How Will Police Know If I am Impaired by Drug?

When police suspect that someone is driving while impaired by alcohol, most people know how police will determine whether the person is in fact legally impaired: by administering an Approved Screening Device (ASD) or a breathalyzer to the driver. However, where police suspect that a person is impaired by drug, the methods that police use to ascertain impairment are more complex and less commonly known. This article will briefly describe these methods.

The first way that police determine whether someone is impaired by drug is by administering the Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). This type of test is usually done at the side of the road once a motorist has been stopped. The test involves a series of smaller tests. The tests include a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, a Walk and Turn Test, and a One Leg Stand Test. If the driver refuses to undergo these tests, they may be charged with failure or refusal to comply with demand, an additional criminal offence.

Another tool that police may use to determine whether a motorist is impaired by drug is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). The DRE will use a 12-step procedure to evaluate the motorist. The DRE consists of similar tests as the SFSTs, but also involves examinations of the driver’s blood pressure and temperature, muscle tone, and a search for and examination of any injection sites.

Based on the evaluation, the DRE will decide whether or not the driver is impaired. If the DRE finds that the driver is impaired, The Criminal Code allows police officers to demand the motorist to provide a sample of saliva or urine for the purpose of confirming or refuting the DRE’s opinion that they have a drug in their body. Under this provision, police officers are also authorized to demand that the motorist provide a blood sample for the purpose of determining whether the person has consumed a drug. As with the SFST, if the driver refuses to comply with the police officer’s demand for a bodily sample, they may be charged with the additional offence of failure or refusal to comply with demand.

If you or someone you know has been charged with operation while impaired by drug or failure or refusal to comply with demand, a conviction will result in serious legal consequences. To avoid these consequences, contact Winnipeg DUI lawyer Matt Gould now to discuss your case.

What is Impaired by Drug?

The Liberal government recently announced legislation that would allow adults to legally possess, share, buy, and grow marijuana. This new legislation is scheduled to become law in July of 2018. Before this legislation comes into effect, it is important to understand how it will impact other areas of criminal law. One of the aspects of criminal law which will be most affected by this change is the law on impaired driving. In preparation for this new legislation, I will be publishing an article each week to help you understand the law on driving while impaired by drugs.

Impaired by drug is a relatively new area of the law, and is very complex. Many people do not even realize that it is illegal to drive while impaired by drug, and think that it is only illegal to drive while impaired by alcohol. In fact, section 253(1) of the Criminal Code prohibits the operation or care or control of  a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, railway equipment while a person’s ability to do so is impaired by alcohol AND/OR drug. This is because even a small amount of a drug can affect a person’s attention, reaction time, and judgment.

Some of the most common drugs found in drivers who have been involved in car accidents include marijuana, opioids, and amphetamines. Even prescription drugs or legal drugs can impair a person’s ability to drive.

The consequences of being found guilty of impaired driving are very serious, as this offence carries a mandatory minimum sentence. Where it is a person’s first time being convicted of impaired driving, they will receive a minimum fine of $1,000. If it is their second time, they must be imprisoned for at least 30 days. For each additional time that they are convicted of impaired driving, they must go to prison for at least 120 days. The penalties are even more serious where the person causes bodily harm or death to another person as a result of their actions while impaired by drug, and include the potential for life imprisonment.

If you or someone you know has been charged with operation while impaired by drug, effective legal representation by an experienced DUI lawyer  is absolutely essential given the serious consequences of being convicted of the offence. Contact Matt Gould now to discuss your case.

What Will You Do If a Family Member Is Arrested?

What would you do if you got a call informing you that a family member is arrested. This is probably a call you wish you never have to pick up and one of the worst nightmares of a parent or relative. It is upsetting and overwhelming. Yet, you have to face reality and be objective and most of all rational about the incident. You need to shove emotions to the back of your mind and also remain level-headed about the situation.

If a Family Member Is Arrested

Determine Where They Are

Think slowly, calmly, and just stay focused. Ask about the person informing you of your relative’s arrest. What is their name? Are they also a police officer? What exactly happened that led to the arrest?

