Category Archives: Uncategorized

hire a DUI lawyer in MD after being accused

What Police Are Looking for In Maryland DUI Cases?

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017


No one want to be arrested for DUI. Even the accusation of driving under the influence can be embarrassing and require your time off work to meet with an attorney and attend hearings. Trying to defend yourself is often your top concern and speaking with a lawyer is the first thing you need to consider after an arrest.

When you are pulled over and accused of driving under the influence, this is a serious matter that can prompt you to suffer from anxiety and anger immediately. However, maintaining your calm in the face of this stressful situation can assist you, should you ultimately be charged with DUI. Police officers in Maryland who are aiming to build a case against a driver who may be under the influence or impaired will often ask that driver if they have been drinking.

If you answer that you have been drinking, the officer now has further information and ammunition to administer tests to determine the level of your impairment. There are two primary ways that officers typically attempt to find out if the driver is impaired or under the influence of alcohol: breathalyzer tests and field sobriety tests. Whether you participate in these tests depends on the state of your driving record and the details of the incident. Bear in mind that both of these kinds of test are prone to oversights and mistakes and they must be administered in a way that is in line with national and state guidelines. Police officers must adhere to strict regulations when it comes to breathalyzer tests.

Although the Maryland state limit for blood alcohol content is 0.08, a driver can still be classified as impaired at a lower BAC level. Given that breathalyzer tests are prone to mechanical failure and human error, these are not 100% reliable and this is why it is important that you consult with your attorney as soon as possible after you have been accused of a DUI. Police officers do make mistakes and these could lead to the protection of your rights and a serious case so do not wait to get help after being accused of DUI while the information is still fresh in your mind.

FIVE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED DUI QUESTIONS.

Posted by on Dec 19, 2016


The minute I tell someone that I help people charged with drinking and driving stay out of jail, I see a significant change in their disposition. Either they light up with glee or they look at me like I’m the filthiest person walking and breathing on this earth. As most attorneys know, you develop thick skin the longer you’re in this legal game.

However, often times, I’m faced with a varied bag of questions. They range from the absurd like “If I’m drinking and driving, and I get into an accident, but it kinda wasn’t my fault, I can’t really get in trouble for that, right?” All the way to the thought provoking, such as “Do you feel that your job as a defense attorney enables the horrible behavior of society?” I find them all entertaining, and I oftentimes play around with an answer just to see the reaction I get. But, there are a few questions that I get asked way too often about DUI’s. In the hopes of shedding light on what a lot of people may want to know, I have outlined a few to appease your appetite to learn.

1. What Should I Do If I’m Asked to take a Field Sobriety Test?

There are a wide range of field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze nystagmus (eye twitch) test, the walk-and-turn, the one-leg-stand, heel-to-toe, finger-to-nose, alphabet recitation, modified position of attention, fingers-to-thumb, hand pat, etc. Most officers will pick a few out of the above to see how impaired you may be.

Unlike the chemical test where refusal to submit may have serious administrative consequences, you are not legally required to take any Field Sobriety Test. I’m going to keep it 100 though… the reality is that officers have already made up their minds to arrest you when they ask you to take the Field Sobriety Test. The tests are simply additional evidence that can and will be used against you in a court of law. Thus, in some cases, a polite refusal may be appropriate.

2. The Officer Never Gave Me a Miranda Warning — Can I Get My Case Dismissed?

Ha. No. You are absolutely right… the officer is supposed to give a Miranda warning after he arrests you. From a practical standpoint, the police will delay the arrest decision long enough to allow you to make numerous incriminating statements. The only consequence of a Miranda violation is that the prosecution may not use any of your answers to questions asked by the police after the arrest. The wisest course of action is to say nothing regardless of whether or not you have been formally placed under arrest.

The more important warning is the failure to advise you of the state’s “implied consent” law, which is your legal obligation to take a chemical test, and the consequences if you refuse. This can affect the suspension of your license.

