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You Deserve to be Represented by Bakersfield’s Premier Criminal Defense Attorney

When individuals in Bakersfield are charged with any form of crime, they will need competent and professional assistance from an expert criminal attorney. The legal process is daunting to navigate, particularly for the criminal justice system.

Just as doctors specialize in medical areas, lawyers concentrate in various aspects of the law. Professional criminal attorneys know how the justice system works so that they can handle your case most effectively.

Regardless of the charge, only a professional criminal lawyer is prepared to ensure that your best interests are represented. This is why it is so important to select a defense lawyer that has experience with your particular type of case.

One place to begin your search for a competent Bakersfield criminal attorney is from the local Bar Associations. Most of these legal organizations have processes in place where people can call for a list of possible names or look for attorneys by specialty.

Another means of finding a criminal lawyer are online search databases such as those with the state bar. These databases usually have a way to enter information for location and specialty. For example, for a drunk driving charge, it is essential that you find an attorney who has experience in defending DUI cases. While family law experts are certainly competent, they usually have no trial experience, let alone the ability to handle a criminal case.

Before you contact a few attorneys to speak with, first think about the the type of outcome you wish to have. For example, if you would like to be cleared of all charges, you probably should choose a criminal attorney who has a good courtroom record of trial victories. However, if your goal is simply to negotiate the dismissal of certain charges and the best possile sentence on others, many attorneys specialize in attaining very favorable plea bargains for their clients. Any criminal defense lawyer you consider hiring should be able to show you a proven track record of both favorable negotiations and trial outcomes.

When you speak with a few lawyers, be sure to find out how long they have practiced law and how many years of experience he or she has with your particular type of case. In addition, be sure to understand the fee structure and what it includes. Many times, a criminal attorneys in Bakersfield will offer a free consultation, during which many of your questions should be answered.

Also find out who exactly will handle your case. For example, he or she may have a staff of lawyers that your case might be delegated to. The best Bakersfield criminal attorneys will handle your cases personally and provide the level of personal contact that you deserve.

For a free consultation with the premier criminal defense attorney in Bakersfield, Call the Law Office of Joel E. Lueck at (661)776-5879 and speak to a criminal defense attorney immediately!

Protect Your Commercial Driver’s License

For truck drivers or anyone with a commercial driver’s license, accumulation of points against your driving record can have a serious negative impact on your ability to remain employed. Additionally, taking time away from work to appear in traffic court takes time out of your schedule and money out of your pocket.  By hiring an experienced traffic defense attorney, you can protect your commercial driver’s license.  The Law Office of Joel E. Lueck has a proven track record of getting traffic cases dismissed, reducing “point” violations to “non-point” violations, and getting fines substantially reduced, all without the need for the client to ever appear in court!

Whether you are an out-of-state commercial driver who can’t appear in court, or a local driver who would simply prefer not to, contact the Law Office of Joel E. Lueck today to speak with a respected and experienced defense attorney.  With the ability to pay by credit card and set up easy payment plans, you CAN AFFORD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY to protect your license.  We handle cases in ALL KERN COUNTY COURTS — Bakersfield, Taft, Lamont, Mojave, Ridgecrest, Kern Valley, Shafter, and Delano.

Man Acquitted by Jury, Still Sentenced to 15 Years

The South Florida Sun Sentinel is reporting that a man acquitted in two separate jury trials of fondling pre-teen girls has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison based upon the same evidence which amounted to a violation of his probation. The case underscores the very real possibility of being sentenced on a probation violation despite being found not guilty of the same conduct by a jury. The legal basis for such an outcome lies in the different standards of proof applied to jury trials versus that applied to hearings on violations of probation. While the standard of proof in a jury trial is “proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” in order to be found in violation of probation, in Florida, as in California, the prosecution bears the much lower standard of proof known as “preponderance of the evidence.” Additionally, whereas convictions on new law violations generally are determined by a jury, violations of probation (even if based upon the same evidence) are decided by a judge.  In essence, while a jury may acquit a defendant based upon a failure of the prosecution to meet the higher standard of proof, a judge considering the same evidence may still nonetheless conclude that the lower standard of proof has been met and thus sentence a defendant based upon a violation of his pre-existing probation.

Study Shows Wrongful Conviction Rate of Up To Six Percent

As reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, a comprehensive study by the Urban Institute has found that wrongful conviction rates in violent felony cases is as high as six percent. Samuel R. Gross, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School and a former criminal-defense lawyer, attended the presentation made by the Urban Institute in November and said that “this is a very big surprise. I would have guessed an error rate of 1 or 2 percent. Six percent is surprisingly high.”

Given the fact that the study focused on only violent felony cases, and that those are the types of cases that the most prosecutorial resources are devoted to, it is likely that the rate is even higher for cases that don’t rise to the level of “violent felonies.”

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Arson Investigation Burn Pattern Theory Debunked

A November 2011 study by The Arson Project has confirmed the hypothesis that ‘the presence or absence of an ignitable liquid in a post-flashover setting cannot be determined through visual examination of the resulting burn patterns. Any attempt to do so is no more reliable than a flip of a coin.”

