This is the second-installment of our multi-part blog post that sets the record straight on a number of common myths and misconceptions regarding the defense and prosecution of criminal cases in Kansas. It might be helpful to review Part I of this post before continuing on with this installment.
Myth #3: There is no good reason to spend the money on a private attorney because a public defender will be just as effective.
Most court appointed attorneys are dedicated and experienced criminal defense attorneys, but they must deal with a number of disadvantages. Generally, they are forced to handle an extremely heavy caseload which makes it difficult for them to devote as much time to each case as a private attorney who has more flexibility to limit his or her caseload. Our law firm also may be able to devote more litigation resources to each case for DNA testing, experts and other expenses. If you decide to use a court appointed attorney, it is important that you be comfortable with the fact that your time to meet and discuss the case may be more limited than with a private attorney.
Myth #4: There is no need to retain counsel if the police officer tells you that the prosecutor will probably not file charges on the case.
The police generally are not in a position to enter into binding agreements with a suspect so there representations about what the prosecutor will do in the case are not reliable. Although plea negotiations are a common part of the criminal process, these discussions need to be conducted formally with the prosecutor in the case. The police and prosecutor have the advantage when you do not have legal representation so it is an extremely risky proposition to proceed with discussing a potential plea bargain without a criminal defense attorney in the room.
Myth #5: Forensic evidence is usually based on reliable scientific testing so who I select as a defense attorney will not have much impact if there is a substantial amount of forensic evidence.
It is important to understand that much of the so-called “scientific evidence” used in criminal prosecutions is more akin to “junk science.” With the exception of certain DNA testing, the National Academy of Sciences recently conducted a study and found that other purported forms of forensic “science” were not properly subjected to peer review nor had they been established as accurate and reliable by the scientific method. The study specifically concluded that the scientific verification was lacking for ballistics, handwriting analysis and fingerprinting. Experienced Kansas criminal defense attorney Stacey Schlimmer can and does aggressively attack so-called forensic evidence and purported experts.
Myth #6: If you ask a police officer if he is a cop, he must answer truthfully.
Dishonesty and lying is a valuable and effective law enforcement tool in undercover operations, interrogations and other law enforcement scenarios. Both state courts in Kansas and the U.S. Supreme Court have repeatedly sanctioned the practice of lying by police officers including deception about their identity.
Kansas DUI attorney Stacey Schlimmer provides zealous defense of her clients charged with crimes in Kansas. Our Johnson County criminal defense law firm offers a confidential free consultation so call us today at 913-219-5424 or contact us online.