Q: Why should I hire a private attorney instead of using a Public Defender?
A: While Public Defenders are extremely smart and capable attorneys, PDs are required to handle voluminous caseloads that make it impossible to dedicate the same amount of time to your case that a private attorney can.
Q: Should I bail my loved one out of jail?
A: You should consider spending the money you would spend to bail your loved one out of jail on hiring an attorney instead. The attorney can visit your loved one in jail and speak to them over the phone as much as necessary to prepare the case.
Q: The officer didn’t read me my rights when I was arrested. Doesn’t that mean my case must be dismissed and I don’t need to hire an attorney?
A: No. It is only once you have been arrested and the police question you beyond very basic information such as your name, date of birth, address and in general what you are doing that they must read your rights. Many arrests do not require the arrestee be read their rights. For example, a routine DUI arrest rarely requires the arrestee be read their rights. You will likely still have to fight your case.
Q: If I have not been arrested but an investigator calls me to talk about something I believe may implicate me in a crime do I have to talk to her/him? If I want to talk, may I have an attorney present?
A: No and yes. No you don’t have to talk to her/him, and yes you may have an attorney present if you want to talk. However, prior to being arrested or charged with a crime you must bring your own attorney. The Constitutional Right to Counsel doesn’t kick in until after you have been arrested and/or charged with a crime. The best evidence against you is your own statement so it’s always best to talk to an attorney before making any statement.
Q: I was arrested for a crime against my spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/other family member but now he/she wants to drop the charges against me. Doesn’t that mean my case must be dismissed and I don’t need to hire an attorney?
A: No. Once charges are filed your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/other family member becomes a witness in the case and normally does not, alone, have the power to drop the charges. If there is other evidence that support the charges you will very likely still have to fight the case and you will need a good attorney to help you do that.
Q: The police officer spelled my name wrong/got my address wrong/wrote the wrong day of the week on my ticket/police report. Doesn’t that mean my case must be dismissed and I don’t need to hire an attorney?
A: No. Frequently small typos can be explained and excused by the officer if he or she has independent recollection of your arrest and the circumstances surrounding it. Sometimes, however, if there are many typos and mistakes they can be used to show the officer did a sloppy job on your arrest and their testimony may be unreliable. A capable attorney can get the testimony from the officer necessary to show its unreliability.
Q: I have a medical marijuana card. Doesn’t that mean my marijuana case must be dismissed and I don’t need to hire an attorney?
A: No. There are very specific rules that apply to the legal possession of marijuana for medicinal use. It usually requires more than just showing the judge your card to successfully defend yourself. A capable attorney can help you perfect your defense.
Q: I didn’t know the bill I had in my pocket was counterfeit/the car I was riding in was stolen/that my passenger shoved drugs under the seat when we got pulled over. Doesn’t that mean my case must be dismissed and I don’t need to hire an attorney?
A: No. There are several theories regarding how a person “possesses” an item and whether a person “knows” about an item. A capable attorney will help you understand these theories and determine whether they can be proven in your case.
Q: I don’t want to go to Court. If I hire an attorney can she go for me?
A: On most misdemeanors your attorney can make all Court appearances for you. If you elect to go to trial it’s usually beneficial for you to be present however it may not be mandatory. In felony cases it is mandatory that you appear with your attorney unless you can prove you have a very serious illness or other extremely important reason why you cannot appear. The judge may excuse you only for as long as the reason exists.
Q: Why should I hire Melissa S. Lubin over another attorney? Can she guarantee to get my case dismissed/keep me out of jail/get me a misdemeanor instead of a felony?
A: No attorney can guarantee you any specific result in any case until they have seen all the evidence and discussed your case with the prosecutor and the judge. What Ms. Lubin can guarantee and why you should hire her is that Melissa S. Lubin will fight for your rights and do everything legally possible to resolve your case in your favor.