In our current series How to Find a DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania, we are examining what information an average citizen should gather in order to select the best DUI Lawyer. Previously we discussed what a title=”Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer” href=”http://www.paduiblog.com/2009/08/articles/pennsylvania-dui-info/how-to-find-a-dui-lawyer-in-pa-what-is-a-dui-lawyer/”>"DUI Lawyer" really means. We came to the conclusion that what we mean by DUI Lawyer is a Lawyer who specializes in handling DUI cases.
The first question on our list was “What specialized DUI training have you attended over the past year?” This week we look at the second question you should ask, “Do you actually take DUI cases to trial?”
Question #2: Do you actually take DUI cases to trial?
Many attorneys handle DUI cases like traffic tickets. Their mentality is to process the case as quickly as possible by accepting the first plea offer proposed by the prosecutor in exchange for your guilty plea. They think good lawyering is convincing you to plead guilty to the mandatory minimum. To be quite frank, I do not believe this approach is in the best interest in a majority of the citizens that I represent who are accused of a DUI. Negotiating with the prosecutor is very important, but isn’t it better to do so from a position of power? Once you enter a guilty plea or the prosecutor believes that you are going to enter a plea no matter what, you lose all of that power. This is why at The McShane Firm, our default position is to take your DUI case to trial.
We take many more DUI cases to trial than any other Firm in Central Pennsylvania and prepare meticulously for them. We visit the scene of the stop. We analyze the police reports. We examine the maintenance records for the testing equipment. We fight to get every bit of information possible. We study your medical history. We collect other medical and scientific data. We do this all so that we can challenge the prosecution’s evidence from a position of knowledge and power. Many, many times we find serious errors and discrepancies that when brought before the court, result in the charges being reduced or dismissed. We would have never gotten to this point if we had just plead guilty early on. The old adage that if you plead guilty, you will be found guilty 100% of the time, is very true. In other words, if you plead guilty, you will never be found not guilty.
One thing is for certain, the average prosecutor who is assigned these cases does not have anywhere near the specialized training that we at The McShane firm, LLC have. As a result, they generally really don’t want to take the case to a full trial because it’s so time consuming for them in an unfamiliar area of science and of the law. Pushing for a trial opens up more opportunities for us to try to secure a favorable result. But simply pushing for a trial is not enough, you need to have a lawyer that has the skills to follow through in the courtroom. Juries sometimes are intimidated by science which is usually our main defense. However, a lawyer, like anyone of us, who is experienced in dealing with these matters can simplify these complex areas of science into plain language that the jury can understand. This can result at them organically and independently arriving at a well-informed verdict. It is that skill, to explain complex forensic, medical and legal issues to common citizens that results in so many favorable verdicts for our clients.
The famous poet Robert Frost once said, “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer. Our ability to communicate with the jury is one of our most important skills.
Of course each case is complex and unique and your freedom, your future, and your livelihood are all tied to this outcome. That is why it behooves you to take the time to ask these important questions that will help you determine who really is the best lawyer suited to represent you in your case.