If your family member is arrested, ask about their whereabouts. In which precinct are they detained? Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally as you have to face your loved one who has just been put behind bars. Finally, upon reaching the police station, stay respectful of the authorities attending to your case and be careful with your words. You would not want to cause a scene or any misunderstanding that might worsen the scenario and jeopardize the chances of the release of your relative.

You are also given the chance to have a conversation with the arrested family member. Let them know that you have their support and faith. It is also recommended to let them know that they will get through this bad situation.

Cooperation with the Arresting Authorities

Answer the police officers’ question truthfully and confidently. If you find that a question may be out of line or irrelevant, politely decline to respond and seek to consult a lawyer to assist you in the interrogation. Just like you have been interviewed by the law enforcers, make sure you also get the opportunity to gather as much information about the arrest. This is to be disclosed to you and the rest of the family. Therefore, you have the right to know about the case.

Action Plan: Legal Steps to Take

Has Your Family Member Been ArrestedProvide for your family member the best way you can. So hire a lawyer who specializes in the case the accused is involved in. Take advantage of the legal professional’s expertise. It is crucial to also remember to ask plenty questions.

Ask them to be honest about the case of your relative and ask what are their chances of getting off the hook. Solicit their suggestions and let them set forth the options that you have such as bail and any other possible legitimate arrangements.

On the other hand, you have to be able to pay for the fees of your legal counsel. Reach a Winnipeg criminal lawyer who is experienced and genuinely willing to help your family.

The Tiring Waiting Period

Legal processes take a very long time, months or even years. It will prove to be burdensome to you and your entire family. You will also have to deal with rumors going around and have the urge to defend your relative.

Don’t do anything rash. If your family member is arrested, just remember that patience is key and to stay on focus when it comes to this situation. Be cautious of who you talk to and what you say. The last thing you need is to incriminate your loved one as a result of irrelevant information. Who knows what impact they might have on your family member’s legal case and trial.

What Happens in Winnipeg Criminal Court?

If you have never been in a criminal court, you might wonder what happens inside. Is it calm and formal? Will it be like the way things are portrayed on television? Let us take a peek inside Winnipeg criminal court and gain some knowledge of what will happen inside this particular criminal court in Manitoba. This will help you understand in clear and plain terms how prosecution in criminal courts transpires.

What Happens in Winnipeg Criminal Court

Winnipeg Court Process and Proceedings

A crime is committed or assumed to be. This is followed by a series of investigative proceedings conducted by police authorities. This includes speaking with witnesses. These investigations will go on for weeks, or even months. Enough relevant evidence must be gathered to file criminal charges. Hence, a crime is believed to have actually been committed after all evidence and witness statements are carefully considered. Legal proceedings will then commence.

What will happen when a lawsuit is served? The defendant or their lawyer will be mailed a package. The package contains the list of charges against the accused. Then, a required court appearance is scheduled.

The Defendant and Their Winnipeg Lawyer

In the initial appearance of the accused in the criminal court they will face a judge to whom they can choose to plead guilty or not-guilty of the charges.

On the other hand, the prosecutor who has brought the charges to Winnipeg criminal court is to present the probable cause of the charges.

There are two outcomes that may can occur. The probable cause provided by the prosecuting lawyer might not be satisfactory. Then they are released right away. What if the probable cause presented is accepted by the judge? The accused will be officially charged with the crime.

At this point, the defendant’s Winnipeg criminal lawyer can discuss and negotiate for permission of bail.

The Judge, the Jury and the Sentence Hearing

Information on Winnipeg Criminal CourtThe judge will sit through the extensive litigation.Fist is the interview process conducted among the prosecution, the defendant’s representation, and the accused himself as well as any witnesses. Both parties take turns in presenting their evidence. The investigating police force will then present their gathered evidence.

Final arguments will be heard in front of the judge and the jury following all the lengthy proceedings. This is until both sides including the defendant and the prosecution rest. The members of the jury privately decide on the legitimacy of the lawsuit based on their sound analyses of the strength of the evidence and the statements made. The defendant will either come out guilty or not guilty.

In the event that the jurors decide that the defendant is guilty, they move into the final phase of deciding on the punishment. This is called a sentence hearing. The decision of the weight of the sanctions is all up to the judge as they make a conclusive determination.

