What training do you have regarding DUI laws and procedures?
I have attended and completed DUI detection and the standardized Field Sobriety Testing. This is the same training that police officers receive. During the course we went through the same training and the same classes including the theory behind detecting drivers who are impaired. During this training, we received training in the 3 validated tests for standard field sobriety, otherwise known as SFST. This training benefits my clients because in order to defend DUI cases, I truly believe that one must know what the officer is thinking and what he/she is looking for.
In addition, I received national attention from an article in the Atlantic Magazine when I drove thru a checkpoint in Orange County and exposed the type of bullying tactics that were used by Law Enforcement to get people convicted. I also have written about my experiences and my analysis of the situation has been posted on openwatch.net which is a Wiki Leaks for police misconduct.
What professional organizations do you belong to?
I belong to the CPDA (California Public Defenders Association), CDL (California DUI Lawyers Association), and the TPD (Private Defenders). Because of my association with these organizations I am provided with support, training, case assistance, brainstorming, assistance on motions, moral support and encouragement for the vigorous defense of my clients.
Another added benefit to being in these organizations are the seminars that are included. These seminars provide specialized training in various areas including the death penalty, DUI, juvenile delinquency and dependency, scientific evidence, as well as training in the skills that I use every day representing my clients.
These organizations work hard at leveling the playing field between the prosecutor and the defense by utilizing an extensive supportive network of criminal defense attorneys to share experiences, develop defense strategies, obtaining opinions of attorneys with particular areas of expertise, and the sharing of resources, to better serve you.
What do you like most about your job?
Just being a good defense attorney is a reward in itself. Everyday people make mistakes and I am there to protect people when they do. Nobody should be judged and it is up to the state to prove guilt or intent beyond a reasonable doubt. By doing this, I am doing my part to make the system work. My job doesn’t stop with just being an attorney. I also find the social aspect of my job rewarding. I try to help clients who have problems dealing with drugs and alcohol find treatment centers or employment.
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire an attorney?
My best advice is to get a feel for your attorney. Is your attorney listening to you or is he/she taking control of the conversation? There is nothing wrong with an attorney taking control of the conversation, but only after they have listened to you completely and you know they have all the relevant facts. Also when asking about the price, see if it covers costs up to the trial, Department of Motor Vehicles APS, fees for expert testimony, fees for investigations, and subpoena fees for the police officer. These fees will add up. They often are needed to construct a defense and to help to gain insight into possible arguments to be made by the prosecution.
What can I expect from you on my case?
We take care of everything from beginning to end. We work tirelessly inside and outside of the courtroom for our clients. Things we do in court to protect our clients include recalling warrants, going to DMV hearings, arraignment hearings, discussing plea agreements, handling evidentiary hearings, preparing for trial and going to trial if my client desires it. Things we do outside of the courtroom include carefully reviewing police reports for the purpose of determining what further independent investigation and motion work needs to be done.