Tunnel Vision (the danger of being in a Vacuum)
People love to see things as black or white, as yes or no, as good or bad. Easy and fast answers to your most important decisions are not going to work that way. There are many shades of grey. Unfortunately most people can only view "their" DWI or criminal case in a vacuum. Without being able to make an accurate comparison to similar cases with similar fact scenarios will make it difficult to impossible to fully comprehend how your case is going to play out.
Criminal Defense vs. Buying a House
Buying a house is a huge decision (I think getting married maybe easier). Before you make the biggest purchase decision of your adult life you should have a realtor run COMPS. Comps are comparisons to other homes that have sold within a given time period and within a given neighborhood. For these housing comps to be accurate (and helpful) they must be homes that are of the same or similar: size, age, and type. You don't compare the price of a 1000 sq. ft. home in the city with another located 50 miles away in the woods with 3000 sq. ft. sitting on 20 acres. In addition, you don't compare what a home sold for in 1950 compared to what it may sell for in 2012.
THE Factors in a Criminal Case
Criminal defense of any case first involves taking many different factors into consideration. Your attorney must think about The Court (location), the Judge, the prosecutor, the weight of the evidence, and the relevance of your unique situation. He or she must look at the matter from different angles and perspectives to be able to completely protect you. These are kinda like real estate COMPS. He or she should have familiarity with the factors, and how they may apply in this particular court.
The YOU Factor
The big question is always going to be, "how YOU are going to be affected by all this now and in the future?" This is really where an attorney is most helpful. How is this case, and all it's consequences and costs going to affect my life? Are there things I can do to mitigate the damages?
Besides the criminal defense of the charges you must always look at the total cost in time, money, energy, and risk.
Exposure is More than the Sun
I don't like exposing my clients to great risks that are costly. Misdemeanors in New York State can expose you to up to one year in jail (local county), and three years of county probation. Felony charges and Federal charges expose people to long terms in prison (state facilities).
Can this be avoided? What is YOUR EXPOSURE to these charges? What are you specifically being exposed to? Is jail an option? Is probation an option? Are any of these likely outcomes?
Understanding your criminal case begins here. Make sure you choose a "counselor" at law (not merely an attorney) to guide you, explain the options, and help you to make the right decisions for YOU.
NOTE: Any attorney can call themselves counselors at law. Whether they actually carry out that mission is another story entirely.
Law Offices of Lawrence Newman
504 North Aurora Street
Ithaca, NY 14850