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Why You Need to Carefully Choose Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

screen-shot-2010-06-02-at-101109-am_180x120If you are faced with criminal charges, make sure you have a criminal defense lawyer you can trust. In the case of a major mortgage-fraud trial of a former Plantation police officer and his brother, defense attorney Michael D. Walsh has apparently abandoned his defendant.

A runaway criminal defense lawyer?

According to the Palm Beach Post, a federal judge Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for defense attorney Walsh after he failed to show up for the start of the trial. He was supposed to represent Joseph Guaracino, the main defendant in the case, in Fort Lauderdale federal court on Monday. He also failed to show up for a “show case” hearing Tuesday morning on why he should not be held in contempt of court for failing to appear.

The mortgage-fraud trial is the second phase of a case involving a group of current and former law enforcement officers, mortgage brokers, title processors, and lawyers all charged with conspiring to defraud banks by falsifying loan applications and other documents to purchase dozens of investment properties during the real estate boom, according to the Palm Beach Post.

At the end of the first trial in April, a Fort Lauderdale federal jury acquitted four current and former law enforcement officers, including an FBI agent, but convicted two other former police officers. Guaracino allegedly led the group. Now, his representation by Walsh in the second trial is highly questionable and the uncertainty could delay the second trial.

Walsh also faces a misdemeanor assault charge in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. He was scheduled for a hearing on that matter in the domestic violence division Tuesday morning but did not appear for that, either. He was charged March 26 with misdemeanor battery for allegedly shoving his estranged wife and dragging her by her hair during an argument at her home in Coral Gables.

Walsh, a well-known defense attorney in South Florida, has been involved in a number of high-profile cases in recent years. Clearly his efforts in the current mortgage-fraud case need to be re-evaluated.

Criminal defense

If you are facing criminal charges, it is absolutely necessary to employ the services of a criminal defense lawyer. However, make sure the lawyer you choose is someone you can trust. Your criminal defense lawyer should be willing and able to put forth all possible effort to help you defend your case. He or she is responsible for the way you appear in court so make sure you consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who won’t abandon you in your time of need.

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