Amid this courtroom spectacle, there is the other side of the room that consists of the public. Yes, members of the public are welcome to attend criminal proceedings.

Criminal Court Etiquette and Procedures for the Public

You must pass the security search and inspection of belongings at the courthouse as part of tight security protocol. Members of the pubic will then enter the courtroom.

In Winnipeg criminal court, punctuality is a must and silence is mandatory. Electronic devices including mobile phones, cameras and recording devices will be prohibited inside the gallery. Food and beverages will not be allowed inside either.

The public is required to dress and act appropriately and head-wear is discarded unless it is for religious purposes.

These are the basic rules for the public audience if they do not wish to be escorted to step outside due to disobedience.

For more information on Winnipeg criminal court and its trials, you may contact Matthew Gould.

How To Not Hire The Wrong Defense Lawyer

Hiring the Wrong Criminal LawyerThe majority of people will never need to hire a criminal defense lawyer to represent them. If you’ve been charged or arrested for the first time, you’re most likely going to be worried and confused on how to go about hiring the best criminal defense lawyer available to you. The right defense lawyer will be able to help you through your legal issue, including representing you in court if your case goes to trial. Your lawyer is going to fight for your rights and your freedom, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with someone you can trust.

If you don’t know where to start your search for your criminal lawyer, here are a few of the things that you SHOULDN’T do:

Your Lawyer Search Shouldn’t Be A Bargain Hunt

Sure, you’re already upset and you don’t want to have to pay a ton of money out of pocket on top of everything else. Keep in mind that looking for the cheapest defense lawyer in your area could come back to haunt you in the end. If a lawyer is inexpensive, it could denote a lack of clients, experience, credentials, or personal attention to their cases. However, in some situations, it may be worth considering other factors behind the lawyer in addition to a low price.

Likewise, hiring a lawyer who is not right for you may result in additional costs or damage to your case. You may need to hire a second lawyer. You could lose your job, or even your freedom due to a poor outcome to your case. You may need to hire an appellate lawyer.

While hiring an experienced lawyer won’t guarantee you the outcome you want, it will give you the best chance of a positive outcome. You wouldn’t feel comfortable with an inexperienced surgeon, and you should feel comfortable about your choice of legal representation as well.

Don’t Choose Your Lawyer Over The Phone

While your lawyer should be good at negotiating and working with others, this is not what you should be basing your choice on. Your criminal lawyer will be representing you to judges, prosecutors, and juries, so you’ll want to hire someone you trust and are comfortable working with. It is difficult to assess your lawyer’s skill and experience and build a trusting relationship with them over the phone. In some cases, meeting with your criminal lawyer at their office before hiring them is impractical. If at all possible, you should set up an in-person meeting with your preferred lawyer before you choose to hire them.

Don’t Fall For Good Advertising

Anyone can create a website to market their services to the public. Any lawyer, even those fresh out of law school, can start a criminal defense website for their legal services, but that doesn’t mean they have the specialized skill and experience that could make or break your case. In order to find a lawyer who specializes in criminal law, you’ll most likely need to hit the internet. You’ll find a number of websites that list Board Certified lawyers in your area. An lawyer with Board Certification has substantial, relevant experience in a select field of law, and will provide you with demonstrated, tested special competence in their area of legal expertise.

Don’t Put It Off

We all try to put off doing things that make us uncomfortable or add additional stress to our lives. But when it comes to criminal matters, delays in hiring a professional criminal defense lawyer to represent you can lower your chances of a successful outcome. In some cases, having an experienced lawyer intervene at the investigation stage of your case can prevent charges from being filed. No matter what your legal circumstances, it’s important to begin looking for a qualified lawyer as soon as possible in order to better handle your case and achieve a positive outcome for your circumstances.

How To Find A Criminal Lawyer

Find a Criminal Lawyer in WinnipegThose found guilty of a criminal offense face potential jail time, significant fines, and even the forfeit of property, including vehicles and other valuable possessions. In order to assure that you will receive the best defense and personal outcome, you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer with court experience, litigation success, expert knowledge of the law, and a passion for what they do.

