The Legal and Financial Consequences of a Texas Identity Theft Conviction
Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or otRead More
It’s not always easy to know how to find a criminal defense lawyer. There is no perfect method. This series presents some factors that you might want to consider when trying to find a Criminal Defense Lawyer.
First of all, why are you looking for a criminal defense lawyer?
Presumably, you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer because either you or someone you care about has been charged or is under investigation for a crime. So this is a serious matter. Your liberty or your loved one’s liberty is at stake. There is nothing more serious.
Given what is at stake, it makes sense to do your homework.
Probably the most time-honored method of finding a lawyer is through a personal referral. If your best friend’s liberty was saved by a lawyer,
then that will naturally carry weight. If you don’t have a personal referral then you will likely end up turning to the internet to find a lawyer.
The internet is a useful tool, but your brain is a better one. No matter what you read on the internet, including this blog, trust your own intellect and common sense.
Internet Searches and The Meaninglessness of Whose Name Comes up First.
Many people do internet searches to find a criminal defense lawyer. Probably most people enter search terms like ” Houston Criminal Defense lawyer” or ” Harris County Criminal defense lawyer” Lawyers are aware of this. So lawyers, myself included, use key words in their website in an effort to have their name appear at the top of the heap.
Why do we want our name to show up at the top of the heap? Because, if we are at the top of the heap, it is far more likely you will call us. If you call us before you call other lawyers, it is far more likely that you will hire us. It is simple advertising. People often hire the first or second lawyer they encounter; but that can prove to be a very costly mistake.
The fact a lawyers’ name may show up first in an internet search of ” Houston Criminal Defense lawyers”, means nothing about that lawyer’s ability to defend you.
The fact a lawyer’s name comes up early in the heap does not mean that lawyer is better than lawyers whose names appear later in the heap. There is NO Correlation between where a lawyer’s name happens to pop up, and his or her ability as compared to other lawyers. The order in which lawyers’ names appear, should never be mistaken as a rating system of the lawyers. The order in which lawyers’ names appear, when you do an internet search is not a rating system. The order in which lawyers names appear is no reflection on the respective qualifications or experience of the lawyers listed.
So dont hire a lawyer just because their name comes up early. Higher a lawyer because they are competent and because after doing your homework you have found that lawyer meets your needs. That lawyer may be the 1st lawyer whose name pops up or they may be the 40th lawyer whose name pops up.
If a lawyer’s name consistently pops up at the top of the internet heap, at most it may mean that lawyer is good at marketing himself, and that’s about all it means.
So before you pick the first name that pops up, you may want to ask the question:
Am I looking for an entrepreneur who is good at self promotion or am I looking
For the best lawyer I can get to defend me?
If you use the internet to find the name of a criminal defense lawyer, don’t let Google choose the lawyer for you. The fact Google lists lawyers in a certain order, is no indication about the lawyers’ ability. In finding the right lawyer for you, don’t rely on some random order that Google provides. That makes about as much sense as picking a lawyer because his last name begins with an “A” and he appears first in the phone book. (Google also sells placement. So don’t let the fact a lawyer has paid for a premium listing cause you to pick that lawyer. The fact a lawyer has paid for a premium listing has no correlation to that lawyers abililty).
Lawyer websites are a form of advertising. As you read or skim over them, remember this. Remember also, that if it sounds too good to be true, well then it likely is too good to be true.
Website designs can vary a great deal. Some are high tech and look more like the intro to a Vegas show. Some portray the lawyer as some larger than life mega-star. Some websites are so over the top, you will have a hard time telling if you are looking at a lawyer Website or watching a preview for the next “Oceans Eleven” movie.
When looking at a lawyer’s website, try not to be too distracted by all the bells and whistles. Look for things that count, things that might actually reflect on the lawyers ability to provide you with the zealous representation. Sometimes you have to cut through all the baloney to ascertain who the lawyer really is.
In the next installment in this series, I will give you some specific tips of what to look for in evaluating a defense lawyer.
For starters… Make sure the criminal defense lawyer is in fact a criminal defense lawyer and not a “pretend criminal defense lawyer “. More on that in my next post in this series. In the meantime, good luck.
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Client was charged by Federal Indictment with making a social media post that threatened Malicious Damage and Destruction of a Building by Means of Fire and Explosives in violation of Federal law. The Defense showed that Client was a law-abiding citizen. The Defense further showed that the alleged threat was not made with any criminal intent.
The client, a public official with a long history of public service, was accused by a former girlfriend of engaging in non-consensual sexual relations. The Defense investigation and analysis showed through a detailed timeline that the allegation made absolutely no sense. Phone records, including calls and texts, were relied on to help establish an accurate timeline. The Defense met with law enforcement and reviewed a detailed package that exonerated the accused.
Client, a Houston area professional who frequently travels for work, was accused by his wife of assaulting her in his family home. Defense showed that wife’s story lacked credibility and there was no physical evidence in support of the wife’s allegation.
The client, a young Black male, was driving his car when police pulled him over for no apparent reason. It looked to be a profile stop. The client was accused of possessing a controlled substance in his vehicle. The Defense showed that there was no lawful basis for the police to stop the Client’s car. The Defense also showed that there was no lawful basis for the search of the Client’s car. It was a bad search, so the seized evidence was not admissible.
Client charged in Federal Indictment In “Operation Wrecking Ball” with 55 named co-defendants. Client faced seven charges. Client was charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. Client was also charged with four counts of Distribution of Cocaine and one count of Money laundering.
Allegations involved client’s alleged use of his home to distribute cocaine. Government’s lengthy investigation involved numerous wiretaps, surveillance, video, pole cams, search warrants, vehicle stops and use of cooperating co-defendants.
Client went to trial with four remaining defendants. After a two-week trial, Judge granted Motion for Acquittal on four of the seven charges. Jury found Client Not Guilty of remaining three charges.
Client charged in Federal Court with two counts of Wire Fraud related to Five SBA EIDL loan applications. The Government alleged the client, a Houston professional, defrauded the Small Business Administration out of over $150,000. The Client faced up to 20 years in prison on each count. The Defense investigated the case and negotiated a deal that included the Government not opposing a probation. The Federal Guideline calculation was for a prison sentence and the Probation Department recommended a prison sentence. Attorney Fickman submitted a 90 page Defense Sentencing Memorandum asking for Probation.
Client was retired professional. Client was accused of being involved in a road rage incident in 1960 Area. Defense put together a 100 page memorandum that demonstrated complainant was actual aggressor.
Client was accused of touching child. Case involved thousands of pages of psychiatric and Child Protective Services records as well as investigations by multiple police departments. After three- year fight, case dismissed.
Client accused of shoving and knocking down family member causing injury. After investigation, charges were dismissed.
Client was accused of knocking disruptive student against the wall. Videotape of incident was obtained. Witnessed located and interviewed. On the day of trial, case was dismissed
Identity theft is a serious crime that involves stealing someone’s “Identifying information” to commit fraud or other illegal activities. “Identifying information” includes:
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