I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend . Now , it’s Monday and back to work . Today , I am pleased to have my first guest post by Pennsylvania DUI lawyer Justin McShane . I met Attorney McShane in 2009 at an intense DUI seminar on blood and breath alcohol forensic issues . Justin has become a superstar on the national stage teaching lawyers across the country on the truth about forensic science . Justin was kind to provide today’s post. Here it is.
When you are charged with a DUI or criminal offense, it is perfectly ok to be selfish. In fact, you must be in order to survive it. You must become educated. You cannot simply hope or wish that it will all go away. You need to find the best option to maximize your chances of surviving this trying time in your life.
The role of the criminal defense attorney is a difficult one. Oftentimes, people take a look at criminal defense attorneys and especially ones who specialize in DUI defense and like to point the finger wagging it at us and ask, “How could you do that (meaning those who are accused of a crime or DUI)?”
And you know what, that is the key question that you should ask any prospective attorney. It takes guts to be a criminal defense attorney and especially if you specialize in DUI defense.
The answer will help you distinguish between someone you should trust with the most important event that is going on in you and your family’s life.
If they have a “canned” answer, then that is likely to be the type of defense that you are going to get. If you get a very thought-out and thoughtful one, then you should look further.
When you look further, I suggest that you look at the person’s education. One way that you can tell whether or not a criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI defense is up the par is to determine what sort of education they have. This doesn’t just mean his or her brick-and-mortar type of education, but rather that attorney’s extracurricular and post-graduate education in the wall. In fact, it is the education that the lawyer seeks and completes after passing the bar that will enable him or her to be truly effective on your behalf. Remember, it is relatively very easy to become a licensed attorney, but the true education of a trial attorney comes after he or she passes the bar. Therefore it is essential for you to look well past the simple fact that someone is a licensed attorney and to take a look at all of the experienced an attorney has accumulated. This means not only in terms of Continuing Legal Education (CLE’s), but also in the courtroom and in actual trial. When was the last time the attorney went to trial? How many CLE’s has she or he completed? Were the CLE’s national or local ones? Is it more than the bare minimum required? Does he or she teach at CLE’s? If so, what topics and to whom? Does he or she organize CLE’s? Has he or she kept their CLE’s and their learning to one specific area or is he or she a generalist?
An attorney who does not continue to learn and does not further his or her education is not worth very much. The same is true with a generalist. I suggest that you want a specialist.
Be sure to ask and demand to see the qualifications of your attorney. Not all attorneys are the same. Therefore, it is up to you and to you alone to be selfish and to become an educated consumer of attorneys. One of the smartest things that you can do is insist on a resume of your attorney. An attorney, who doesn’t have a resume of some sort, in terms the extracurricular education that he or she has received, is probably someone that you should steer away from.
Knowledge is evolutionary and at the end of the day it is only the most current attorneys who continue to learn and who continue to keep up on the ever expanding knowledge base in DUI who will help you maximize your chances of getting an acceptable result at the end of the day.
Another key consideration to think about is whether or not that person is willing to apply that knowledge to your particular case. This brings us back to that great question that started this post: “how could you do that (meaning those who are accused of a crime or DUI)?” It is indeed true that knowledge without guts to apply it is a worthless characteristic. Therefore, you are looking for the attorney who has a the reputation, the knowledge, and the experience to maximize your chances of obtaining an acceptable result.
At the end of your litigation, this requires not only someone who has the knowledge, who has the education, and who has the experience to truly make a difference, but also, most importantly has to be willing to put it “all on the line” for YOU in YOUR case. To be a warhorse and not just a show horse. You have to be selfish in this regard. After all, this is about maintaining your life and your lifestyle.
In conclusion, the meaningful defense of a motorist among us who has been accused of a DUI offense requires specialized training, knowledge, experience and guts. These characteristics mean the difference that you must look for an attorney.
I would like to thank Justin for sharing his insights on the best defense for a DUI case . I would also welcome any other attorneys who read the blog to become a guest blogger as well. Just send me your proposed post .