3. What Defenses Are There In a DUI Case?

Lack of Driving or Actual Physical Control. Intoxication is not enough: the prosecution must also prove that the defendant was driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a BAC of .08 or more. This may be difficult if, as in the case of accidents:

a) there are no witnesses to his or her being the driver of the vehicle.

b) Lack of Reasonable or Articulate Suspicion to Stop or Probable Cause to Arrest. Evidence will be suppressed if the officer did not have legal cause to (a) stop, (b) detain, and (c) arrest. Sobriety roadblocks present particularly complex issues.

c) Miranda. Incriminating statements may be suppressed if warnings were not given at the appropriate time.

d) Deficient “Implied Consent” warnings. If the officer did not advise you of the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test or gave the prescribed instructions incorrectly, it may affect admissibility of the test results — as well as the license suspension imposed by the motor vehicle department.

e) Subjective Nature of the Offense/Erroneous Nature of the Evidence. Most crimes involve tangible evidence — a quantity of illegal drugs, a body, a gun, a knife, etc. An alleged violation of Operating under the Influence relies almost exclusively on the subjective and unverifiable impressions of the arresting officer. The officer’s observations and opinions as to impairment can be questioned. The circumstances and procedures of the Field Sobriety Tests can also be called into question. The strong tendency of the police officer to reinforce his arrest decision with “facts” that are conveniently corroborative of that decision can be attacked. Also, DUI arrests translate to thousands of overtime dollars for the involved officers. This fact is relevant to a motive on the part of the officer to err on the side of arrest in close cases, and should be brought to the jury’s attention. Furthermore, an alleged DUI violation, having an unlawful BAC, will also rely on test results that are highly questionable. A breath test has one compelling — and erroneous — assumption: that all test subjects are “average.”

f) Blood-alcohol concentration. There exists a wide range of potential problems with blood, breath, or urine testing.

4. What Patterns Do Police Officers Look For When Searching Out Intoxicated Drivers On The Road?

• Negotiating a wide turn
• Straddling along the central marker between the lanes
• Near misses or hitting either another vehicle or an object
• Weaving between lanes
• Driving off of designated highway
• Swerving within the lane lines
• Speeding over 10 mph above the designated speed limit
• Tailgating
• Drifting
• Excessive braking
• Driving against traffic
• Delayed reaction to traffic signals
• Accelerating or slowing down quickly
• Driving without headlights on

5. As a DUI Lawyer, What Would You Do If You Were Stopped For DUI?

• Immediately request an attorney — Ask the officer to note the time of my request
• Refuse to answer ANY questions (other than name and address)
• Produce requested documents… be polite even if the officer isn’t
• Refuse ALL field sobriety tests
• Refuse a breath/blood/urine test (if I was unsure that I was under the legal limit)

ABOUT ME: Prince Williams, Esq. is an AVID lawyer with AVID Law Firm, LLC. A firm that helps people avoid DUI convictions. Call today at 240-561-7433. Let us know how we can help you.

FOUR EASY TIPS TO PREVENT A DUI CONVICTION

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016


image-4-easy-tips

It sucks to get jammed on a DUI conviction. The most painful part about such a mishap is that you never really see it coming. It catches you off guard… just like that third drink you had. You know you’re good… or so you think… and you decide to drive. Next thing you know, lights, camera, action… your getting pulled over. “What the hell has this guy pull me over for; I’m good…” are your thoughts, but you’re not. In fact, you have no idea how much crap you have just gotten yourself into – and it’s only the beginning. However, if you’re anything like me, you would do anything in the world to avoid a situation like the one above. And, because AVID Law Firm has your back, I have listed four ways to avoid a drunk driving conviction.

SLEEP IT OFF IN THE BACK SEAT

If you decide to sleep inside a car after you have been drinking, it’s best to do it in the back seat. Be sure to have the engine off, and preferably, have the keys in your pocket. To avoid a possible DUI, you must avoid being seen has having actual physical control of the vehicle.

REFUSE THE BREATH TEST

Sometimes, it may be a good idea to refuse the breath test. A refusal will generally prevent the state from using a numerical breath or blood test reading against you. This greatly
reduces the chances of a conviction of a DUI; however, the downside is that a refusal will
result in an administrative suspension of your driving privileges. Always weigh the pros and cons. This may vary from person to person and honestly, with Uber, that suspension may not be so bad for some.

PREPARE YOUR CAR BEFORE GOING OUT

Before going out for the evening, always prepare your vehicle by checking to make sure it has no equipment defects, and that the tag is current and is visible. Remember to remove any and all incriminating items (this includes open containers of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and valuables. By having no valuables in the vehicle, if you need to leave the car and not drive, you won’t be concerned about losing your items.

WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK

Women should be especially cautious about what type of alcohol and what quantity they
consume since studies have shown that a male drinker’s stomach typically produces more of a digestive enzyme that helps metabolize alcohol than a woman’s stomach does. This means that the average 160 pound woman is at an impairment disadvantage when compared to an identically built 160 pound man who consumes the exact same quantity of alcohol over the same period of time. In addition, studies have shown that carbonation in highball mixers, sparkling wines, and draft beer tends to accelerate the rate of absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream, causing you to get more intoxicated than you would be by using non-carbonated alternatives. Change what you drink and remain sober a tad bit longer.

By keeping the above easy tips in your back pocket, you have no need to worry about a DUI conviction. You’re definitely all good.

ABOUT ME: Prince Williams, Esq. is an AVID lawyer with AVID Law Firm, LLC. A firm that helps people avoid DUI convictions. Call today at 240-561-7433. Let us know how we can help you.

ARE YOU F@%^#ING SERIOUS?!……

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016


Are you serious blog post

*Ring ring*

Hello…”

Hey Prince… are you sitting down?

No, I’m leaving Douglas Hallstudying for a final… why? What’s going on?

*pause*

I really need you to be sitting down for this… I have some bad news… Marvin is dead.”

Wait, what?!… Are you f@&kin serious?!…

I remember this conversation like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t. These words were spoken to me by a good friend in my sophomore year at Morehouse College. Marvin had been driving in his vehicle with an unknown female companion when he attempted to make a sharp turn at a high speed. The car flipped over and Marvin was pronounced dead at the scene – as for the passenger; of course, she managed to walk away unscathed. A lot of questions remained unanswered for Marvin’s family, but as I spoke to a large congregation at his funeral, one thing that I knew in the back of my mind was true… alcohol was definitely involved.

Fast-forward six years later… I’m at a beer festival with another good friend; lots of beer and lots of good food… an awesome Saturday afternoon that ended with a night of networking, spoken word, and probably the best DJ that Vermont has seen. Unlike some people, I’ve always known what my limit is when it comes to drinking. Actually, I learned my limit after college. It also doesn’t help that the older I get, the more that alcohol serves as a sleep aid for me. So, as usual, I’m looking for my good friend because I’m ready to go. I’m waiting out by the car, and I see my friend stumbling out of the party with keys in hand. Finally, I think that I get to go home and sleep. My friend proceeds to walk to the driver’s side of his truck with keys in hand. With a concerned look, I asked him,

What the hell you think you about to do….? I got you. Hand me the keys.”

Luckily, I stopped drinking maybe four hours beforehand because I guess you can say I saw the writing on the walls. So, at this point, I’m hella-sober.

Slurred speech and all, my friend tells me he is good to drive and that I shouldn’t worry…

Just get in the car and we will be at our destination shortly.

He stated this in an incoherent way as only a drunk person could.

No sir. You are not good to drive, and you are definitely not driving me anywhere… you can barely speak and walk right now. Please, let me have the keys. I’ll drive.”

I’m completely sober.”

It was very clear to me that my friend wasn’t listening to a word I was saying, so I proceeded to grab the keys from his hand as he attempted to turn the ignition. As I grabbed for the keys, my friend shoved me and told me…

I’m good… either get in or get left.”

At this point, several conflicting thoughts were going through my head. Do I forcibly take the keys from him and drive him home? After all, I totally feel responsible for this guy now. The other thought was that this is a full-grown adult that I am going back and forth with about not driving while intoxicated. Why would someone put me in such a situation? What I knew for sure was that I definitely was not going to be a passenger in this accident waiting to happen. After several minutes of back and forth, I decided to let my friend prove to himself how sober he really was. Besides, he only lived five minutes away… but anything could happen in five minutes. On the other hand, I refused to argue with a full-grown adult about something that should be common sense to him. I allowed him to drive off while I waited for public transportation.

In exactly five minutes, my ride picked me up to take me home. As we get a little further down the road, I smell the smell of burning rubber. At the same time, I notice a lot of smoke on this dark and winding road. As we traveled a few feet further up the road, I see my friend’s truck in a ditch smashed into a tree. I tell the driver to stop. As I get out and walk toward the truck, a strong feeling of despair and anxiety took me over to the point that my palms became sweaty, and it was difficult for me to even take steps toward the vehicle.

