No matter how many times it’s said, some people still don’t understand how bad a bad lawyer can really be. The Innocence Project list bad lawyering as one of the leading causes to false convictions. Here is an excerpt from on of the profiles highlighting this issue:
The exoneration and release of Jimmy Ray Bromgard from Montana prison provides a sobering view of the effects of inadequate or incompetent counsel. Bromgard, arrested when he was 18, spent 15 years in prison for the brutal rape of an eight-year-old girl, a crime post-conviction DNA testing proved he did not commit. Bromgard’s trial attorney performed no investigation, filed no pre-trial motions, gave no opening statement, did not prepare for closing arguments, failed to file an appeal, and provided no expert to refute the fraudulent testimony of the state’s hair microscopy expert. Other than the forensic testimony and the tentative identification, there was no evidence against Bromgard.
Just as in any profession there is a big difference between the true professionals and ones who are downright bad. Take mechanics for instance. A good mechanic will identify the problem and fix it right the first time. A bad mechanic may miss the diagnosis and fix something else. After a a few trips back and forth, your problem isn’t fixed and you’ve spent more time and money than had you opted for the better mechanic in the first place.
Add up the costs of a DUI conviction. You have:
- Pay lost while you serve jail time
- Costs of getting to and from work while you serve a license suspension
- Increased insurance costs
All of those costs added up are far more than the cost of a professional DUI lawyer.
The moral of the story is when choosing a mechanic or DUI lawyer -do it right the first time. Good lawyers aren’t cheap. Cheap lawyers aren’t good.