There are several methods to tracking down a great criminal lawyer, including the yellow pages, online search engines, and the recommendations of friends and colleagues whom you trust. In virtually all cases, you should meet with a variety of lawyers in order to better determine which is right for you and your case. Most lawyers will provide prospective clients with a free initial consultation, during which they expect you to ask questions about their experience and credentials, and how they can help your case. Following are several important points that you should bring up during each consultation, before choosing a criminal defense lawyer.

  • How many years of experience in criminal defense?
    • Ask how long they have been representing persons accused of crime to get a better understanding of their usable experience.
  • How many of those years were you specialized in criminal defense of serious charges?
    • You’re looking for someone with practical experience in criminal defenses, obtaining reduced charges, and courtroom experience.
  • What is your track record for reduced or dropped charges?
    • You’d prefer not to go to court for your charges, and a DUI lawyer with a history of reduced or dropped charges will be in your favor.
  • What percentage of your past cases have gone to trial?
    • If you do end up in court, you want your lawyer to have experience defending cases in a courtroom.
  • What is your ratio of criminally guilty to not guilty verdicts?
    • Although a lawyer with an excellent record of ‘not guilty’ verdicts may mean nothing to your individual case, it does bode well to work with a lawyer with a mostly positive track record.
  • How many cases have you handled like mine?
    • It is preferable that a lawyer has handled cases similar to yours, though keep in mind that each situation is different, and it is possible that a lawyer has not handled a case like yours.
  • What key concerns do you have for my specific situation?
    • You’ll want to know what reservations your lawyer has for your case before you hire them, so that you will have a better idea of what factors could affect your verdict and how you approach your defense.
  • What do you think the outcome of this case will be
    • While you most likely won’t get a guaranteed answer of a specific outcome, an experienced criminal lawyer should be able to offer you an idea of what to expect.
  • Who will be handling my case, and how will they communicate with me?
    • You should meet with the people from your chosen lawyer’s team who will be working on your case, and ask about their experience in preparing and defending criminal charges. You should also know who will be the primary source of communication, and how often you can expect to hear from them, as well as how often you should expect to hear directly from your lawyer.
  • What is the potential cost?
    • Depending on the complexity of your case, you could be looking at a handsome fee; more so if your case is taken to court. Your lawyer should be able to provide you with a reasonably estimated cost, given your circumstances. You should be wary of a lawyer who quotes you lower than other criminal defense lawyers you’ve met with, which is why it’s so important to meet with several before making a decision.

There must be honesty from both sides of your criminal defense team, right from the start. You should answer all questions brought up by the lawyer regarding your situation and circumstances leading up to and following your arrest, as honestly as possible. Remember, what you tell the lawyer is protected by lawyer-client privilege, making it ineligible to be used against you in court. And something that you leave out or fudge the details of to your lawyer could blindside you in court, possibly even costing you your case.

Choosing The Right Defense Lawyer For Your Needs

choosing the right criminal lawyer in WinnipegYou wouldn’t call a plumber to treat you for a cold; and the same kind of thinking should apply to your decision to hire an lawyer. If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you shouldn’t be sitting down with a DUI lawyer, or one who specializes in bankruptcy or malpractice. There are numerous areas of legal practice, and myriad highly trained lawyers in each field to help clients through any legal troubles they might come to. Powerful representation in legal matters could mean the difference between your freedom and incarceration, so it’s important to seek the right representation for your case.

So Where Do You Start?

If you’re under investigation or have already been charged with a crime, you’ll want to have the best criminal defense lawyer you can get on your side. While it’s important not to skimp on your legal representation, it’s also important to stay within your budget. The best place to start is with the people you already know and trust. If you’re comfortable speaking about your case to friends, family, and even non-criminal defense lawyers that you may know, then ask them for their recommendations for criminal defense lawyers. By gathering a list of lawyers through referrals, you’ll be able to ask specific questions and get details, rather than a plain list of names. You can ask about whether the lawyer was on time, if they were reasonably transparent and available, and what your trusted source liked most about their experience with their criminal defense lawyer.

