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geo's henchman
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What to look for in a lawyer
    #1807326 - 08/12/03 10:22 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Hey, here is a post I had bookmarked from the now Science and Tech forum by Lana. Good information!


Lana said:
Hi everyone,
Here's a post by a lawyer which I thought was pretty good. It's from www.overgrow.com. Enjoy.



The care and feeding of your lawyer
Hi OGers:

I'm in my early thirties and was a criminal defense lawyer in a large state in the USA until recently switching to an all civil caseload (more money, less stress). I discovered Overgrow about two years ago and have very rarely posted on other topics under my usual nom de guerre. I do not grow but am a true "friend of the herb". I am posting under this name just once for general privacy reasons as well as because I do not wish to be contacted in any way for legal advice. However, if you have specific questions on the topics covered after reading this, I will try to answer to the best of my ability.
I've seen many posts on how to react, what to do etc. when pulled over by Leo, search situations, and how not to get caught in the first place. But I have yet to see a post on the basics of what to do after one has just been arrested beyond "Keep your mouth shut." Good advice, but there is much more you will have to do immediately. With that in mind I wrote out some of my thoughts.
OK, so you've been busted, now what? First, face reality. What you've done is illegal and you can't count on anything turning out as you may have imagined it. As the Led Zeppelin song says, "Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good." Second, hold your head up high. What you've done is illegal, but should not be. You are now a casualty in an unjust and corrupt war and history will vindicate you. Cold comfort, but I do believe it is true. Third, get busy! You have embarked upon a very dark period in your life and will need maturity and a clear head to get you through it. Good looks and charm and your pimpin' way with the ladies will not be enough.
Research a good criminal defense lawyer. You should have already done this (more on that later). But, if you didn't, ask around. Most lawyers will do a free consultation with you. Beware the attorney who immediately after talking with you promises that he can get a specific deal for you. Promises of this nature are unethical, and an unethical lawyer is more likely to screw you than be so brilliant he can hoodwink the state and a judge. Drug case are very specialized and technical undertakings. In my lawyer, I would want at least 5 years criminal defense experience and the more drug cases the better. The better he (or she) knows your prosecutor and judge, the better off you will be. So get one who is making regular trips to the courthouse and has practiced in the jurisdiction where your case will be adjudicated. Each state, county and even the particular judge will have different rules about pretrial and trial procedure. Your lawyer must at the very least be aware of these and if need be to check further. Missed filing or appearance dates can be extremely damaging. Your lawyer should be familiar with various bail bondsman and direct you to one who is honest (but then the only way this will help is if you know what lawyer you will call BEFORE an emergency). If you had the foresight to have the name and number of your lawyer in your wallet when arrested, he can usually be instrumental in easing you through the process. This way you may not have to get to know your new cellmate Bubba at the county jail.
With the exception of the public defender, you will be paying much of your hard earned (grown?) cash to your lawyer for his wise counsel. You may see your lawyer on the free and easy, tooling around in his new Mercedes and alligator shoes, but it was not always this way. No! He toiled like a stepchild all the way through high school, college, and most of all law school working long hours under pressure you can only imagine. He crammed his head with knowledge to the point of bursting while foregoing the ordinary pleasures of mortal life all to help you get out of the mess you are in. So, after you find a lawyer you feel comfortable with, give him some credit, he's one smart motherfucker and you should LISTEN TO HIM!!!
Something nobody ever mentions on OG when talking about a personal or commercial grow is how much a lawyer is going to cost if you get busted. Depending on your area, his skill, experience ect., anywhere from $130 (very small town) to $350 per HOUR (US). So he is going to sit down and figure out how much time it will probably take for an investigation, preparing papers to file, going to pre-trial hearings, either a plea or a trial ect. and come up with a figure. So you need to be ready to be honest with yourself about how strong the evidence is against you and be thinking about whether you want to accept a plea bargain or roll the dice with either a bench or jury trial. Now, if your lawyer is smart (and he is) he is going to demand the full amount up front. Like, before he even gets out of bed. There is no such thing as a contingency fee in criminal law; they are illegal. If the lawyer gets the person off he's likely to never see the person again; if the person goes to prison - well convicts aren't known for punctually paying bills. These fees are on top of the weekly payments to your bondsman, and all the ordinary expenses of daily life before you got busted - save up accordingly. A colleague of mine had a client who actually socked away 10% of what he made on his illegal