to Ask When Choosing DUI Lawyer

Document Sample
to Ask When Choosing DUI Lawyer Powered By Docstoc
					    Questions to Ask
    When Choosing a
         DUI Lawyer
         By former police officer and former prosecutor,


         F. Dean Morgan, Esquire
                                  of the


                Morgan Law Firm
             Central Pennsylvania’s DUI Defense Firm

                        Phone: 1-888-821-9446
            Email: dean@CentralPennDUIDefense.com
          On the web: www.CentralPennDUIDefense.com


                  Free Online Case Evaluation:
                   www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com




1|Page
          Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
 QUESTIONS TO ASK TO CHOOSE THE BEST
     DUI ATTORNEY FOR YOUR CASE
                BACKGROUND, EXPERIENCE, AND PRACTICE

  1. Are you an experienced DUI Attorney?
        a. Yes. Since 1990, I have viewed DUI cases from every possible angle. As a
           former police officer, prosecutor, and now as a defense attorney, I have
           reviewed hundreds of DUI cases. I know and understand the procedures
           and tactics used by law enforcement officers.           I understand the
           weaknesses of the field sobriety tests, the blood & breath tests, and report
           writing skills of law enforcement and, more importantly, how to use those
           weaknesses to the advantage of my client.

  2. I want a specialist: How much of your practice is dedicated to representing
     DUI Defendants?
        a. 85% of my practice is dedicated to DUI Defense

  3. What other areas of law do you practice?
       a. I limit my practice to DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Traffic Defense,
           Post-Conviction Relief (Appeals, Pardons, & Expungements)

  4. Are you a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
     and/or the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers?
        a. Yes. I am committed to Criminal & DUI Defense and these organizations
           provide a great deal of support to help me achieve the best result for my
           clients.

  5. Are you a former prosecutor? / How does this impact my case?
        a. Yes. I am a former prosecutor. I have worked for the Las Vegas, Nevada
           District Attorney’s Office, the Cumberland County District Attorney’s
           Office, and the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office. I know and
           understand the prosecutor’s manner of preparing cases, the goals of the
           prosecutor, and the best way to utilize those factors to the benefit of my
           client.



  6. Are you a former police officer? / How does this impact my case?

2|Page
                 Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
         a. Yes. I am a former law enforcement officer. I was first sworn in as a
            Police Officer in 1990. In my most recent capacity, I was my unit’s traffic
            enforcement/DUI Specialist.        I received advanced training in the
            administration of breath testing as well as Field Sobriety Testing. I
            personally administered the tests on hundreds of occasions. I know the
            weaknesses of these tests at a different level than most attorneys.

  7. I want an attorney who will devote time and energy to my case: Do you limit
     the number of people you represent?
        a. Yes. I devote my practice to helping my clients achieve the best possible
           outcome for their case. To do so, I must devote more time and energy to
           each case. As a result, I only accept clients that I know will benefit from
           my assistance.

  8. I want an attorney who will communicate with me: Do you return phone calls
     / emails promptly?
         a. Yes.    Communication is the key to a successful lawyer-client
            relationship! Email is preferred, because I can respond to your question
            immediately, even while in court. If you call and leave a message, I will
            contact you within minutes or hours, not days.

                             APPROACH TO YOUR CASE

  9. I just want to apply for the ARD program: Do I need an attorney?
         a. It depends. If you are eligible for the ARD Program and you know and
            understand that ARD is the lesser of two evils, but have decided that you
            are willing to enter the program without a full evaluation of your case,
            you may be able to get through ARD without lawyer. (I know it seems
            strange to have a lawyer tell you that… But, I believe in being honest.)
         b. If your first contact with an attorney leaves you feeling like ARD is your
            only goal, without evaluating your case fully, you must evaluate whether
            or not his/her services are worth your hard-earned money.
         c. ARD is not your ONLY option. It is a good program, but not a great
            program. You should hire a lawyer who will fully and fairly evaluate
            your case before you make any decision about ARD.




3|Page
                 Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
  10. What are your goals for my case?
        a. Dismissal of Charges
        b. Avoid Jail
        c. Avoid License Suspension

  11. Do you take DUI cases to trial?
        a. An Attorney who is unwilling to go to trial is not your best option.
        b. Yes. IF it is in your best interest to take a case to trial, I will recommend
           trial. Trial is about achieving the best result for your case. It isn’t about
           padding my resume.

  12. Do you recommend ARD is some cases?
        a. Yes. Your charges may be resolved by ARD IF your case is not winnable.