This is all my fault. I can see from the shattered windshield that the airbags had been deployed. This wasn’t looking good at all. I slowly opened the passenger-side door and saw my friend standing on the driver’s side with the door opened, looking scared and confused.

Thank God his life was sparred, but I had no sympathy for his current situation.

Now that I knew he was alright, I couldn’t stop thinking about the lack of judgment he displayed, and if I even wanted someone like this to be considered as a friend of mine. It took a while for me to be back on speaking terms with this friend. It took a lot of soul searching for me to forgive him for even putting me in such a situation.

Now it is 2016, and I am a DUI Defense attorney. I am defending the same people who lack judgment and decide to drink and get behind the wheel. Because of my personal experiences, this makes my job that much more difficult.

You would think that the more DUI cases I handle, the easier it would get… but it doesn’t.

As the weather gets warmer, I know the urge to want to drink and drive increases. Hell, drinking overall seems to increase in the warmer months – that’s just how it happens, but if I could convey one message, it would be this:

Please drink responsibly.

First of all, what your friends may not tell you is that no one wants to be your babysitter for the night because you don’t know how to drink like a responsible adult. What your friends are also not telling you is that no one likes a loud, obnoxious, belligerent drunkard. Not only are you embarrassing yourself, but everyone associated with you, and your smart friends will begin to separate themselves from you for this very reason.

Drinking is meant to be fun and should not end in a night of chaos and despair. If you plan to get wasted (which beyond a certain age, should not be your objective), be smart enough to have a designated driver or catch an Uber.

You will thank yourself and your friends for it later. Your loved ones will thank you.

Know your limit.

As I reflect on this topic, I can’t help but remember how Marvin and I would talk about one day becoming Defense attorneys. Because of the choices he made, that became a dream deferredand they don’t always come true.

Know your limit — Be responsible.

ABOUT ME:  Prince Williams, Esq. is an AVID lawyer with AVID Law Firm, LLC.  The premiere accident, DUI, and Criminal Defense firm in Maryland.  Call today at 240-561-7433.  Let us know how we can help you.

REEFER, LOUD & MARY JANE….WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MARIJUANA.

Posted by on Feb 3, 2016


Weed blog post pic

Reefer, loud pack, jays, and Mary Jane have been a few of the names that the popular green stuff, grown from the earth, has been called. Formally, it’s known as Marijuana, and has been widely popular amongst teenagers and young adults; hell, even some grandparents still enjoy the recreational use of marijuana. Although the general public has become more liberal in their views on the use of marijuana, it still is considered a criminal offense in the majority of states. With the move to decriminalize marijuana, and with a few states actually making it no longer a criminal act to possess, this topic has become a popular one with stoners and non-stoners alike. But, before you go out and get your hands on that “purple haze” or that “banana kush”, let me answer nine of the most common questions I get regarding marijuana and its legal implications.

Q. IS MARIJUANA LEGAL?

A. It is true that the United States Federal Government still classifies marijuana as a schedule 1 drug, similar to heroin, meth, and crack. Marijuana is generally not legal for recreational use except for the possession of small amounts in the States of Colorado, DC, Oregon and Washington. Several other states have special laws that allow people to use marijuana as medicine with a prescription.

Q. WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION?

A. This answer can vary from state to state. In Maryland, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana is viewed as a civil offense, and carries a maximum fine of $100 for a first offense. For possession of 10 grams or more of marijuana, the maximum penalty is one year in jail or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both. If a person is caught with a really large amount, such as an ounce or more or has items accompanying the “green”, such as small baggies or a scale, Possession with Intent to Distribute may be the likely charge, and we enter into a whole new arena that can be discussed in a separate post.

Q. BUT, WHAT IF I HAVE A PRESCRIPTION FOR MARIJUANA?

A. There are reduced criminal penalties for someone with a “debilitating medical condition”, as documented by a physician. It is necessary that you show that you (1) have a debilitating medical condition that has been diagnosed by a physician with whom the defendant has a bona fide physician-patient relationship; (2) that the debilitating medical condition is severe and resistant to conventional medicine; and (3) that marijuana is likely to provide the defendant with therapeutic relief from the medical condition. If the court finds that you used or possessed marijuana because of medical necessity, on conviction of a violation of this law, the maximum penalty that the court may impose on the person is a fine not exceeding $100. Keep in mind that you cannot use the defense of medicinal marijuana if you are found using marijuana in a public place or if you are found in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana.

