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The questions and answers below are not intended as legal advice but rather as general guidelines; every case is different and nothing here should substitute for one-on-one consultation on the particular facts of YOUR case.
Can you guarantee I won't go to jail or prison?
No lawyer can ethically answer this question "yes." Depending on your legal situation, I will tell you what the most likely outcome will be on your case, what good legal issues you have (i.e. bad search, insufficient evidence, etc), and do everything possible to get the best result possible for you. If you have spoken with a criminal defense attorney who has "guaranteed" you a win or an acquittal or any particular outcome on your case, you have just spoken with a lawyer you cannot trust. I will never guarantee any particular outcome, because I am ethically obligated not to do so and because I will not lie to you.

I've just been arrested and my dad wants me to use his tax attorney - is one lawyer as good as another?
If you needed open heart surgery, you would not visit a pediatrician. Even if he or she was a really, really good pediatrician. 90% of my practice is devoted to criminal defense. Criminal cases can be complex, and you have many Constitutional rights that an experienced criminal defense lawyer will protect, or only advise you to waive intelligently. If you're in criminal trouble, call a criminal defense attorney who will know what to do.

Do I need a lawyer before charges are filed?
Yes! Pre-filing, the State has a screening process. If there are facts about what happened that are beneficial to you, a good lawyer can make the DA's office aware of that evidence (through documents, witness statements, etc, that they may not have). If your evidence is solid, your lawyer can argue the State should decline to file charges or perhaps make a pitch that lesser charges are warranted. For example, I had a case where a young man with no priors was arrested for Possession of CDS without a prescription (a felony), Possession of a Firearm While Committing a Felony (also a felony), and Possession of Marijuana (a misdemeanor). This client in fact had a prescription for the CDS, which I faxed to the DA's office before they filed charges. This prevented the filing of two felony counts, because the gun count went away since no felony had been committed in the first place. The result was only misdemeanor marijuana charges and misdemeanor transporting a loaded firearm charges were ultimately filed. This reduced the bond amount by several thousand dollars, and prevented a felony case filing from appearing on OSCN (what employers often check on prospective hires as a background check). This also saved the client the hassle and expense of having to do an expungement on the felony counts later, because ONCE CHARGES ARE FILED, EVEN IF DISMISSED THEY WILL APPEAR ON BACKGROUND CHECKS UNLESS EXPUNGED. This is just one example of why retaining a lawyer EARLY ON is extremely important, and is an investment that can save you time and money in the long run.

What is the difference between a suspended sentence and a deferred sentence?
Both are probationary sentences, or "paper time." However, a suspended sentence makes you a convicted felon while a deferred sentence means you are NOT a convicted felon. If you live out the terms of probation on a deferred sentence, at the end of the probationary period the case gets DISMISSED. When possible, I try to get clients deferred sentences, and also provide information to help clients stay out of the legal system in the future (information on recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, breaking the cycle of domestic violence, anger management courses, etc).

Can I get old criminal charges off my record?
Many times EXPUNGEMENT is available to clean up your background check and get your name and charges off the internet (OSCN). Whether you are eligible for a full expungement or partial expungement depends on what type of sentence you received, whether charges were filed, whether or not you were convicted, and whether it was a felony or a misdemeanor. Contact my office and I will happily help you clean up your record.

I got a DUI! What do I do?
You only have a short number of days after your arrest to contact DPS in an attempt to keep your driver's license. This is why it is very important to hire a lawyer immediately, even if your first court appearance on the DUI charge is not for another month or so. If you're like most people, keeping your license is just as important to you as the corollary criminal charge you're facing. I will protect your rights with DPS as well as in court. In court, we have several options that I can go over with you during your free initial consultation. Time is very important in DUI cases; depending on the facts of your case, I may want evidence collected from your person preserved for independent testing and need to request that in writing from law enforcement. Do not delay contacting an attorney if you have been charged with DUI.

There's a warrant out for my arrest! What can I do?
Call my office and we can decide whether we need to contact a bondsman or if the charge is eligible for an OR (or PR) bond. We can then do what's called a "walk through." Once you post bond or an OR bond is granted, you will be processed on it and will typically have your arraignment that afternoon. You will then be free to go until our next court date and the warrant will no longer be active. It is important to take care of active warrants; not only does it look worse if you get picked up on them involuntarily, but that will often result in you spending more time in jal before I or a bondsman can get you out.

Do I have to let the police search me or my car when they ask?
Absolutely not. Unless the police have a search warrant or have just placed you under arrest, you have an absoulte right to politely but firmly say "no" to any request to search.

Will you fight for me?
Absolutely! I will fight for you in the most effective way there is: professionally. Contrary to what television portrays, it is not in your best interests to hire a lawyer who is abrasive, mean and/or underhanded. Lawyers who have a good, professional working relationship with the opposing side are the most successful at what we do. I will protect your rights, try to get you the best deal possible if that's what you want or try your case to a jury if that's what you want: and throughout the process I will fight for you in a professional manner, which gets the best results in criminal cases.

Will you work harder for me if I am innocent?
I work hard for all my clients, period. Because the majority of criminal cases end in a negotiated plea agreement, you do not have to be innocent to get a good result. If you want a trial, the foundation of our criminal justice system is holding the State of Oklahoma to its burden of proof. If the government does not have enough evidence to convict you, the Constitution demands an acquittal regardless of actual guilt or innocence. Guilt/innocence only affects the OPTIONS I have in defending you. For example, if you want to maintain your innocence but still take advantage of a plea offer, I would not advise you to enter a guilty plea under oath. There are alternatives to pleading guilty that I can go over with you, such as entering an Alford plea. Another example is if you want to testify at your trial. If you tell me you committed the crime, I cannot put you on the stand to say you didn't, because I have a duty to the Court to only offer truthful testimony. In this scenario I will try to work your case out or advise you not to testify. These are examples where your actual guilt or innocence affects my OPTIONS in defending you, but in no way does your guilt or innocence affect how hard I will work for you. I am on YOUR SIDE.


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