  13. Have you had a DUI case dismissed completely at the preliminary hearing?
        a. Yes. Although I cannot guarantee this result. It is something I strive for
            in every case.

  14. Are you able to negotiate a reduction in charges at a preliminary hearing?
         a. Yes. In most cases, I am able to obtain a reduction of charges or dismissal
            of some charges at your preliminary hearing.

                    KNOWLEDGE OF DEFENSE STRATEGIES

                                  Medical Condition

  15. I have a medical condition, does this matter?
          a. DUI involved science. An attorney who understands medicine may be an
             essential asset in your case.
          b. Your medical condition can affect your ability to perform field sobriety
             tests, your breath testing results, and/or your blood test results. Your
             medical condition is vitally important to your defense.
          c. Trauma affects BAC. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident as
             part of your case, your Blood Alcohol Content result can be affected.
          d. If I recommend your case for trial, I may ask for your authorization to
             release your medical records.
          e. A Legal Nurse Consultant (A Registered Nurse with over 17 years of
             experience) is available to review your records.


4|Page
                 Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                   Field Sobriety Tests & Drug Recognition Experts

  16. I “failed” my field sobriety tests (FST) does this mean I am guilty?
          a. No. Field Sobriety Tests were designed to determine whether or not a
              person has a blood alcohol level above a .10%. Even when properly
              administered, they are effective less than 70% of the time.
          b. They are rarely administered properly.

  17. Have you received advanced training in the area of Field Sobriety Testing?
        a. Yes. I was first certified in the use of Field Sobriety Tests in 1990 as a
            police officer. I subsequently was certified in 1994 and 1998. I currently
            possess all manuals utilized by police officers since 2004. In addition, as
            recently as 2011, received advanced instruction on cross-examination
            related to FST.

  18. The officer who examined me was a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). Does this
      mean I am guilty?
        a. No. Recognition of a police officer as an “Expert” has not been accepted
            in all counties in Pennsylvania. Moreover, even if the officer is certified as
            an “expert,” he is subject to cross-examination based upon his personal
            observations.      Police Officers should not be performing medical
            examinations.

                                Blood & Breath Testing

  19. My Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) / Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC) was above
      the legal limit. Does this mean I am guilty?
         a. No. It means that law enforcement has provided an estimate of your blood
             alcohol content. The Commonwealth must prove, beyond a reasonable
             doubt, that your BAC/BrAC was above the legal limit.

  20. Drugs were found in my blood; does this mean I am guilty?
        a. It depends. In some cases, the Commonwealth need only establish that
            you blood contained a certain level of certain Schedule I and Schedule II
            controlled substances. In other cases, the Commonwealth must establish
            that the drugs in your system impaired your ability to safely operate a
            motor vehicle. They must do so with the assistance of an expensive
            expert. Therefore, the Commonwealth may be willing to reduce your
            charges prior to trial. Or, in the alternative, you may take the case to trial.

5|Page
                 Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
  21. How does a Breathalyzer work?
        a. Poorly. In simple terms, an infrared light is produced and is shone
           through the particles of your breath to determine whether there is a
           presence of the molecules consistent with ETOH (Ethyl Alcohol). The
           device then calculates the amount of alcohol to determine the grams of
           alcohol which would be present in 210 liters of breath. If the result is 8
           grams of alcohol per 210 liters (the equivalent of 105 2-liter bottles of soda)
           you will be subject to charges.
        b. Operator error impacts the reliability of the device.
        c. It is not accurate (Think of your two results, are they identical? In most
           cases no)

  22. Are you able to challenge a Breathalyzer in court?
         a. Yes. Absolutely. This is particularly true when the consequences are high
            (second or third offense) or the result is close to a lower level (.110 or .170).

  23. I’ve heard that blood testing is more accurate than breath testing. How is my
      blood tested?
          a. There are two primary means of testing your blood for the presence of
             alcohol. The blood can be tested utilizing serum or whole blood.

  24. What is the difference between Serum Testing and Laboratory (Gas
      Chromatography) Testing?
        a. Serum testing is less accurate than whole blood testing and is known to
           produce a higher result that must be converted using mathematics and a
           conversion rate found in a book. The medical technicians often testify that
           they do not know why they utilize a particular conversion rate.