Q. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM ARRESTED OR GIVEN A CITATION FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA?

A. If an officer approaches you and asks you questions about marijuana, you should always tell the officer that you do not want to answer any questions; that you wish to remain silent and that you would like to speak with a lawyer. I’m going to keep it 100 with you though… at this point, if you have already been stopped and questioned about marijuana, there is nothing you can do or say that will help your situation other than what I outlined above. You cannot talk your way out of the charge. Officers can be very misleading by asking you seemingly innocent questions like “Where are you going?” I’ve even seen situations on a routine stop where an officer will act like they are buddies with the defendant and even admit that they have smoked marijuana in the past or that they disagree with the marijuana laws. Don’t get caught slippin. These are tactics used by the police to gather information to help convict you on the charge. Please be clear, DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY INFORMATION THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO. Give them your name and ID, and ask to call your lawyer.

Q. WHAT IF I GET PULLED OVER FOR DRIVING AFTER SMOKING A JAY?

A. Driving while impaired on drugs, just like driving under the influence of alcohol, is considered a serious offense. If you are pulled over by the police and they question you about marijuana use or even alcohol use, it is better to be polite and cooperative, but assert your rights to remain silent and to speak with a lawyer. The State must prove that you were too impaired to drive due to the use of a drug or alcohol or they must prove that you are above the legal limit of alcohol in your blood, which is .08% BAC. Officers usually prove this by observing your behavior, your appearance, your speech pattern, your ability to perform satisfactorily on standardized field sobriety tests, breath tests, and possibly blood tests.

Some states have adopted limits of allowable marijuana metabolites in your blood to operate a vehicle. For example, Colorado has adopted the standard of 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in your blood as the limit for driving. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on which side of the glass you’re on, Maryland has not developed such a standard.

Q. DO I NEED A LAWYER FOR POSSESSION OF A SMALL AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA?

A. Of course, my answer is always “yes”! Whenever you are accused of a crime, especially a drug crime, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney. There are long-lasting consequences to a drug conviction. If you have a “guilty” on your record for even a small amount of marijuana, you may be prevented from receiving federal benefits, such as student loans and financial aid, you may lose welfare benefits, you may be prevented from working with children and becoming a teacher, if you wanted to join the military or have a career in law enforcement or law, you may be forever answering for this charge, and if you hold a green card, you may be deported. Without proper legal advice, you may not really know the consequences of what you are doing. As always, just remember, #Dontgetcaughtslippin.

About Me:

Prince Williams, Esq. is an AVID Lawyer with AVID Law Firm, LLC; the premiere DUI, and criminal defense firm in Maryland.

Call today at 240-561-7433.

Let us know how we can help you.

4 THINGS TO DO FOR YOURSELF IN 2016.

IMG_2498It’s not easy being a small business owner. When you are one, everything relies on you.  If you ask any entrepreneur, they will tell you it’s not a good feeling. This responsibility can leave you stressed, uncertain and fearful of what is to come in the future. Because I constantly look for ways to learn and grow, I’m probably uncomfortable most of the time.  It is difficult living with this type of pressure without unplugging at some point.  Which is exactly what I did in December.  Traveling for me serves many purposes.  It allows me to get away from my normal routine and relax.  It also gives me an opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and gain new insights on life in general.

My decision to travel to Colombia while I had so much work to do with my firm was not easy to make.  I went back and forth on whether it was a good idea to just go away for a whole week.  What if a client needs me?  What if when I return, I won’t have all the money to cover my bills because I was negligent and took a week off?  These types of thoughts flooded my head, and the decision to take a vacation led me to anxiety and much uncertainty.  I pulled the trigger anyway and booked that trip to South America.  Why?  Because I needed a break and needed time to refocus on what I’m doing on this planet. On a side note, I’m sure you’re wondering how easy it was to find drugs in Colombia…or maybe that’s just the curious criminal defense attorney in me…either way, I will save that for a future post.

