I FOUGHT THE LAW AND THE LAW WON! This is more than a Bobby Fuller Four song from the 60’s. The law arguably wins every time. This is because whether you are found guilty or not guilty, you still lose. A defendant loses time and money from 1. Being arrested; 2. Going to court multiple times; 3.Posting Bail; 4. Retaining a lawyer; 5. Loss of earnings 6. Dealing with the stress it places on your life.
Thus there is no way you can truly win when you are prosecuted or when you have been in an accident and bring a case against the party at fault. Because of the stress you are under with a criminal case or PI case, the defendant often takes it out on their significant other/s. This leads to subsequent domestic violence arrests as well as divorces and disharmony with the family……not to mention the interruption of business and the financial losses incurred therein.
The info above is equally applicable to Felonies, Misdemeanors, and Infractions. The defendant is being prosecuted by the DA and once the DA decides to file they don’t usually give in. As a matter of fact, in the Indio Court, there are a lot of young DA’s that are looking for notches on their belt which they acquire by going to trial and winning cases. Many of these cases should never have been filed and even though defendants are not guilty some decide to enter a plea rather than being subjected to the challenges listed herein.
A defendant loses a case for many reasons. Usually, it is because the facts are against them. Sometimes it is because they cannot afford the best lawyer or the experts necessary to prevail. Often a defendant is just unlikeable either because of his/her appearance such as tattoos.
Other factors I warn my DUI and PI clients about when going to court are:
- When you are within a few miles of the courthouse you need to become the most courteous driver on the road. You do not know if the driver you cut off or flipped off will be your judge, clerk or juror. You may not recognize that driver but they will remember you.
- Park your car between the lines, do not take 2 spaces.
- Do NOT Smoke or spit.
- Do not walk on the grass if there is a sign not to do so.
- Hold the elevator door open for whoever is behind you.
- Be courteous to everyone in the courthouse.
- Dress professionally and cover tattoos with clothes if possible.
- Shoes should be shined.
- Nails should be clean.
- A belt should not be old and worn out.
- Ties should not be dirty.
- Clothes must be pressed & cleaned.
- Do not eat beans the night before.
Every juror and judge is different and looks for different things. As a young lawyer, I tried a case against one of the most senior DA’s. I had to try the case because my client was charged with 5 counts and had a long record in addition to being on parole. If he pled he would go away for a long time. There was no chance of winning but the jury came back 12-0 not guilty on all counts. He was found not guilty… however, he was far from innocent. I just got lucky and so did my client.
I asked the jury if I could talk to them in the hallway to see what convinced them of my client’s innocence. The answers totally surprised me. They commented that the DA was rude, had an old belt, dirty nails, clothes that needed pressing etc. All in all, he was not well groomed.
All of this leads to defendants and Accident Victims agreeing that the law wins every time and it is often not worth fighting “the law”…BUT YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL SWAY A JUROR.
Representing the Injured and Criminally Accused
“TOP LAWYER” – California’s Prestige Magazine, Palm Springs Life (PI/DUI) 2011-22
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