  25. Are you able to challenge a blood test in court?
         a. Absolutely.




6|Page
                  Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
         I. ABOUT THE MORGAN LAW FIRM
                            F. DEAN MORGAN, ESQUIRE

                                      EDUCATION
Juris Doctorate
Pennsylvania State University- Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, PA
    Excellence for Future Award- National Security & Military Law

                           RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
The Morgan Law Firm, Central Pennsylvania
    Owner of DUI Defense Practice

Assistant District Attorney - Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office,
Lancaster, PA
    Prosecuted felony, misdemeanor, and juvenile cases before the Lancaster
      County Court of Common Pleas including all appropriate motions,
      responses, and briefs.

Appellate Division- Clark County (Las Vegas, NV) District Attorney’s Office,
Las Vegas, NV
    Drafted 80+ appellate and post-conviction briefs to the United States
      Supreme Court, Nevada Supreme Court, and trial courts including five
      capital cases and thirteen homicide cases. Three briefs resulted in
      published opinions.
    Worked closely with the Major Violators Unit and Special Victims Unit
      regarding pre-trial and post-conviction matters.

Appellate Division - Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office,
Carlisle, PA
      Appeared in court in trials and evidentiary hearings.
      Drafted government response to petitions for post-conviction collateral
         relief and appeared in court to represent the Commonwealth in PCRA
         hearings
      Drafted 40+ briefs to Pennsylvania Superior Court and Pennsylvania
         Supreme Court. Seven briefs resulted in published opinions.



7|Page
                  Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                    LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERIENCE

Deputy Sheriff – Patrol Division
Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. Stafford, VA
      Arrested individuals charged with Criminal Acts, DUI, and Traffic
        Violations
      Conducted Criminal Investigations
      Advanced Training
                 o Intoxilyzer 5000
                 o Field Sobriety Tests
                 o Interstate and Community Drug Interdiction
      Appeared in court in trials and evidentiary hearings.

Police Officer
Hanford Police Department, Hanford, CA
      Arrested individuals charged with Criminal Acts, DUI, and Traffic
        Violations
      Conducted Criminal Investigations
      Advanced Training
                o Breathalzyer Operations
                o Field Sobriety Tests
                o Community Drug Interdiction
                o Special Weapons & Tactics
      Appeared in court in trials and evidentiary hearings.

Military Police Officer
U.S. Marine Corps, Quantico, VA
      Arrested individuals charged with Criminal Acts, DUI, and Traffic
        Violations
      Conducted Criminal Investigations
      Advanced Training & Participation in FBI Academy Training
      Appeared in court in trials and evidentiary hearings.

              OTHER PROFESSIONAL LICENSES/ CERTIFICATIONS
      National Registry Emergency Medical Technician
      Virginia Law Enforcement Officer
      California Law Enforcement Officer
      Wicklander-Zulawski Interview & Interrogations

8|Page
                 Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                         ACADEMIC RESEARCH PROJECTS

The “Other Person” at the Defense Table: Bruton in the Post-Crawford Era            2006

Policing the Police: Practical and Legal Considerations for an Unbiased             2005
Law Enforcement Monitoring, Assessment, and Resource Center

The Posse Comitatus Act and the War on Terror                                       2005
Awarded CALI Excellence of Future Award for Top Research Paper



                          OUR LEGAL NURSE CONSULTANT

Our Legal Nurse Consultant is a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor of Science Degree in
Nursing and over 17 years of experience. Because DUI is based upon the physiology
and metabolic rate of the absorption of alcohol into by your blood, it is imperative that a
medical professional is involved in your case if the matter is selected for trial.

Your medical history is important to your case.

In a case involving a motor vehicle accident involving an injury to yourself or others,
the medical records are an essential part of your case.

 Although some attorneys charge an additional fee to have an expert review your case,
our expert is on staff. In the event your case is selected for review, we will request your
authorization to release medical records. The Legal Nurse Consultant will prepare a
chronological summary of your medical treatment so that we may present such
evidence, if necessary at trial.

No other law firm employs a legal nurse consultant on staff. Given the relationship
between your body’s physiology, a Legal Nurse Consultant is essential to your case.

Our Legal Nurse Consultant’s qualifications include:
   17 years of Nursing Experience
   Former Kidney Transplant Coordinator
   Former Trauma Services Coordinator
   Certified in Critical Care


9|Page
                   Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                     OUR A.R.D. & DISCOVERY COORDINATOR

We go beyond the services of most DUI Defense Attorneys in many ways.
If we cannot win your case, and ARD is your only option, we are committed to your
success in the ARD Program. Our ARD Coordinator is an important part of that
commitment. On a monthly basis, we will contact you to make sure you are on track
for success.