You should try to create a list of 3-5 lawyers before attempting to choose the best one for your legal needs. If you have too many choices, consider how many cases each lawyer has handled like yours and their success rate, and any other outstanding qualifications they may have. Keep in mind that years in practice do not always correspond to years of experience. You’ll need a lawyer who is familiar with the prosecutors, judges, and procedures in your area. A criminal defense lawyer who has been in practice for ten years may have handled more cases than a general practitioner or civil lawyer who has been in practice for more than twenty. When choosing your legal representation, always be sure to look for experience over years in practice.

But How Do I Choose?

Now that your list has been narrowed down, you can begin to set up in-person meetings. However, if you’ve been arrested and taken to jail and your first court appearance is the following day, you can do your interview and even begin talking about your legal options. Many lawyers will even offer a free consultation to begin. You’ll need to bring a summary of your case and details like when you were arrested, the circumstances of the arrest, if there was anyone else involved, and your charges. At the end of your consultation, your lawyer will have helped you to understand the charges, what the prosecutor needs to prove or establish to find you guilty, the defenses available to you, any key issues that will occur before the trial, what plea bargains-if any-will be offered, and the consequences that you may need to face. And because it’s important that you know all of these things in order to have your best chance at a positive outcome for your case, you’ll need to have a lawyer who puts in sufficient time to learn your case and plan your defense. If you don’t feel comfortable with the analysis that your lawyer gives you, it could mean that you should consider other legal representation options. Your lawyer may have all the experience in the world, but your case will ultimately hinge on negotiations with the prosecutor or with a judge and jury. Any criminal defense lawyer who tries to guarantee you an outcome right from the start is also not someone you should choose to represent you.

Don’t forget to consider the cost of your case. Many lawyers charge a flat fee paid in advance, others by the hour, and some by a hybrid of the two. However, criminal defense cases do not allow for contingency fees, which are based on the lawyer’s achievement of certain results. The lawyer’s fee is different from filing fees and similar court costs, so you’ll want to make sure that you know what services you will be charged for. You’ll want a quote of your expected costs before signing the retainer.

Couldn’t I Just Represent Myself?

It’s imperative that you have knowledgeable legal assistance for your case. The Hollywood version of a criminal trial is not far removed from the truth: the details may be sensationalized, but the basic procedural aspects are generally accurate. While you are within your rights to represent yourself, you’ll come to depend on your defense lawyer for things like instructing you during pre-trial investigations so that you don’t reveal anything incriminating, representing you during plea negotiations to increase your chances of a favorable outcome and reduced punishment, persuading the court to reduce or waive your bail, planning your defense, and assisting you with the appeals process, as needed.

Above all, you should select a criminal lawyer you trust. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your lawyer, and they could be the difference between spending time behind bars or retaining your freedom.

Why You Need An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Matthew Gould Criminal Defense LawyerIf you have been arrested or charged with a crime, from possession of a controlled substance to domestic abuse, you could find yourself faced with incarceration, substantial fines, a probationary period, a criminal record, and more negative outcomes that could follow you for the rest of your life. However, if you are able to act quickly and hire a criminal defense lawyer, you could have many of your charges either lowered or dropped, depending on your circumstances.

Anticipating Your Exposure

Your experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to anticipate any potential exposure in terms of both a formal sentence and informal consequences that may affect you in the long run. You’ll want to have a clear understanding of the situation and charges that you will be facing, as well as the potential range of penalties in order to make the best decisions regarding specific plea deals and whether or not to proceed to trial. You’ll also want to understand the impact of a disposition, including penalty enhancement for future cases, eligibility for record clearing, and employment related consequences.

Understanding The Process

You’ll need to look for a criminal defense lawyer who has worked with cases like yours because they will have a better understanding of the legal matters relating to your case. A criminal defense lawyer who has worked in your area for a long time will also have a familiarity with local laws, prosecutors, and judges. It may be possible to intervene early in the legal process in some cases, which can impact the decision for the charges to be filed and the severity of those charges. The insider knowledge of your Winnipeg DUI lawyer can help you to evaluate plea offers, diversion opportunities, and potential defense strategies with insight into what you should expect from the prosecutor and the judge.


