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Monthly Archives

October 2011

Bad Costume Idea, Good Traffic Stop Idea | Utah Defense Attorney Tip of the Week

By | Criminal Defense | No Comments

What Doesn’t Work: Going to court in your Halloween costume…especially if it’s your heavy-duty orange jumpsuit with your favorite six-digit number on back. Even though your girlfriend thinks you look hot in bright colored onesies, it may put thoughts in the judge’s mind that you don’t want him to have.

What Works: When dealing with police, be nice but not naïve. Often, you are pulled over by police for a traffic stop just to look for any evidence of more serious crimes. When interacting with police, remember that what you say can, and will be used against you. Even simple questions by the police can be designed to trap you. For example, when an officer asks you if you know how fast you were going, if you say “yes,” and then say any number after the speed limit, then that will be used to show you knew you were speeding.  If you say “no,” then your statement will be used against you to show you had no idea how fast you were going. Then the judge has no choice but to accept the officer’s statement as truth.

Ineffective Insanity Defense & an Adage to Live by | Utah Defense Attorney Tip of the Week

By | Criminal Defense | No Comments

What Doesn’t Work: Trying to prove an insanity defense by dressing up as a wizard and casting a spell on the judge…because if you really were insane you would know that the judge’s black robes protect him from enemy magic.

What Works: Remember the old adage: “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Unless you’re a lawyer, don’t argue with the judge or the prosecutor, even if you’re right. The judge has power to make your life much easier or much harder, so your best chance at success is to get them on your side by being polite, prepared, and passionate about your case.

Flattery Faux Pas & Painless Prevention | Criminal Defense Attorney Weekly Tip

By | Criminal Defense | No Comments

What Doesn’t Work: Trying to flatter the officer by telling him how the decor in the back of his police car compares to the decor in all the other police cars you’ve ridden in: “These seats are much more ergonomic than the seats in the car I rode in last month.”

What Works: Keep your registration and insurance current on any vehicle you drive. Officers often run “registration and insurance checks” on nearby vehicles at stoplights or on vehicles they want to pull over and search. If your registration or insurance is expired, they can use that as an excuse to stop you and look for other crimes to charge you with.

Good Ideas with Bad Timing…In and Out of Court | Utah Criminal Defense Attorney Tip of the Week

By | Criminal Defense | No Comments

What Doesn’t Work: Being over-enthusiastic in delicate situations.  When an officer tells you to put up your hands, don’t use “spirit fingers” or “jazz hands” to show your super peppy team spirit.  Some officers may not appreciate your perky personality in that precise moment.

What Works: Know the court rules before you go in.  Dress properly, leave prohibited items in your car, and behave appropriately in the court room.  Courts do not allow you to wear shorts, bring cell phones, or chat while waiting in the courtroom.  You don’t want to hurt your chances before the judge even hears your case.  Remember, judges are people too, and they can’t help but make judgments from the moment you walk in the door.