In addition, our Discovery Coordinator is responsible for requesting and reviewing all
discovery received from the District Attorney’s Office to be assured that we have
received all of the documentation and evidence required under Brady v. Maryland. This
includes all evidence material to your defense and exculpatory evidence (Evidence that
favors, you, the Defendant). We don’t let the DA hide the ball!
______________________________________________________________________________

                            OUR INTAKE COORDINATOR

Because I am often in court defending others who are facing similar charges, I do not
want to delay the gathering of essential facts in your case. It is likely that the first
person you will speak with is our Intake Coordinator. Your case is very important to
me and any delay can negatively affect your rights.

The Intake Coordinator will ask you some very detailed questions about your case.
Although she is not permitted to give legal advice, she is able to gather the most
important information. That information is transmitted to me for review, even while I
am in a courthouse.

As soon as possible thereafter, I will contact you to discuss your case in greater detail
and provide a recommendation. In addition, I will provide a written case evaluation for
your review.

Our well-qualified Intake Coordinator is another reason we offer the best service to our
clients.




10 | P a g e
                   Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
               II. FREE INFORMATION & FREE
                       CONSULTATIONS

    1. Why did I provide so much more information than any other attorney?
         a. I want you to be fully informed about the challenges that you will face in
            the coming months.
         b. Over 85% of my practice is dedicated to DUI defense. I want you to know
            that I have the knowledge and experience to represent you.
         c. I believe in providing my clients as much information about their case as
            possible. You should be fully informed in all stages of your case,
            including now.

    2. Why do I offer FREE consultations?
         a. I want to be assured that I am the right attorney for you and you will
            benefit from my services.

    3. What can you expect when you call our office?
         a. If you received this packet of information, we are interested in
             representing you.
         b. Please have your letter with you when you call.
         c. Your call to 1-888-821-9446 is directed to my desk. If I am in the office, I
             will answer it and yes, you can have a free consultation on the spot.
         d. Because I am in court often, I may be unable to answer the call. Your
             voice mail message will be delivered to me immediately, regardless of
             where I might be.
         e. After reviewing the message, I transmit it to my Intake Coordinator. She
             will call you as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case including:
                  i. Your prior DUI & Criminal History
                 ii. Factors that may make you ineligible for ARD
               iii. The Basis for the Traffic Stop/ Detention by Police
                iv. Your Medical Condition
                 v. Field Sobriety Tests
                vi. Blood/Breath Test
               vii. Your Alcohol/Drug Intake on the night of the stop
              viii. Your usual alcohol intake.


11 | P a g e
                   Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
               f. The Intake Coordinator’s notes will be transmitted to me for my review
                  and analysis.
               g. As soon as possible, usually within 24 hours, I will contact you to discuss
                  your case in detail, including:
                       i. My evaluation of your ARD Eligibility
                      ii. My evaluation of potential defenses
                    iii. My evaluation of potential for success at trial.
                     iv. Most importantly, your personal goals regarding the outcome of
                          your case.
               h. You will receive a written case evaluation in the mail within 24 hours
                  along with a fee agreement. (See Section X)

    4. You do not have to wait to schedule an appointment
         a. Within less than 48 hours, you can have a Written Case Evaluation in your
            hands along with a fee agreement. You can retain the Morgan Law Firm
            within 72 hours.

    5. You do not have to come to our office.

        a. I understand that work, childcare, and other circumstances may prevent you
           from scheduling an in-office appointment. To minimize your inconvenience,
           I offer FREE consultations by telephone. Evening and weekend consultations
           are available.




12 | P a g e
                       Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                III. OUR SERVICES & FEES
    1. Ever wonder how a lawyer calculates your fee?
          a. My fee is calculated based upon my knowledge, experience, the time I will
             spend on your case, and the complexities of your case.
          b. You only pay for services rendered.
          c. My fee is based on one of the Two Categories described below:
                a. ARD Track
                         i. Representation at Preliminary Hearing
                        ii. Full & Fair Evaluation of Case
                      iii. Written Evaluation Report
                       iv. Completion and Filing of ARD Application (if in the best
                            interest of the client)
                        v. Follow-up to assure compliance with Requirements
                       vi. Representation at ARD Hearing
                      vii. Expungement (Not all attorneys include this in their fee,
                            make sure you ask)
                b. Non-ARD Track
                           ESSENTIAL SERVICES
                         i. Representation at Preliminary Hearing
                        ii. Full & Fair Evaluation of Case
                      iii. Written Evaluation Report.
                       iv. Entry of appearance for Court of Common Pleas
                        v. Arraignment
                       vi. Request for Discovery (all evidence to be utilized by the
                            Commonwealth or material to your defense)
                                1. I ALWAYS ask for additional information about the
                                   breath/blood testing devices.
                      vii. Comprehensive Review of Discovery
                     viii. Written Evaluation Report
                       ix. Negotiation with District Attorney’s Office
                        x. Representation at all hearings
                            PRE-TRIAL SERVICES
                       xi. Preparation and Filing of Pre-trial motions to suppress
                            evidence (keep evidence from being admitted against you).
                      xii. Review of Medical Records by Legal Nurse Consultant



