Friday, July 22, 2011

Petit Theft

If you or your loved one is charged with a theft crime, it is very important that you know for a fact that a video tape of the alleged theft is available to the state and the state plans on using this video tape upon bring you to trial. Your attorney should gather this information for you BEFORE you enter a plea of no contest. Many times, all the State has to convict you with is a statement from a store clerk and security personnel. Often, unless the article is found on your person, it is difficult for the jury to convict a defendant on such little evidence and leave the courtroom with a clear conscience. Therefore, is the there is no surveillance tape of you leaving the business in question which with the items that you have allegedly stolen in plain view of the video camera, you should speak with an attorney to seriously address you chances at trial. Once the State really takes an honest and candid look at the case that it has against you, it may think twice about charging you with petit theft…
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What do you do if Law Enforcement wants to search your car?

When a police officer asks for your consent to search your vehicle, your house, or your body what do you do? What goes through your mind? I mean whether or not you have anything illegal on or around you become almost a secondary issue, the fact of the matter is of NO, of course you don’t want him to search you! Actually, you probably don’t even want him around you at all! Oh, and by the way, you may have something that’s a little illegal on you too. Still, what do you do? You think to yourself, “I can’t tell him no, he might arrest me! But, I can’t tell him yes either, he’ll DEFINITELY arrest me!!! So WHAT DO YOU DO?
                Let’s say that you are riding along in your car and you get pulled over. The police officer makes the regular requests for license and registration. He takes the license and registration and then asked you a few more questions. You are as paranoid as one can be, but you answer the questions cautiously and he or she seems satisfied. He then walks back to his car and is gone for about 20 minutes. You are nervous and anxious and cannot understand what it is taking so long for him to return your identification and send you on your way. Suddenly, you see another patrol car rounding the corner and park immediately behind your police officer’s patrol car. Uh-oh… Back-up. This is bad. Both officers come up to the driver’s side of your car; they ask you to step outside the car. Once you step outside of the car, they ask the magic question: “Do you mind if we take a look in your car?”
     In my professional opinion, there is never EVER a good time to consent to a search of your car. However, you do need to always be friendly, polite, and respectful to police officers. When the police officer asks for your consent to search your car, you say the following, “While I do respect your authority as a police officer, my attorney has requested that I never consent to a search of my vehicle. Therefore at this moment in time, I am not going to consent to a search of my vehicle. Further, my attorney has asked me to contact her immediately if I am ever stopped by police. So at this point officer, I would like to ask for your permission to call my attorney. My attorney is _______” If the police still insist on searching you vehicle after you have expressly denied him consent to search, chances are, unless he had some sort of strong identifiable probably cause, like a strong scent of drugs in the car or the scent of a dead body, anything illegal that he finds in the car will be the result of an illegal search and therefore not admissible in a Court of Law. The prosecutor will have a hard time moving forward with the charge if he or she is able to speak to the jury about the illegal substance that you are alleged to have possessed
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casey Anthony/Good Day

     Today was fantastic. My first day of real "private practice." I had two appointments scheduled for today and OMIGOD, can you believed it?! They actually showed up! On TIME! I just couldn't believe it. I'm still not over it! Before I knew it, it was 2:15pm. Time for the Casey Anthony verdict. Some recent events that have experienced in the courtroom have left me admittedly a little, umm... "jaded?" with our criminal justice system. But what I saw happen in the Orange County courtroom today reassured me that my seven years of schooling and all of my full on battles with the State of Florida were not in vain. For those of you who don't already know, the jury came back NOT GUILTY and rightfully so, there was not shred of evidence that lead to intentional act by Casey Anthony other than lying to police. This was a wonderful moment for me and for defense attorneys throughout the state and country. I cannot even begin to imagine how Jose Baez, Cheney Mason, and the defense team must be feeling this evening... I sure that to describe their feelings as sheer bliss would not do them justice. The look on Casey Anthony's face and the clerk published the verdict to the Court was PRICELESS. I must have watched it at least ten times in a row. It literally brought tears to my eyes. The verdict reassured me that when it all comes down to it, a jury can be trusted to put their personal feelings and biases that they may or may not have toward my client or myself aside and hold the State of Florida to its burden. The State of FLORIDA's burden. Not my burden. The Government has unlimited and overwhelming resources. Sometimes they can seem like a machine that cannot be broken in the trial court. Trial court meaning before the case gets to a jury (motion practice, etc...) Today has proven that while our Court system may be flawed, it can still be trusted. A good day for The Law Office of Alyscha Johnson. http://www.lawofficeaj.com/.
A good day for Alyscha Johnson. :-)

Monday, July 4, 2011

If you could list five attributes of a "Good Lawyer," what would they be?

Being a good lawyer is so much different from being a good student. In college and in  law school you were able to get a good idea of whether or not you were a good student by the grade you got in the class. In criminal law it's different. If you are a prosecutor, you are a bad lawyer if you are not winning. But what is the gauge for a criminal defense attorney? Is it how many clients get the blessed "Not Guilty" verdict? I guess that's good... But what if the case doesn't go to trial? Over 95% don't...  Then how do you know if you're a good lawyer? Is it whether you get your client probation instead of custody time? Or custody time instead of probation? Or is the test whether your client is happy? Well, most of my clients are just happy because they are not going to prison. To them, I'm the best lawyer in the world! Is it whether your "supervisor" says your doing a good job? How would you describe a good criminal defense lawyer? Please list five requirements of a good criminal defense lawyer below. Thanks.