You are not alone. I can help you find a solution and
get the best outcome available.
I Want to Hear Your Story
If you are reading this because you're looking for a criminal defense lawyer, then you or someone you know is likely in a crises. I understand that being under investigation or accused of a crime is a frightening and isolating experience.
By the time you've been arrested and charged, no one in the criminal process knows anything about you. Until you get an attorney, the criminal process seems driven by the presumption that you're guilty despite the presumption of innocence. No one has asked you about who you are, how you came to be, details about your family life or your standing in the community. No one seems to want to hear the truth about what really happened. The police will ask you about what they think you did and try to get you to confess to a crime. The best thing to do is not to say anything until you've consulted with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
My approach to my clients' cases is different than many other criminal defense lawyers. I want to hear your story - not what you've been accused of - but I want to know about your background and life experience. From there I begin building your defense. I also use the information you give me to connect you with resources you might need to get you through this difficult time.
What Makes Me Different?
Low volume. Many criminal defense lawyers survive based on a high volume practice. I don't work that way. Maintaining a low volume case load allows me to focus on each case and give each client the attention they need.
Client centered. I develop a unique relationship with my clients and their families - a relationship which often continues even after a case is over. It's not uncommon for my former clients to contact me to let me know what they've been doing. That means a lot to me.
Connecting with families. I understand that if someone is facing a loss of liberties, it affects not only them, but the entire family. As long as my client approves, I work with the entire family since the family is often the only link to the outside world. Plus, family tend to stick by family through hard times, so coordinating family support is essential to helping a client rebound after a case is over. Some clients prefer to remain discreet and prefer that their family not be involved. I will respect your privacy.
Creativity. I have practiced in some tough places where I had to come up with innovative methods to persuade a judge. I have successfully employed the use of film and video into my practice. I was a film major before law school. I wanted to make documentary films. A few years ago when I worked in a federal defender office in Kansas, I discovered that I could incorporate this medium into my practice. In certain cases where I'm seeking an extraordinary result, I have successfully used sentencing videos to persuade the judge that he/she should follow my recommendation at sentencing. It really works. If a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth a million. Since it's such a powerful means of persuasion, I have trained other lawyers on how to incorporate this medium into their practices.
Compassion. There's a story behind each one of us. How we came to be, why we do what we do, why we end up in the situations we end up in. You can be assured that if I'm your lawyer, I will "have your back." I won't judge you, I won't berate you, I will treat you with compassion, respect and dignity. It doesn't matter to me whether you are facing your 5th drug case or whether you are facing your very first offense. I believe that a lawyer's job as an advocate is to protect your rights and to help you to land on your feet so that you never need me again.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I do if I am under investigation or arrested?
If you think you are being investigated for a crime, get an attorney fast. Even with an attorney, law enforcement may try to interrogate you. You have a right to a lawyer and you should tell law enforcement that you want to speak to a lawyer before you make any statements. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and you can't be punished for refusing to answer questions.
Do I have to consent to a search of my person or belongings?
No. In fact, if you consent to a search, it may negatively affect your case later in court. If the police are investigating you and they believe they have reasonable suspicion that you are presently armed, they have a right to do a limited pat down of your outer clothing for weapons. You should not physically resist, but you should not consent to anything further.
If the police come to my home do I have to let them in?
Only if they possess a search warrant that has your address listed on it. Even then, the search is limited by the contents of the warrant. If the police come to your house to search it, you should request that they slip the warrant under the door so you can inspect it. Even if the police have a warrant, you still have the right to remain silent.
Sometimes the police will conduct what they call a "knock and talk." That's where they don't have a warrant but they come to your home anyway to seek your consent to search your home. They may tell you that they could get a warrant but that they want to make things "easier" for you. The best thing to do is to politely tell them to leave and then call an attorney.
If the police stop me for no reason can I run?
It's a bad idea. First, you will likely be pursued and once caught, it won't be pleasant. Second, by running, you are adding a factor that they can include in their reasonable suspicion/probable cause equation. Finally, if the initial contact by law enforcement was unlawful, in most jurisdictions you are giving up your right to challenge their action as an illegal seizure because you did not allow yourself to be "seized." The best way to deal with law enforcement is not to resist and to immediately verbally invoke your constitutional rights.
Do the police have to "read me my rights?"
No. The only time police have to read your Miranda rights is if you are in custody and they are questioning you. If you've made incriminating statements at some point before you were put into custody, those statements can be used against you.
How do I invoke my constitutional rights to the police?
Below is a copy of the back of my business card. It contains the invocation of rights. Print this page, cut out the invocation below and carry it in your wallet in case you need it one day.