Viewing ‘Important Decisions’ Category

Conflict of Interest?

Often, two people are arrested together while engaged in what is perceived as a criminal act by the police.

When they come to see me, they often assume that because two persons were arrested, they will need two separate attorneys to represent them.  Sometimes this is correct but this is not always the case.  In fact, there are many situations where having the same attorney will clearly benefit both defendants.

Rule 4-1.7 addresses what disclosure must be made to the clients in order to represent them both in the same criminal case.

The Rule points out that:

(a) Representing Adverse Interests. A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client will be directly adverse to the interests of another client, unless:

(1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not adversely affect the lawyer’s responsibilities to and relationship with the other client; and

(2) each client consents after consultation.

(b) Duty to Avoid Limitation on Independent Professional Judgment. A lawyer shall not represent a client if the lawyer’s exercise of independent professional judgment in the representation of that client may be materially limited by the lawyer’s responsibilities to another client or to a third person or by the lawyer’s own interest, unless:

(1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not be adversely affected; and

(2) the client consents after consultation.

(c) Explanation to Clients. When representation of multiple clients in a single matter is undertaken, the consultation shall include explanation of the implications of the common representation and the advantages and risks involved.


Do I Really Need to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

The State Attorney announced in court that they would not put me in jail if convicted so I don’t need a lawyer!

Although this is wonderful news, this does not mean that a conviction will not affect you for the rest of your life. A single conviction may keep you from getting your dream job, keep you out of certain social clubs or deny you of membership in homeowner’s associations when purchasing or renting a home. If convicted of a Felony you would also lose your right to vote and carry a firearm.

It’s only a Misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor crime is punishable by a jail sentence and/or probation. 364 days for a first degree misdemeanor and 60 days for a second degree misdemeanor.


I can use the Assistant Public Defender for free and save some $.

Let me start by saying that there are many excellent Public Defender’s out there… With that said, PD’s are overworked and underpaid. They often have a hundred or more open cases in addition to in-court duty and other concerns. You also don’t get to choose which PD will represent you. By hiring the right private attorney, you will get the individual attention that most Public Defender’s simply can not provide. The right private attorney will have the time and attention that will make the difficult time a client faces while being prosecuted much smoother. They can constantly keep the client informed of developments, meet with family, develop theories of defense and be available for all questions/concerns that the client may have. *** I am not promoting that all private attorney’s are better suited to help you. Some private attorneys take too many cases, are completely unprepared and/or do not spend nearly enough time working to resolve matters for their clients.


It’s my first DUI – It will just be a slap on the wrist.

DUI penalties throughout the United States have become particularly severe. This is definitely the case in Florida where we have some of the toughest DUI laws in the nation. The hiring of a lawyer can save you from a conviction which may cost you thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, numerous hours taking classes and receiving alcohol treatment, additional time spent performing community service hours, mandatory impounding of your vehicle and the potential to have a required embarrassing interlock device installed on your vehicle. DUI is treated very seriously by the courts and has some of the toughest lobbyists in the nation with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) constantly pushing the legislature for even tougher laws against violators.