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Novel Conservative Approach to Death Penalty Debate

As more and more Republicans are taking the “Right on Crime” (as opposed to “Tough on Crime”) approach, the Concord Monitor is reporting that Republican State Representative Phil Greazzo has come out in favor of abolishing his state’s death penalty statute. What makes his position noteworthy is not only the fact that he is a conservative, but also that Rep. Greazzo has a history of favoring the expansion of crimes to which the death penalty could apply. Despite generally seeking to broaden the use of the death penalty, Rep. Greazzo said he sees such inconsistency in the current law that he would sooner have lawmakers eliminate the death penalty altogether than maintain the status quo.

While Rep. Greazzo’s position is a far cry from seeking to abolish the death penalty altogether, it is refreshing to see another conservative join the ranks of those who recognize that the current system is broken.

Reckless Response to Service Call vs. Reckless Evasion of Officer

The Bakersfield Californian is reporting that the recent accident involving a Kern County Sheriff’s Deputy and two pedestrians (which resulted in the deaths of those pedestrians) was a result of the officer responding to a report of a stolen vehicle. Whether or not the officer’s siren and emergency lights were activated at the time of the accident is still unknown (to the public). The story is tragic in every respect and one can only hope that Sheriff Donny Youngblood is sincere when he says the department as a whole is deeply saddened by the deaths. Unfortunately, this evokes memories of similar incidents in which innocent pedestrians have been killed during police pursuits of fleeing criminal suspects. Understandably, the public outrage directed to the defendants in those cases was harsh, as was the response of both law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office in their prosecution of the defendants. At this point, given the public comments posted in relation to the story, it appears that at least the public is concerned about the prudence (or lack thereof) of the officer’s actions. One can hope that that level of concern is mirrored within the District Attorney’s Office once the investigation is complete and the case is submitted for a determination of whether or not to file criminal charges.

More Young Adults Arrested Than Ever Before

According to the New York Times, nearly one third of American adults have been arrested for a criminal offense by the age of 23.  In my experience, arrests at this early age generally have one of two effects on the person arrested: they either act as a wake-up call and lead the young adult to come face-to-face with the reality that poor choices can lead to some very serious negative consequences, or they simply become remembered as the first, in a long history of run-ins with the criminal justice system.

As the article implies, how a young adult addresses their first encounter with the criminal justice system system can play a key role in the development of the remainder of their adult life.  Given the fact that schools and employers are now using the internet and the vast array of information available it provides to screen potential job or school applicants, it is imperative that young adults who find themselves charged with a crime, yet who are also mindful of their future prospects, retain an experienced criminal defense attorney with an eye toward limiting any possible lasting damage of an arrest and/or conviction.

More on “Strikes” in California

The law in California on “Strikes” can be very confusing, mainly because there are different types of “Strikes” and, depending on what type of “Strike” you have been charged with, the difference determines what percentage of your sentence you will actually serve.  In California, “Strikes” are categorized as either “Serious Felonies” or “Violent Felonies”.

“Serious Felonies” are defined by California Penal Code section 1192.7.  Depending on your prior criminal history, if you are convicted of a “Serious Felony,” you will have a “Strike” on your record, but you will serve only half of whatever sentence is imposed (commonly referred to as “half time”).

On the other hand, “Violent Felonies” are defined by California Penal Code section 667.5.  Convictions for “Violent Felonies” will also result in a “Strike” on your record, but also carry the added consequence of having to serve 85% of any sentence imposed.

If you have been charged with an offense that you believe may result in a “Strike” on your record, or if you have questions about prior convictions and whether or not you have a “Strike” prior, call us today for your free initial consultation.

24 DUI Detection Cues Police Use

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has identified twenty-four visual cues to aid officers in detecting nighttime impaired drivers.  Be advised that any one of these cues may cause an officer to believe that you are driving under the influence and therefore pull you over.

  1. Weaving
  2. Weaving Across Lane Lines
  3. Straddling A Lane Line
  4. Swerving
  5. Turning With Wide Radius
  6. Drifting
  7. Almost Striking Object or Vehicle
  8. Stopping Problems (too far, too short, too jerky)
  9. Accelerating or Decelerating Rapidly
  10. Varying Speed
  11. Slow Speed (10 mph + Under Limit)
  12. Driving In Opposing Lanes or Wrong Way on One-Way Street
  13. Slow Response to Traffic Signals
  14. Slow or Failure to Respond to Officer’s Signal’s
  15. Stopping in Lane for No Apparent Reason
  16. Driving Without Headlights at Night
  17. Failure to Signal or Signal Inconsistent with Action
  18. Following Too Closely
  19. Improper or Unsafe Lane Change
  20. Illegal or Improper Turn (too fast, jerky, sharp, etc.)
  21. Driving on Other Than Designated Roadway
  22. Stopping Inappropriately In Response to Officer
  23. Inappropriate Or Unusual Behavior (throwing objects, arguing, etc.)
  24. Appearing to be Impaired