Back on topic….going through my should I take a vacation or not dilemma helped me realize that there will never be a perfect time to do anything in your life.  Nothing will ever feel 100% certain or make perfect sense to you or anyone else.  There will never be a perfect time to fall in love, or to travel the world.  You will never have enough training, enough preparation, or enough money.  Waiting to feel 100% ready or validated is the easiest way in which we cheat ourselves out of wonderful life experiences.

So as we enter into a new year, I dare you to free yourself from this self-limiting mentality.  Book that plane ticket, even if you feel lots of uncertainty.  Sign up for that educational course, even if you have no idea how it will go.  And keep these 4 things in mind as you begin 2016 with mad gusto.

1. INVEST IN YOURSELF.

Investing in yourself is the best investment you will ever make.  It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.  Make it a habit to prioritize your own needs into your daily to-do list. Spend money on your education, health and happiness every single day. Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside to everyone else.

2. LEARN TO SAY “NO” WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY.

A lot of uncertainty can come about when we feel overwhelmed.  There are often too many things we feel we should do which, in reality, we don’t really have to do.  Getting to the point where we can easily tell the difference is the foundation of living a happy positive life. Give yourself permission to say “no” without feeling guilty.  Anyone who gets upset or expects you to say “yes” all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

3.  NEVER STOP DREAMING AND ACHIEVING, EVEN IN THE FACE OF FAILURE.

The main reason a lot of people never become successful or never reach their goals is due to the fact that they can’t handle discouragement, and so they abandon their aspirations when they find themselves struggling.  But remember, failures are simply the stepping-stones of growth and success.  Try not to sweat the small stuff and know that daily obstacles are bound to come up daily.  You must keep things in perspective.

4.  STOP LISTENING TO THE NEGATIVE VOICE IN YOUR HEAD.

When you manage to keep things in perspective you realize that, the biggest critic lives in the way you feel other people see you, not in their actual perception of you. One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecure thoughts and learning to truly not care so much about other people’s opinions.  In fact, you will never make a great impression on others until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you’re making.

Life has become so complex and complicated.  There is always something that needs to be done.  Checking emails and social media before breakfast and getting all the current news updates before leaving the house in the morning has become the norm.  We get so busy rushing around trying to meet everyone’s needs that we forget to look out for ourselves.  There’s so much to remember and so much to do that we often lose sight of what’s truly important.  As we begin a new year remember to take care of the most important person in your life…YOU.

About Me:  Prince Williams, Esq., is an AVID Lawyer with AVID Law Firm, LLC.  The premiere accident, DUI and criminal defense firm in Maryland.  Call today at 240-561-7433.  Let us
know how we can help you.

PRIVATE ATTORNEY VS. PUBLIC DEFENDER…WHO TO PUT YOUR MONEY ON.

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015


PublicPrivate blog image

I’ve had the opportunity to sit before several potential clients and I know this is one of the many questions they struggle with, especially when it’s clear that the limited funds they have could be used for something more enjoyable, ie.. a trip to Vegas or one of those overly expensive items from Kanye’s new fashion line. Well I’m here to set the record strait and provide some insight for the curious minds.

I want to first start off my stating, this is not a post bashing Public Defenders. In fact, a lot of my good friends are public defenders and are excellent attorneys. Early in my career I would call them and ask all types of questions just so that I didn’t sound too stupid in front of my clients. Most of them know their stuff. However, there are a few differences between a private attorney and a public defender that can make all the difference with your overall experience with the criminal justice system.

Let’s start with the obvious, public defenders typically carry an enormous case load and can therefore only dedicate so much time to each client. In most instances, you won’t even meet your lawyer until the day of court. When your liberty is on the line, this is enough to make anyone hotter than fish grease. Before you start to use those nice choice words you learned in grade school, understand that a public defender is a government employee who is generally paid much lower than those in the private sector. To add insult to injury, they handle as many as 100 to 200 cases at a time depending on which jurisdiction you’re in. Trust me, they would love to give you all their time, but there aren’t enough hours in the day for that. They have to spread the love. Because of this limitation, public defenders are often not able to review your case until the day of or the day before your scheduled hearing. Generally, this is not enough time to get a very good sense of who their client is, potentially preventing the lawyer from obtaining information that may be very important in formulating a defense. This could also lead to the Public Defender missing small but crucial details about a case that a more thorough investigation would reveal.