Mitigating The Impact To Your Family

Staying out of jail is going to be your first priority when you are accused of a crime. However, if jail time is likely or even inevitable, there are certain situations where you may want your family to be protected. Many professional criminal defense lawyers will help to mitigate the economic impact of your case on your family, including avoiding property and/or asset seizures.

10 Tips To Locating The Best Criminal Lawyer

locating-the-best-criminal-lawyerWhen you’re faced with a criminal charge-like theft, DUI, crimes of violence, or drug offenses-you need an experienced lawyer who will stand in your corner and fight for your case. But being a lawyer is a top profession, and there are countless accredited criminal defense lawyers to choose from. It can be difficult to figure out which is the right lawyer for your case, particularly if you don’t know what to look for. What you need is someone you could trust with your life, but what you have is a list of names, possibly less. In order to find your perfect defense lawyer, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten things you should look for before settling with any given firm.

A Lawyer With A Passion For Law

Don’t pick someone who sees your case as just another day on the job. You deserve a lawyer who loves what they do and is at home in the courtroom. Find an lawyer who shows interest in your story and is eager to fight on your behalf.

All Experience Is Not Equal

A lawyer with years of experience working on tax law could be worse for a case than a criminal defense lawyer who has spent six months in the courtroom. Find a lawyer who specializes in your charges, and has plenty of experience defending those with similar charges.

Trust Your Gut

You want someone who will act as an adviser, explaining your options and allowing you to make choices. If you’re working with a lawyer who makes you uncomfortable or pressures you into making decisions, you’re working with the wrong lawyer.

It Takes A Village

It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a strong legal team to prepare a case for court. Your lawyer will be relying on others as they work with your case. Ask to meet the administrative staff, paralegals, and other lawyers to be sure that the entire team is a good fit for your case.

Confidence, Not Arrogance

Your lawyer can not guarantee a specific outcome to your case; there is always an aspect of the unknown when it comes to the law. Don’t pick a lawyer who builds you up with promises they can’t stand behind. Instead, find one who bolsters your case through skill and preparation.

Check References

Even the greatest lawyers have a few dissatisfied clients, so you’ll want someone with enough good reviews to outweigh the bad. A great lawyer will have a reputation to match.

A Comparable Fee

An experienced lawyer is likely going to cost more than one right out of law school. However, your chosen lawyer’s fee shouldn’t be much different that fees of similarly qualified candidates. If the fee is higher, be sure to ask why; it could be that your chosen lawyer comes with more services or cross experience than the competition.

Reaching An Understanding

Your lawyer should speak clearly, in terms that you can understand, not courtroom legal jargon.

Explaining Your Options

Decisions to your case shouldn’t be made at the drop of a hat. Every decision you make in regards to your case carries lasting consequences. Make sure that your lawyer informs you of all possible choices and makes sure that you understand the full extent of the one that you choose.

Courtroom Experience

While court can be expensive and you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid your case going to a courtroom, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Make sure that your lawyer isn’t afraid of representing you in court.

Facing criminal charges isn’t something that you should attempt on your own, like fighting a traffic ticket. Criminal charges call for a criminal lawyer who will stand by your side throughout the entirety of the case, fighting for your best interests. You’ll need someone with experience, passion for the law, and an inane ability to get results. Taking time to find the right lawyer for your case could have a big impact on the outcome of that case, and you shouldn’t trust your future to just anyone.

What To Expect From Your Criminal Defense Attorney


How If you’ve been charged with a crime, you could be facing some serious penalties which include time behind bars. And you’ll need to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer behind your back who will fight for your rights and your freedom. When faced with prison time and extensive penalties for a criminal charge, you’re going to be wondering what your options are for a defender. You could qualify for a public defender, or you could opt to hire your own criminal defense lawyer, who will often be able to give you more options and personal attention to your case. Even if your criminal charges are minor and you don’t have a record, it’s almost always in your best interest to hire an experienced professional to defend you in your case.

No two cases are the same. In order to give yourself the best chance of removing or reducing your charges, you’ll need to hire a lawyer who is specialized in criminal defense, and one who has experience working with cases like yours. Your lawyer will be better able to spot specific arguments and factors that could mitigate or negate your potential crime.

