I have worked for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals; the Oklahoma County Public Defender's Office; as an Assistant or Deputy District Attorney for: the 12th Judicial District Attorney's Office (Lincoln & Otero counties), the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office (San Miguel, Guadalupe, & Mora counties), and the 6th Judicial District Attorney's Office (Grant, Hidalgo, and Luna counties). I also worked for the Law Offices of the New Mexico Public Defender and the Public Defender contract for Gary Mitchell in Ruidoso.
I have extensive criminal jury trial experience.
FACT: I represented a defendant who sat in jail for three years awaiting trial. When I started representing him, I got him to trial in about 2 months. He was actually on video camera walking off with a safe that the victim said had $12,500 in it! There was even a close-up of his face on the video! Jury Verdict: Not Guilty, all counts.
FACT: I represented a man accused of receiving stolen property. After I cross-examined the State's first two witnesses, the District Attorney dismissed the case in the middle of the trial.
FACT: I represented a man charged with Child Abuse (3rd degree felony) and Battery Against a Household Member. The victim said he picked up their 10 month old baby and threw her into the wall, and then punched her in the face. Jury Verdict: Not Guilty, all counts.
FACT: I have one client who has three "good" felony priors out of Texas. This man is charged with FOUR felony CASES in New Mexico. If he gets convicted of any ONE of the counts in any of the four CASES, the judge will enhance his sentence by EIGHT YEARS. In one of the cases, I won a Motion to Suppress and got the case thrown out. In another, we took it to trial and won by default. In the remaining two, we plead them down to misdemeanors. RESULT: the 3 Texas priors will never matter.
FACT: There was a twenty year-old young woman who was arrested for speeding outside of Carrizozo. She sat in the Lincoln County Detention Center for 11 months; never saw her Public Defender. Her mother in Florida hired me. Within about six weeks I had this young lady living with her mother in Florida. Within about three months, I brought a Motion to Suppress and had the case dismissed. I am now suing the New Mexico State Police for their violation of this woman's 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
FACT: I represented a man, a jockey, charged with using an electrical device (a "machine") to stimulate his horse during a race at the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack. I got his Grand Jury Indictment quashed by probing into the procedures used by the District Attorney's Office, resulting in his case being dismissed.
FACT: I had a client with a DWI #3. It took about 2 1/2 years, but in January 2017 I finally got his dismissed.
WHY HIRE "THAT ATTORNEY"?
I think the thing that strikes me the most is how potential clients don't have any idea which attorney to hire. Stop and think about it: what business is an attorney in? ANSWER: They (we) are in the business to make money. We run small businesses. So if you walk into their office and you say "Will you represent me on my felony drug charges? On my misdemeanor DWI?" Here's cash." What do you think that attorney is going to say? They are going to say: "Sure. Sign here."
Clients almost never ask that attorney: "How many criminal jury trials have you done? How many Motions To Suppress have you won? How many YEARS have you worked full-time in criminal law?"
So what happens is this Client hires that Attorney and pays them the same amount of money they would pay me, except that I have years of experience and lots of success in this area and that other attorney doesn't.
When you hire "That Attorney," they will take your money and their goal will be to get the best plea deal they can for you. When you hire ME, my goal is to get you off the charges completely. Do you see the difference?
Will "That Attorney" get you a good plea deal? Maybe. Will "That Attorney" ever get you off completely? Almost never.
Will I "get you off completely?" I can't guarantee to you that I will, but I get a lot of clients off completely (read the FACTS section above).
To show you how clueless "That Attorney" is, I have had two attorneys (classic examples of "That Attorney") ask me to give them a copy of the FORM you use for a Motion to Suppress.
........... There ISN'T a form for it! You recite the facts and the law and you argue why the fruits of the search or stop should be suppressed.
Let me approach this from another angle: Why do attorneys practice family law?
