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Make sure your attorney will fight for you and not dump youWho you hire matters.  Not all attorneys will work their utmost on your behalf.  That’s true whether you’re facing an immigration challenge or a criminal, traffic, or DUI scenario.Recently I was in Jackson Municipal Court with my client when a defendant was called up before the Judge with his attorney.  The attorney did not speak Spanish and could not communicate with this client.  He wanted to put a plea on the record but the court translator was unavailable.  Hoping to avoid Language Line, which is slow and usually terrible, I volunteered to assist the court and translate. The judge allowed me to do so.

What I heard made me sick

This immigrant was charged with drug possession and driving while intoxicated.  He had blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08.  It was clear to me that the immigrant didn’t have legal permission to be in the US.  If convicted of a DUI he will absolutely have immigration consequences. His attorney told him he didn’t need time to discuss the case with an immigration attorney.  I had a very hard time only translating. There was also no lab report determining that the alleged drugs were controlled dangerous substances.  It gets worse.

Dump Truck Attorney

This is the epitome of what I call Dump Truck Attorneys.  You pay them and they plead you guilty without doing anything on your behalf.  This attorney was easily 10 years older than me.  That means he could have been practicing law easily 20 years.  He either didn’t know any better or just didn’t care.

Here are some of the big mistakes this Dump Truck Attorney made

  1. You make a factual record for possession of drugs for a non-U.S. citizen.  Ever.  It is tantamount to a one way pre-paid ticket to his home country.
  2. If you are going to plead to a conditional discharge, which this guy did, at least make sure the lab report shows the defendant actually had drugs in his or her possession.  Make sure you have requested the entire discovery showing the tests were properly done, the machine was working properly, and the technician was certified to conduct the tests.
  3. The Alcotest has a margin of error of .05.  That means that a reading of .08 (which is the legal limit) is not reliable, he could just have easily been .075.

I felt sick translating his guilty plea.  I really wanted to pull the defendant aside and tell him, “You should really get a second opinion before you plead guilty to this and potentially lose a chance at getting legal status in the US.”

So if you find yourself facing a criminal, DUI, traffic, or immigration challenge do yourself a favor, don’t hire a dump truck attorney.  At least find out what your rights are before you throw them away.

Free Resources for you

If you are charged with a DUI you need to know your options before going to court.  On this page you will see an offer for my books, click the link, put your name and contact information and we will give you these books free:

  1. Arrested for Drunk Driving?  Learn how to Beat the Odds – Here I discuss defense strategies, and common mistakes I see other attorneys make in defending these complicated cases.  I also list for your question you should ask any attorney that you interview for your defense.
  2. Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket is NOT an Option – Here I discuss court process and violations, including DUI’s.  There lots of case examples here.
  3. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court.  This discusses specifically what you will encounter in  Municipal Court if you aren’t a U.S. citizen and how it can result in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.  I define important terms and guide you through the Municipal Court and Immigration Court process.

If you have DUI or Traffic offenses questions, we have answers.  You can,

  1. Call 888-695-6169 to speak to our knowledgeable staff;
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