How Can A Defense lawyer Help Me?

A professional criminal defense lawyer will call witnesses in your defense and cross examine those witnesses that the prosecution puts forward. However, there are a number of other important roles that your lawyer will play, both in and out of the courtroom.

If you are eligible for any plea bargains, your lawyer can help you to negotiate those and help you to decide if it is in your best interest to take the plea bargain. These plea deals can reduce your potential sentence or remove some of the charges against you, however, many prosecutors will not offer such bargains to those who choose to represent themselves. Your criminal defense lawyer will also figure out a good sentencing program for your specific situation. Even if you are found guilty, your lawyer can sometimes negotiate your sentence in order to prevent you from entering back into the criminal justice system. If you are found guilty of a drug related crime or dui, for instance, there are certain situations where your lawyer will be able to reduce your sentence. For instance, rather than spending 10 months in jail, your lawyer may suggest that you spend 6 months in jail with an additional four months in a drug treatment facility. This not only means a reduction of your time behind bars, but a rehabilitation for the problem that landed you in jail in the first place.

Because your lawyer is able to detach themselves personally from each case, they are better able to help their clients with the emotions that accompany their trial and sentencing. Defendants in criminal cases often are depressed, embarrassed, and fearful; conditions that are only exacerbated by poor or no legal defense. Your lawyer will also give you a reality check. One of the reasons that you shouldn’t represent yourself is that lawyers will know more about what is going on in a criminal trial than you will. Your lawyer will also have the advantage of remaining objective throughout the proceeding, allowing them to offer insights into how well the trial is actually going, and what is likely to happen in upcoming aspects of your case. These small reality checks are essential when you are deciding whether or not to take a plea bargain.

There are a ton of legal rules and regulations that you would likely never find. There are a number of rules and laws about criminal prosecutions that are buried within other regulations and laws. If you were to represent yourself, you’ll never know if a police search conducted in your home was lawful or not, without being able to understand the nuances and intricacies surrounding the fourth amendment. In addition, you may find it next to impossible to to navigate the state legal system on your own. In additional to local court rules, there are a number of unwritten rules that go with jurisdiction. This can become imperative if only certain prosecutors are able to make and approve plea bargains. Your criminal defense lawyer can save you time and money by talking to the right person the first time around.

There are also some hidden costs with pleading guilty. Many of the individuals who choose to represent themselves never stop to think about the consequences of pleading guilty, if it leads to a shorter amount of jail time. One of the most common hidden costs is that, if you plead guilty, you may have a hard time finding a job once your sentence has been completed. Another problem that individuals who represent themselves run into is that they find it impossible to gather evidence and statements from witnesses. Understandably, many witnesses will refuse to give statements or information to those who have been allegedly involved in a crime. These same witnesses are generally much more willing to talk with an experienced lawyer.

You Won’t Find The Answers In A Book

Many of those who choose to represent themselves take to reading books about crimes, punishments, and defenses, hoping that it will lead them to victory in their case. There is a world of difference between reading about the law and practicing the same law in court, as any experienced lawyer would be able to attest to. The key to succeeding in a courtroom is understanding the current and subtleties of a criminal trial. While you still may not be able to win your case, you’ll have a better chance with a professional lawyer by your side. For instance, the decision of what to charge a criminal with can mean the difference in how the case was handled. A crime may appear simple on paper, but it could be cast as either a multiple count indictment or a misdemeanor. Even if you are still adamant about representing yourself, you should still highly consider keeping a criminal defense lawyer on retainer in order to coach you through the legal minefields.

Free Case Reviews & Consultations

A great criminal defense lawyer is going to give you your best chance at winning your case, or at least obtaining a more favorable plea bargain. In fact, most criminal defense lawyers offer free consultations and case reviews so that you can see if they are a good fit for you and your case, and to get an idea of where you might stand in the legal system. No matter what type of representation you choose for your case, it is highly important that you begin seeking legal representation immediately. Waiting to hire a professional criminal defense lawyer could be the difference between your freedom and time spent behind bars. Call Matthew Gould to get legal representation today.