ANSWER: No other attorney wants to, it pays well, and that attorney ("That Attorney") doesn't have to know much law. Criminal law is one of the hardest areas of law there is in terms of the amount of complexity. There are hundreds if not thousands of cases on both the federal and state level that you have to have read and be familiar with, and you have to be able to do trials. You not only "have to do them," but you have to do them so that (1) you don't violate your clients civil rights; (2) you don't commit "ineffective assistance of counsel"; and (3) you actually have a decent chance of WINNING the trial!
So why would you hire "That Attorney" who has done ZERO criminal jury trials to represent you on ANY criminal matter, when for the same money you can hire me who:
* Has about 8 years of full-time practice in the area of criminal law;
* Has done about 85 criminal jury trials;
* Has won probably 80% or more of them (regardless of whether I'm the DA, or the defense attorney, I win most of the ones I do); (past performance is not a guarantee of future results).
* Has gained an understanding of New Mexico criminal and traffic law that is far better than most attorneys. There's important parts of NM traffic law that the vast majority of attorneys have never even heard of. When I refer to "traffic law," I'm not talking about "speeding" and "failure to maintain lane." I'm talking about the case law surrounding what an officer can, and cannot do, during the course of his interaction with you during a traffic stop. These are the interactions that lead to drug and DWI investigations.
* Has and may be able to complete your criminal case and turn it into a civil rights lawsuit that might put MONEY in your pocket?
"That Attorney" can not compete with me in any way. So why hire them? Just because you already know them? Just because you pass their office every day on the way to work? Just because they did a good job on that will for your grandfather?
Don't kid yourself for one minute: The State of New Mexico is trying to get you convicted. And some of them get a personal kick out it! If they have a video of someone else doing it, OK, they'll dismiss it. If I show them during cross-examination (see above "FACTS") that they have no chance of winning this case, they might dismiss it (but they probably won't.) The reality is that the more convictions they get, the more statistics they send up to Santa Fe showing "all the crime" in their area, and please Mr. State Representative we need more money, more funding, because we have all this crime.
So what does the DA do? They say: "If you'll plead to this felony (say, Count 1), I'll drop that felony (say, Count 2), and I'll ask the judge to release you today. I'm not asking for any jail time: you'll get probation."
And what do most defendants say to this: "You mean I get out of jail TODAY? And I get PROBATION?" Where do I sign?
Folks, Mr. Defendant just got snookered. Here's why:
(1) A good attorney would likely be able to get him out of jail anyway;
(2) Probation is a dicey proposition. Some APO's (Adult Probation and Parole Officers) are pretty decent people, but some are on a power trip. Many probationers will NEVER make it through probation: and most ADA's know it! I certainly knew it when I was an ADA. When you're a probationer, you have almost NO rights. You have some, but they're basically procedural due process rights (14th Amendment), and not substantive Constitutional rights (4th, 5th, & 6th Amendments).
(3) When you take that plea, you give up ALL your rights and ALL your arguments! Chances are fairly good that an attorney like me can find a Motion To Suppress in there somewhere, or a Motion To Quash the Grand Jury Indictment, or something. Why? Because the police make mistakes, pure and simple. If I can't find that, chances are pretty good that there's some fact that would make good fodder during a jury trial. My point is, why plead when a skilled trial attorney at least can TRY to actually WORK your case?
(4) When you take that plea and you don't do the Motion to Suppress, then no matter what the police did, I can't sue them for violating your rights! So if it was possible to win a Motion to Suppress and get you some money in a civil case, you just lost that, too.
LET ME DO YOUR TRIAL!
No matter where you live in New Mexico, I can do your trial! I have a passion for trials. I used to be a middle-school math teacher in Los Angeles! I love to solve problems, I love to communicate, and I am extremely patient. I am MADE to do jury trials. Don't settle for a Public Defender on something this important and life-changing. There are SO many people who hire me AFTER the Public Defender screws your case up. It is MUCH easier and cheaper to hire me NOW and take care of your case BEFORE things go wrong! Call me and let's discuss it.
(Past results are not a guarantee of future results. What I CAN guarantee you is that no one tries harder to help you than me!)