activities. When he was arrested he had about $70,000 to hire my friend and his paralegals, investigators etc. You know this already but I'll say it here - the more money you have the less likely you will see the inside of a prison cell. Not because the system is inherently corrupt or you can bribe anyone (bad idea), but because a large legal support team simply costs money. So, all heavy duty growers - please be kind to your lawyer and to yourself and set aside a sizeable amount (more than you think you would ever possibly need) somewhere that is UNTRACEABLE TO YOU AND YOUR NEFARIOUS ACTIVITIES. This usually means trusting somebody else implicitly to hold money for you or have an account in their name. This is already a security breach; if you can think of something better, great. If the cops can trace it to you and your "drug dealing" they will seize it and you can't use it to pay your new best friend.
Buck up, lil camper! You and your new best friend have something in common. You are both social misfits! The vast majority of criminal defense lawyers choose that field because, like you, they have a genuine love for the ideals this country was founded on as embodied in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (no matter how diminished these rights have become in the drug war). Nothing makes the defense lawyer's heart sing more than putting the prosecutor (and sometimes the judge) in a constitutional headlock and forcing him to recognize your rights and follow the law. They love the work and have the best stories ( I represented a transvestite shaman - DWI, and once had a client who full on crapped his pants right there at the defense table in the courtroom, among others.) But you have to listen to him and trust him. You may as well go it alone if you're not going to listen to him.
If you haven't followed any of this advice so far, all is not lost! If your indictment is felony grade, the 6th Amendment entitles you to a lawyer paid for by the state, otherwise known as the public defender or a court appointed lawyer, if you can't afford to pay for one yourself. Expect to have a short hearing on what assets you own that may be converted into cash to pay for your own lawyer. Judges don't like defendants suckling from the public teat if its avoidable. (Whether it is a public defender or appointed varies by jurisdiction, I'll just call all of them "public defenders"). Public defenders get a bad rap. I've never understood why. You may not feel like they have enough time for your super special and legally unique case. But often they are the most experienced criminal lawyers around with skills honed by use every day. What I said earlier about knowing the players in the jurisdiction goes double for these folks. Likely, they'll know everyone. They may even know the sheriff's deputies and probation officers and can be instrumental in easing you over any rough patches. And if your lawyer is appointed by the court, you may get a $300 per hour lawyer for free.
You can make yourself stand out to your lawyer by appearing interested in your own case, appearing like you are in touch with reality, and being polite. Venting your rage at society to your lawyer won't help anything, neither will explaining your vast knowledge of the law. In my experience, prisoners who find their way to the law library invariably misinterpret much of what they read. Certainly ask any questions you may have, but let your lawyer do his job.
One last thing. The 6th Amendment has been interpreted to not only provide you with counsel when charged, but also with a lawyer you can SPEAK TO within a REASONABLE time. What is reasonable varies by jurisdiction anywhere from 2 days to a month. However, and most importantly, your 5th Amendment right to remain silent is able to be invoked (by YOU, Bozo!, no cop is going to do it for you!) immediately upon your arrest. You know where I'm going with this. Have you ever seen an old west movie where a bear steps in one of those steel jaw traps and KA-CHANK!!! he's stuck until the trapper comes and blows his head off? When you are busted you need to keep your mouth shut as tight as that trap! SHUT YOUR TRAP! No matter what. Except for 7 words - "I want to SPEAK to my lawyer." Say it out loud three times right now! I said out LOUD, NOW!! And you will be able to remember it when it is important, like when the cops kick in your door right after you've smoked 4 fat bowls of AK-47.

That's it for now. This took about 1 hr. to write, so each of you owe me $225.00! Kidding, but if you feel led, please contribute to the anti-drug war organization of your choice.
Be safe,

Blue Law

The DJ's took pills to stay awake and play for seven days.

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The Duk Abides

Registered: 05/17/03
Posts: 94,392
Loc: Earthfarm 1
Re: What to look for in a lawyer [Re: tak]
    #1807919 - 08/13/03 01:12 AM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Great article, RNT! Thanx for reposting it! :thumbup: 

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overclock yourbrain

Registered: 04/26/03
Posts: 148
Last seen: 16 years, 6 months
Re: What to look for in a lawyer [Re: Le_Canard]
    #1808326 - 08/13/03 05:01 AM (17 years, 3 months ago)

fucking great article...

i need to befriend some lawyers.

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I'm a teapot User Gallery
Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 39,192
Loc: Flag
Re: What to look for in a lawyer [Re: tak]
    #1809263 - 08/13/03 02:28 PM (17 years, 3 months ago)

Excellent read. Thanks for posting.

Buying Bulk Prints, Fall 2020.

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