I meet a lot of people in my travels around Pennsylvania and beyond. Once I introduce myself and my profession as a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney some people express outrage and disgust. It usually results in the question of “How can you defend ‘those people?'”
The short answer I give is “You are ‘those people.'” The longer answer involves a true story that happened many years ago.
Sometimes being a PA DUI and criminal defense attorney carries occupational hazards. Court cases especially those involving death or injury carry a lot of emotion and anger. I have been hit, threatened and spit at by family members of the alleged victim simply because I was the defense attorney for someone who they hated.
I remember one incident very vividly when one man spit in my face one day and then tried to do it again every day thereafter for the entire five day trial. He screamed at me cursing me for defending this “murdering SOB”. It came to pass that nearly two years to the day when he spat in my face that his beloved son was accused of a gang fight and shooting another person. This guy who had spit in my face for five days straight and cursed me for defending a “murderer,” now wanted me to do that which he found so objectionable for his son the accused attempted murderer: defend him even though he was guilty.
I did it. I defended his son well. I never reminded him of how we met until he brought it up after the trial of his son. He revealed to me his great shame and life-long regret for not understanding the role that I played. He said that now having lived through this that he was sure that I wasn’t just necessary for his son, but for every man’s son. He cried while asking for my forgiveness.
I defend “those people” because life is long and full of great joys and sorrows. It is unpredictable and there is no clear way to foresee everything. I am here in the unfortunate event that your world gets turned upside down. Even though now you object to everything I do, I will be here, if needed, to defend you or your loved one such as a family member or a close friend. I hope that day never comes. On your very worst day, I will be here to help as I do every day for everyone.