13 | P a g e
                  Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                           xiii. Review of Case to determine if Expert Testimony is
                                 necessary
                                 TRIAL SERVICES
                           xiv. Preparation for Trial
                                    1. Preparation of Opening & Closing Arguments
                                    2. Preparation of Trial Exhibits
                                    3. Preparation of Direct & Cross Examination
                            xv. Representation at Trial
               d. Each level of service requires differing amounts of time as well as
                  differing amounts of effort and preparation. Before you decide to retain
                  me, you will have a written document that explains, in detail, the
                  services I will provide.

    2. You can I afford our services!
         a. Although I provide more comprehensive legal services than many
             attorneys, I have taken extraordinary steps to make my services very
             affordable by reducing overhead expenses and increasing the use of
             technology.
         b. Your case is unique. If you have received an advertisement from an
             attorney that quotes a particular fee, you are buying a product, not a
             service. Your fee should be based on your personal goals and
             circumstances.
         c. My fee is based upon a number of factors, described below. However, the
             most important factor is your personal goals.
         d. During your FREE consultation, we will discuss the facts of your case,
             your goals, the services I will provide, and my fee. You will receive a fee
             agreement that details, in writing, the services I will provide.

    3. I do offer discounts
          a. Yes. Discounts are available for Military, Veterans, and certain
              occupations.

    4. You have options for making payment
         a. You may pay by check or credit card
         b. You may enroll in an affordable payment plan




14 | P a g e
                       Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
         IV. WHAT OUR CLIENTS ARE SAYING

    Dean Morgan is the sharpest, most qualified, confident, and responsive attorney I've
    ever known. If you have a DUI in Pennsylvania, this is the guy you need. He never
    tried to talk me into a plea, never failed to return a phone call or email, and just
    performed wonderfully. No surprises or disappointments whatsoever. He really
    knows what he's doing and how to treat his clients.
    - Dan from Franklin County, PA

    Dean was succinct and thorough and I had complete confidence in his knowledge
    and performance on my behalf. He delivered on his projections and predictions for
    the end result of my case.
    - Linda from Cumberland County, PA

    Dean handled two extensive legal matters for me and was by far the best lawyer I
    have ever hired. I would utilize his services again without second thought. He is my
    go to guy.
    -Brian from York County, PA

    Dean was very helpful in helping with the DUI case that was presented against my
    husband. He responded quickly to emails and was on top of the case throughout the
    entire process.
    – Tameryn from Out of State.

    Attorney Morgan is an excellent attorney who brings his experience as a former law
    enforcement officer and prosecutor to every case. He offers candid advice and is not
    afraid to go to trial to achieve the best possible result for the client.
     - Dave from York County, PA




15 | P a g e
                   Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                      V. AREAS SERVED

    Cumberland/Perry Counties                       Lancaster/York Counties
        4902 Carlisle Pike                            590 Centerville Rd.
     Mechanicsburg, PA 17050                          Lancaster, PA 17601

    Dauphin/Lebanon Counties                       Adams/Franklin Counties
           PO Box 738                                 975 Wayne Ave.
       Hershey, PA 17033                           Chambersburg, PA 17201


                   COMPLEX CASES THROUGHOUT
                    PENNSYLVANIA & MARYLAND



                     More Information on the Web:
                    www.CentralPennDUIDefense.com




16 | P a g e
               Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com
                          Call
                     1-888-821-9446
                    to Schedule Your
                   Free Consultation
                          with
                  DUI Defense Attorney
                    F. Dean Morgan

                                        OR

                  Submit your info for a
               Free Online Case Evaluation

                 www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com




17 | P a g e
                 Free Online Case Evaluation: www.DUI-Case-Evaluation.com

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:4
posted:4/20/2012
language:
pages:17