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Boston Criminal Defense Blog

How do I defend against charges of driving drunk?

Drunk driving is a problem all across the country. Law enforcement personnel do all they can to curb this problem but as long as people make mistakes, the longer this problem will affect millions of people. Should you ever find yourself in a drunk driving checkpoint or arrested due to impairment, you will want to do everything possible to fight the charges. So, how do you defend charges of drunk driving?

One of the most common ways people defend charges of drunk driving is using the method of an improper administration of a field sobriety test. There are a variety of tests that officers administer on the side of the road during a traffic stop. It's possible the officer wasn't properly trained to administer such a test or that the officer incorrectly administered it.

Questions to ask when choosing a juvenile defense attorney

If your juvenile child has been charged with a crime in Massachusetts, you need to act quickly to find an attorney. The longer you wait to find an attorney, the more likely it is that your child could face the penalties associated with the crime they were accused of committing. Today, we will look at the questions you should ask when choosing a juvenile defense attorney for your child.

What is your experience in handling juvenile cases?

Ask these questions when choosing a criminal defense attorney

Having to pick a criminal defense attorney can be very difficult. You likely haven't needed to do this in the past and might be worried that who you pick will not work their hardest for you. This is not uncommon, and you probably have a lot of other worries too. You've been charged with a violent crime and want someone who has the experience handling such cases. You should ask the following questions of the attorney before making a decision who will represent you.

What is your experience handling cases with similar charges to mine?

Can my criminal charges be dropped with a diversion program?

Have you been charged with a crime in Franklin, Massachusetts? This is a stressful, overwhelming situation. If this is your first criminal charge, you likely have no idea what to expect. One option that might be helpful is entering into a diversion program. There are programs for drug charges, driving under the influence and various other criminal charges.

If you are eligible to enter into a diversion program to fight the criminal charge levied against you, make sure you complete it successfully. If you fail to complete the program, you will still face the charge in court. Successful completion of such a program could lead to any of the following outcomes:

  • Charges reduced or dropped
  • No jail time
  • Fewer fees
  • No conviction on your record

Should you refuse to submit to a roadside breath test?

The short and complicated answer to this question is that it depends. Even though the results of a roadside breath test, or preliminary alcohol screening, are often not accurate enough to meet the stringent evidentiary threshold in criminal cases, they may provide an officer with the evidence necessary to establish probable cause for an arrest.

Please note that PAS devices are not the same as those used in police stations and jails to test your blood alcohol concentration level for official purposes. In fact, significant differences make the PAS devices used in roadside testing unreliable at best.

What do field sobriety tests look for?

Just about everyone knows that police officers perform field sobriety tests in order to determine whether an individual is impaired and unable to drive safely. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration helped create and test a battery of three tests known as the Standard Field Sobriety Test.

The SFST includes the walk-and-turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and the one-leg stand test. Each part of the SFST evaluates certain aspects of an individual. Supposedly, the SFST indicates impairment with a 90 percent success rate.

Don't let an officer guilt you into taking a field sobriety test

From the moment an officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, his or her sole mission is most likely to gather enough evidence against you to establish probable cause for an arrest.

Once an officer believes that you may be intoxicated, it's difficult to overcome that bias. This means that every interaction with and observation by the officer from this point will be tainted with the belief that you are drunk. One area where you don't have to help the officer out is when it comes to field sobriety tests.

Don't underestimate the severity of a juvenile charge

If your underage child is ever charged with a crime in Massachusetts, you need to take this situation seriously. The severity of a juvenile charge should never be underestimated. Your child is facing fines, jail time and even a record that could stick with him or her for quite a while. Let's take a look at the severity of a juvenile charge in today's post.

For the most part, juvenile courts across the country have to follow a uniform set of guidelines. They include the following:

  • Children who range in age from 7 to 15 are prime candidates for the juvenile court system.
  • Any minor under the age of 7 cannot face trial in court, even in a juvenile court.
  • Children who are as young as 12 can be taken to juvenile court. More often than not, prosecutors are working to have children between the ages of 12 and 18 tried as adults for the most serious crimes.

Various criminal defense strategies for violent crime charges

Facing a criminal charge for a violent crime in Massachusetts can be overwhelming and frightening. You never know what will come of your case, especially if this is the first time you have been charged with a crime. It's best to examine all of your options in defending your case so you do not risk your freedom. The first place to start is to look at the various criminal defense strategies for violent crime charges.

A common defense strategy for a violent crime is to admit and explain option. This is when you admit to the crime but then explain the situation. This option usually involves some sort of legal justification for the crime that was committed, such as you felt fear for your life or it truly was self defense.

Why shouldn't I represent myself in court?

Being charged with a crime in Franklin, Massachusetts, is just the beginning of a very long battle. Criminal charges come with varying penalties, including fines and prison time, which is why you should never represent yourself in court. Let's take a look at the myriad of reasons why representing yourself in court is never a good idea so you don't make the mistake many have made in the past.

If you choose to represent yourself in court your emotions could very well cloud your arguments. You will likely be very emotional since you are directly involved in the issue. These emotions could spill over into the arguments you make and how you make them. Your emotions could also cause you to speak rudely or out of turn without even realizing it.

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