The good folks over at Huffington Post have written an article about hiring the right DUI attorney for your case.  Over 1 million people are arrested across the country for DUI and every one of them needs to hire an attorney with the experience and expertise to help ensure that this mistake does not completely derail their life.  We agree with the points made by Huffington Post and encourage you to call Attorney Richard James for a free no-hassle consultation.

Do your Research

Look into your potential attorneys experience and education.  Ask those close to you if anyone has knowledge of the attorney or his ability.  When you meet with a potential attorney, feel free to ask questions.  Your life is at stake so we encourage you to ask questions about our experiences, abilities and the circumstances of your particular case.  We feel comfortable that once you compare the reputation and experience of Attorney James to his compatriots, you will agree that he is the right choice.

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Facing a financial crisis and critical shortage of attorneys, the public defender for the State of Missouri utilized a little known but valid state law to assign a case to the Governor of the state.  I love this story and the outside the box thinking.  It is well known that the State must provide an attorney to defend those accused of a crime, but budget cuts and lack of interest in public defense has put most states in a critical position, none more than Missouri.  The State of Missouri ranks 49th out of 50 states in public defense spending and efficiency.  One report suggests that they need to hire at least 270 new attorneys just to keep up with demand and tread water.  The long serving Governor has repeatedly cut the public defense budget and reneged on promises to support the firm and increase the budget.  Recently that same Governor cut a promised 4.7 million dollar financial boost to just 1 million dollars.  Fed up, the Public Defender tapped into a law on the books that says in the face of a crisis the public defender has authority to assign defense cases to any member of the bar in good standing.  Since the Missouri Governor is a licensed attorney who previously worked for the Attorney Generals office, the public defender assigned him a case!!

We are very often asked about the Public Defenders in our office.  Are they good attorneys? Should I trust them with my case?  Maybe I should just go to the Public Defender? It is a common question and since private defense attorneys are expensive, we understand.  The reality is that the attorneys who work for the public defender are mostly excellent attorneys and some of them are the best criminal defense attorneys in the State.  They are, however, tremendously overworked and under ridiculous budget restrictions.  For one, RI public defenders could easily handle 3-4000 cases a year.  Thats a staggering number of criminal defense cases that no attorney could handle properly.  If you are with the public defender you will not have a chance to meet with the attorney prior to your first court date.  You will only have a few minutes to talk to your attorney during the entire procedure.  This is not because they are unprofessional or uncaring but because your case is one of 20 they have to handle that day.  Second, they are financially handcuffed.  Public defenders need permission to even copy large files or take depositions.  There simply isn’t enough money in the budget.

In short, only a private criminal defense attorney can give you careful attention and review your case thoroughly.  We will not take financial shortcuts and will be sure to hire expert witnesses, additional independent tests, or other expenses that might help prove your innocence.

The Massachusetts highest Court ruled to allow those convicted of drug charges involving the disgraced lab chemist, Annie Dookhan, to seek a new trial.  The story began years ago when Ms. Dookhan, then a chemist at a Massachusetts Public Health lab, admitted to forging and falsifying evidence in drug cases for many years.  She is serving 3-5 years in jail for her crimes, but the repercussions are massive.

Ms. Dookhans job was to test evidence for the presence of illegal drugs and narcotics.  Her admission that she gave false positives for a number of samples she never tested which were later used at trial, has opened the door for hundreds of convicted felons to seek a new trial.  Even those who pled guilty to their charges are eligible to have the case re-examined because they may not have taken the plea deal if they were not under the false impression that the State found drugs.

Its shocking to me to think that innocent people are in prison right now convicted based on false evidence presented at trial.  Thankfully the truth came to light and now there is an open door for a possible resolution.  This will undoubtedly stress the Massachusetts Court and Prison system but it is an absolute necessity that justice come from such an awful act.

Rhode Island does not certify any attorney in a particular practice area, but we like to think when it comes to DUI in Rhode Island… its kind of our thing.  Attorney James is in Court on a daily basis representing DUI defendants and breathalyzer refusal cases.  Word of mouth and an unrelenting need to win, have helped our office become established as one of the leading DUI defense firms in the State.  And even though we have had hundreds of DUIs dismissed (both before and after trial!), Attorney James is always striving to be better.  We’re not satisfied with good enough!

Attorney James spent this past week at a conference presented by the National College of DUI Defense at Harvard University in Boston. This intensive program included lecture on the most recent innovations in DUI defense, in-depth discussions of tactics and practices, and trial technique.

DUIs are a unique area of criminal defense practice.  For one, people arrested and charged with DUI run the social gamut… young and old, rich and poor, career criminal and those in trouble for the first time in their life.  Second, DUI can be very difficult to prosecute successfully and it is for that reason that we take a large number of DUI cases to trial.  The prosecution has to prove that you were driving your car while over .08 and hope that the cop did their job perfectly.  Just a couple of potential defenses include: Was the police stop justified? Was the field sobriety test implemented correctly? Was the breathalyzer test conducted properly and was the machine properly calibrated and tested.  If there is a defense to be made – rest assured, we’ll find it and fight like hell.

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Former clients and those who know the Law Office of Joseph Lamy are probably aware of my injury blog.  When I started my own practice six years ago after leaving a firm in Boston I began blogging right away as a way to reach new clients and discuss complex matters of injury law with Rhode Islanders and Massachusetts residents.

So, as the office has grown, it has become more full service to meet all of the needs of our awesome clients.  The approach that successfully grew my injury practice remains my approach in our criminal defense practice.

At our law office we believe each lawyer should focus on their area of expertise.  To that end, our criminal law group is led by Attorney Richard James, a criminal defense trial attorney with over twenty years of experience.  If you hire the law office of Joseph Lamy to help you with your criminal defense you will receive two trial attorneys ready to take your case the distance to ensure that you receive justice.Rich for blog