don’t drive you home when it looks like you’re getting heated at the bar. They don’t settle disputes between neighbors. And, most importantly, the police don’t show up to family disputes and “cool things down” for you. When law enforcement shows up, someone is going to be arrested. In fact, in domestic situations, someone has to be arrested. Yet, not everyone who is arrested should have been and they certainly don’t need to be sitting in jail. Second, it is rarely advantageous to the client to remain in jail in terms of legal justice. Justice should be handled fairly and equitably but, in our opinion, justice is different for those who are able to bail out of jail.

 

While we can’t tell you how to parent, it is important to understand there are consequences that follow from remaining in jail and some of those consequences significantly impact how an attorney can resolve the case. For example:

 

1) It is very tempting to plea to a crime that you could beat because you are offered “credit for time served” (you get out of jail as soon as you plead guilty).

 

2) The prosecution has the upper hand when you’re in jail. They are rougher in plea negotiations (knowing you’ll just want out). The defendant pleas to a higher charge with “credit for time served” or very little extra time so the Prosecutor can keep their conviction stats up.

 

3) When you’re in jail, anxiety is higher and the urge to get out causes people to make quick decisions that aren’t in their best interest. For example, the client doesn’t want to wait in jail while they find out if they qualify for alternative sentencing programs like veterans court or behavioral health court.

 

4) When you are in jail, it is much more likely you’ll miss important deadlines such as sending in your DOL hearing request to challenge a suspension. If you were given a traffic citation at the same time as your arrest, you may miss the 15 day window to contest that ticket. Additionally, you’re racking up very large fees while your car is in impound.

 

5) Perhaps most importantly, it is harder to communicate with a client in jail. It makes it harder to form a defense and to analyze alternative sentencing options. This is inherently unfair to poor people who do not have the financial means to bail out.

 

Finally, we consider long term consequences for all of our clients. How will a conviction or plea impact your career goals or financial concerns for your family? These are not concerns for the State. In fact, the role of law enforcement has changed dramatically over the last 20+ years. They are understaffed, overstressed, risks are higher, and arrests are more likely. In fact, one in four Americans has an arrest record. While both violent crime and property crime has dropped significantly over the last quarter century, there are spikes in certain arrests. For example, just between 1990 and 2010, there was an 80% increase in drug possession and use arrests. The entire methodology and motivation for policing a community has changed and, in our opinion, too many people are arrested for “crimes” that could have been resolved another way. While we can’t remove an arrest from your record, when possible, we want our clients to grow from the experience but not face lifelong obstacles because they had an encounter with law enforcement.

 

*See below for some interesting facts from the Brennan Center For Justice.

 

So. to answer the question about “lessons,” you need to ask what is most important to you in the moment—an immediate lesson or a very long term consequence. In DUI situations, law enforcement and the prosecutor don’t care that you’re trying to “do the right thing” by teaching a lesson. They have a job to convict and they do that job very well.

 

If you would like your child to be convicted of a DUI and have the insurance expenses, license suspension, employment consequences, ignition interlock requirements, and jail time, then you should let the State have the upper hand by leaving your child in jail. Statistically, this will increase their odds of a conviction or pleaing to a charge so they can get out of jail. If you’d rather allow an experienced defense attorney to guide your child through the maze of criminal defense with an eye toward the future with employment consequences in mind, you might consider talking with your child about your concerns within the privacy of your home and leaving legal lessons to the attorney and court. 

 

* The Numbers in Perspective:

America now houses roughly the same number people with criminal records as it does four-year college graduates.

Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males are arrested by the age 23.

If all arrested Americans were a nation, they would be the world’s 18th largest. Larger than Canada. Larger than France. More than three times the size of Australia.

The number of Americans with criminal records today is larger than the entire U.S. population in 1900.

Holding hands, Americans with arrest records could circle the earth three times

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

You have weed in the car and the officer wants to ask you about it. What to do?

The best encounter with law enforcement is NO encounter 

Published in Witt Law Group Blog
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