There are so many laws on the books. One political commentator wrly joked that everyone in America commits three felonies every day before lunch. They just don’t know it. There are thousands of laws and regulations issued by the United States Congress, Federal agencies, State legislatures, State agencies, Counties and cities. Judges and lawyers sometimes struggle to interpret them and to see how they all fit together.
Sadly, in modern America probably everyone could be charged with something, just because there are so many laws and regulations floating around. No one can know them all.
But if you attract the attention of the police and/or prosecutor, it is an extremely serious matter. While I have met many reasonable and well-balanced prosecutors, I have also seen prosecutors go after a dog of a case for no good reason. Like a dog after a bone with no meat on it, sometimes they will clamp down and won’t let go. Witnesses who contradict themselves, suspiciously disappearing evidence, accusations that make no sense, flagrantly disobeying a judge’s orders — I have personally seen prosecutors in a determined rush to get a conviction even against law-abiding professionals without any reason for it, even with a tiny amount of money at stake for a minor, unimportant crime.
I defended one client — a frail, elderly man — charged with assaulting a much larger woman. At first, the prosecutors wouldn’t budge, wouldn’t listen. But my investigation, with a volunteer’s help, mapped out the geography of the incident. The woman followed the man away from her apartment building, chasing him about 300 feet to the next apartment building over, and actually attacked him. The prosecutor knew about two other witnesses, but didn’t bother to talk to them. We took their depositions: Two neutral witnesses saw the whole thing. It was the woman who attacked the elderly man, not the other way around. The man would have been easily convicted (the woman and her boyfriend would have both testified against him, 2 against 1 witnesses, enough for a conviction). But when we did the investigation, we proved it was the other way around. Case dismissed.
You must treat every criminal investigation and every actual or potential criminal case very seriously. You must prepare for the worst while you hope for the best.
For the most common crimes, I usually have a standard price and strategy.
However, for more complex cases, I will want to sit down and talk with you together with my expert criminal defense consultant and talk about a strategy and pricing structure.