Personal Legal Perspective

The United States, with its dedication to personal rights, is continuously in a struggle between freedom and order. Order is the right to walk down the street and not get robbed or attacked. Freedom is the right to be left alone by the government and the majority to seek fulfillment and satisfaction in whatever form or by whatever avenue does not interfere with the rights of other Americans to seek fulfillment and satisfaction in their personal lives. If the majority wants one form of religion or wants to impose on the individual rights and decisions of just one citizen, that one citizen must be protected.

Police protect order. Attorneys, particularly criminal defense attorneys, fight for freedom. They fight to limit the government and the majority to have every citizen in the nation walk in lockstep and to suppress individuality. The freedom to speak any idea regardless of its general acceptance to enable Americans to decide the relative logic of that idea is uniquely American.

No one can be a true American unless he or she believes and has faith in the philosophy of our nation as set forth in our Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Americans believe in protecting the right to free speech and assembly. Americans believe in the presumption of innocence, the government's burden of proof and that it is better to let 10 guilty men go free than to obtain a conviction against one innocent man in violation or denial of our freedoms. Justice is the process not the result. If the government has to violate our rules and philosophy to convict, the process has been violated and that is injustice.

Most lawyers and most judges do not understand constitutional freedom. Most lawyers do not even understand the constitution. Education and advocacy skills come from application and use of the law. Trial experience is the best teacher.

Criminal defense attorneys protect the rights of everyone. They defend those who are held in disrespect by the government and the majority because that is what America is about. That is the American credo.

Under our laws the government is always presumed to be wrong. The citizen, and particularly the citizen accused, is presumed to be correct and innocent. To battle the government is the quest of the criminal defense attorney. To protect and defend that Constitution and those freedoms, made mention of in our Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, is his purpose.

Those accused by the government are always on the same side. The Klansman and the civil rights worker, the Republican and the Democrat, the liberal and the conservative, the religious zealot and the heathen, when accused by the government are on the same side. The side in opposition to the government is always the criminal defense attorney's ally.

How to Identify an Honest Criminal Defense Attorney

Choosing a lawyer when charged with a crime is difficult. Often the process is clouded by fear. When you speak with a lawyer for yourself or for someone else, be wary. If the lawyer gives you a guarantee as to the outcome, you are not being told the truth. Ask for the guarantee in writing and see the speed at which that assurance is withdrawn. This is true regardless of the amount of the fee or the reputation of the lawyer. There is only one guarantee which can be taken seriously and that is that the lawyer will make every sincere effort to protect your freedom within the parameters of the law and rules of ethics, and the only evidence of the truth of that assertion is a lawyer's history.

If the lawyer starts any sentence with "I know Judge ..., or I know prosecutor ..., or my wife or husband went to school with or my wife or husband plays tennis with ..., " you are not hearing the truth.

A lawyer bases his or her fee on their costs multiplied by the amount of hours they feel are necessary to fully investigate and present the case. If the fee sounds too good, that lawyer is going to give the case short shrift or is anticipating a plea without trial. Trial preparation and presentation require the expenditure of time. Every case, even those eventually resolved without trial, must be fully investigated and legally analyzed to determine the existence and strength of a defense.

Discuss Your Case

If you, or someone for whom you care, has been charged with any criminal offense contact David P. Baugh, Esq., at 804.743.8111 or click here and make inquiry as to his availability for your representation.