Criminal Defense Law Is All About Changing Clients’ Lives Says West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer
West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew Stine is devoted to protecting the liberty of his clients, no matter the criminal charges or the situation they find themselves in.
An allegation of a criminal act can impact a person life in many ways. The criminal defense attorney’s job is to focus on the client and preserve his or her liberty and freedoms, says West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine, who spoke about his work and how he helped one client in particular charged with drunk driving in a recent Google+ hangout.
Stine has been practicing criminal defense law since 2001 and opened his own office in 2003. Stine says, his job is the same in all of his cases. “It doesn’t matter what the person has been charged with and it doesn’t matter who the person is,” says Stine. “I take all cases seriously and work diligently and effectively on each and every file that comes through the door” says Stine. Stine not only protects his client, but all Floridians by making sure the prosecution’s investigation and evidence, comply with the U.S. and Florida Constitutions and applicable criminal laws.
One such case involved a Guatemalan national, living in Martin County, Florida, who was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) manslaughter. The man was driving on I-95 on a rainy night, lost control of his vehicle, crossed over to the other side of the highway and struck another vehicle head on, killing the driver. The police investigated the accident and arrested his client. During the process the police made a critical error, according to Stine; they failed to read the driver his Miranda rights after completing the DUI accident investigation.
The Miranda warning stems from a U.S. Supreme Court case that requires an explanation of the suspect’s right not to self-incriminate him or herself during a custodial interrogation by police, based mostly on the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment privilege to a person’s right to an attorney.
If a person is detained and interrogated, he or she must be made aware of their rights:
· Their right to remain silent,
· Their right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and
· The right to have an attorney appointed if the person cannot afford one.
Without such warnings or a valid waiver by the suspect, his or her statements would normally be inadmissible at trial and cannot be used as substantive evidence of guilt against them in a criminal proceeding.
Stine says, after the driver’s arrest, his client had been held in jail for two months and his file was not worked on at the public defender’s office. When Stine got the file, he examined and looked at the evidence, spoke to witnesses and reviewed the crash report. It became apparent that the Sheriff’s failure to read his client his rights was the key to winning the case.
“The significance of that is they couldn’t put my client behind the wheel of his vehicle at the time of the crash; because it was early in the morning, the conditions were very bad and no one saw who was driving the vehicle that struck the other vehicle, killing the other driver,” Stine says. Stine filed a motion to suppress the statements provided to the police by the DUI driver, the state conceded err and then abandoned the criminal DUI Manslaughter charge against the defendant. Having the case dismissed or Nolle Prossed saved the criminal defendant from serving up to fifteen years in prison.
Another issue his client faced is that he was an undocumented immigrant at the time of the crime. US Immigration officials planned on deporting him after his sentence was served if convicted, says Stine. But because the charges were dropped, the immigration hold on the client was lifted and he eventually was released and obtained U.S. citizenship.
Stine says, this criminal act like most bad acts all start by a “bad decision” by his client, but because of the work by Stine and those on his staff, “this young man was able to turn this event, which was a tragic event, into a positive.” Stine says, his client moved on to owning a landscaping business, got married and has children.
If you or a loved one are being investigated for, or have been arrested or indicted on state or federal criminal charges, Palm Beach criminal defense attorney Andrew Stine can help protect your rights with his knowledge, experience and passion to protect people from unwarranted criminal charges. Contact his office today. Call 561-880-4300 for a free consultation. Call Stine or do the time.