For most folks and most cases, jail is a waste of time and money doing no good but a great deal of harm.
The great trial lawyer, Clarence Darrow, once said he was glad lawyers were not in charge of public health because if they were, they would pass a law putting everyone in jail who caught the flu and figured that would be enough to scare everyone into staying well. He said that around 1918 but we haven't got much smarter. In those days, the drugs that send folks to prison were actually perfectly legal. Today, we have passed laws but have more drug use. We have more folks in prisons than anyone else in the world and that includes China and India with around a billion people each and Russia which is not known for a free and fair court system. A good part of what I do as a lawyer is limit the damage the laws do.
On my sane days, working that way strikes me as insane but that's the system we have. Changes are coming but they haven't reached Alabama completely. The legislature won't raise taxes and prisons are really expensive. ( It takes more to house a prisoner in the penitentiary than in most high end apartments.) So the legislature is trying to find ways to get people out. Mind you, they are not trying to limit the damage to humans they have done and are doing. They seem to want to save money.
But the laws are still on the books so we still try to convict people before we let them out. Lawyers are still needed to navigate the system. A good part of a criminal lawyer's time is figuring out how to limit the damage and sentence.
There are also quite a few people who are innocent or the State of Alabama really cannot prove its criminal law case. This is where lawyers fight. Some folks call this looking for loopholes. I call it the Constitution and the law. And I tell you this, folks who talked about loopholes sing a very different tune when they're caught up in the system rightly or wrongly.
My particular approach is to prepare every case as if I will try it before a jury. First, I like trying cases. I'm quirky; trials are fun to me. That's why I'm a lawyer. I used to be an engineer but nothing there let me pick a jury and try a case.
Second, if you are prepared to go forward, I think you can make a better plea bargain if that is needed, I may be wrong about that but it is a principle that has guided for more than thirty years. I tried my first criminal case the Monday after I got my license. I haven't changed much since.
Third, preparing for a trial means you tend to see more of the case. I can test the State's theories and facts better that way.
That's my short answer to my philosophy and methods on criminal law. If you have a case and want to talk about it with me, the consultation is free. You're having enough trouble as it is and if it turns out I can't help you, I see no reason to charge you for telling you that. If I can help, we'll talk about what needs to be done next.
Call now for free consultation
205-342-3622 ( click above) or
514 Lincoln Rd
Columbus, MS 39705
No matter why you're charged in a criminal felony, you need a lawyer who has been down that road before.
Call for free consultation
205-342-3622 (click above)
Serving Aliceville, Carrollton, Gordo and Reform in Pickens County, Alabama from my offices in Carrollton, Tuscaloosa and Columbus.
Disclaimer: "No representation is made that the quality of legal service to be performed is greater than the legal services provided by other lawyers." and "Free background information available upon request."
That Google map is close but not quite right
Google has a problem finding spots in Carrollton, Alabama sometimes so let me make this a bit clearer. I'm in the Robison building next to the courthouse. If you want to walk a straight line from the Diner to the post office, you would open my door on the Highway 17 side, go straight through the building to open the door on the Court Square side and walk over to the other side of the square. You won't find me at the Police Station as the map suggests.
10 Court Square
Carrollton, AL 35447
Columbus, Tuscaloosa, Carrollton
422 Paul W. Bryant Dr. E.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Copyright © Pickens County Alabama Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.