On the flip side, a private attorney usually will not have this issue because they will have a smaller case load. Most private attorneys typically handle about 10 to 50 cases at a time. Because we control the number of cases we take on, we can devote all the necessary attention that your case demands. We are usually available whenever you need us and often times are available for advice after the conclusion of your case. Because we have a far more manageable caseload than a public defender, this will usually allow your private attorney more time to do a thorough investigative analysis and do additional investigative work on your case. This is key when it comes to finding holes in the prosecution’s case against you, which can in turn be used to get the case dismissed entirely or at least have some of the charges dropped or reduced. In addition, most private attorneys have more resources at their disposal. Private attorneys usually have an existing network of private investigators, expert witnesses, associate lawyers and paralegals that they can draw upon to do further work on your case.

Secondly, you are required to work with the particular public defender who has been appointed to your case. You do not get to choose your attorney when working with the public defender’s office. If you simply do not like your assigned attorney, or don’t feel they have your best interest at heart, tough luck. This is really important and a lot of people overlook this fact. In all honesty, a lot of lawyers can be douche bags. It can be a long painful experience when you realize that your lawyer is a prick and they could care less about your side of the story. With a private attorney, you have the ability to interview several attorneys and choose the paid lawyer that you feel most comfortable with. In addition, private attorneys thrive based on their reputation and if they are not meeting their clients’ needs and expectations, this will haunt them and you can always fire them if you don’t mesh well.

There is always the infamous third option, which when you think about it, really shouldn’t be an option at all and that is to represent yourself. Let the truth be told, lawyers don’t even do this. There’s an old legal expression, “An attorney who represents themselves has a fool for a client.” This applies to non lawyers as well. To represent yourself is a real, real mistake. The prosecutor is an experienced attorney. The likelihood of you knowing the court and you knowing the laws, you knowing the system, is extremely small to begin with and you knowing it better than a prosecutor is almost non-existent.

So what should you do if you need an attorney for your criminal or DUI matter? This is ultimately up to you. Only you can decide what is in your best interests. So think hard about whether you should go with a public defender or a private attorney. Don’t even think about representing yourself. If you have further questions, please feel free to give my office a call at 240-561-7433.

About Me: Prince Williams, Esq., is an AVID Lawyer with AVID Law Firm, LLC. The premiere accident, DUI and criminal defense firm in Maryland. Call today at 240-561-7433. Let us know how we can help you.

Happy Birthday Avid Lawyer!!!

Posted by on Dec 12, 2014


yay

Hi, I’m Prince. I’m an Avid lawyer from Fort Worth, Texas practicing law in Maryland and today is my birthday. It just so happens, today is also the birthday of my new blog. What a coincidence… Most of you know that I recently opened a law firm that focuses in the areas of criminal defense and personal injury. Well this is my platform.

This blog will highlight my journey as a new entrepreneur aspiring to build a million dollar law firm. My goal here is to inspire others to go out and achieve their dreams, no matter how silly they may sound to someone else or how out of reach they may be. I’ve found that when I hear of other’s journey to success, it moves me to get working on my own goals. You may be the same.
Continue reading

5 Common DUI mistakes

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014


DUI Blog Post

Driving Under the Influence, also known as DUI seems to be one of those charges that many people believe can’t or won’t happen to them. The reality of the situation is if you have a vehicle and enjoy an occasional drink or two, you are open to the possibility of being pulled over and getting a DUI charge at some point in your lifetime. I am aware that ALL of my readers are smart, intelligent individuals and know how to avoid these unfortunate situations. But sometimes we get caught slipping and may not always be on our P’s and Q’s. Listed below are 5 common mistakes dealing with DUI’s that can be avoided now that you know better.

Continue reading

10 Things I’ve learned since starting my law firm

Posted by on Dec 4, 2014


Light Bulb

It’s been a few months since I left the Doc Review circuit and pursued my dream full time of building a million dollar law firm. In a short amount of time, I have grown tremendously. It’s crazy how your whole world changes once you decide to face your fears head on.

Most days I feel out of my league. Other days, I feel like a young Johnnie Cochran, but I’m taking in the experiences as they come. I can honestly say being an entreprenuer is not easy. In fact, I’m faced with many challenges on a daily basis, both internally and externally. In a short amount of time I’ve learned so much about myself, my surroundings and how life works overall. Below is a list of 10 things ive learned since starting my law firm.

Continue reading