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Case Law

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

Have you ever heard of the case Miranda v. Arizona? Of course, you have. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. These things are so far into our DNA now that they probably will never leave. However, there are literally millions upon millions upon millions of cases that construe which fact patterns can use this right, and which fact patterns cannot construe these rights. This information is available to lawyers easily. We spend three years in law school, and during that entire three-year process, the goal is not to teach us the law. This surprises people, because the real goal is to teach us how to think, find the answers, and how to use advanced legal search engines to look through millions of cases as fast as possible to find out if a particular fact pattern results in a statement, or piece of evidence being suppressed.

This is why when you go online to research the law; it looks like you cannot possibly win. It gets worse. The legal system deliberately uses this fear, and your desire to get it over with. You have the disadvantage of being faked out with phony diversion, with you unrepresented. Finally, there is one thing every person should fear, especially in Okaloosa County court. Courthouse Surprise, an unexpected consequence, jail or prison sentence, because someone went online and they read something that said, “If you have a second DUI within 10 years of the first, you’re going to get 10 days in jail.

Surprise, it is not ten days. The prosecutor may offer much more. In fact, I had a case recently where someone had a prior DUI fourteen years before his second. He was a bit iffy about whether or not he should get representation, because he had spent a lot of time doing online research, did not know anything about case law, and he did not know how to determine whether his case had a hidden landmine. It did. His first plea offer, ninety days in a county jail, plus DUI probation. He would never have found this out until it was too late had he not consulted me first, as it was, he did not serve a day in jail. So now, it is time for you to be educated about how a skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you with an Okaloosa County case whether you are a local member of the community, a member of the military, veteran, or a tourist.

The Most Important Thing You Should Do If Someone You Love Is Arrested

The single most important thing you should do if someone you love is arrested including yourself, is hire the best criminal defense lawyer you can find. This is extremely difficult by marketing on the internet. There is really only one question that matters. However, fake lawyer ratings, as you can see in figure 2 with social media, have really muddied the waters making it extremely difficult for consumers to find out the truth. The Florida Bar was concerned about this type of misleading advertising as far back as 1980. Lawyers were allowed to advertise due to Supreme Court decisions, and had taken to the airwaves with the vengeance.

The bar was deeply concerned about lawyers inflating their credentials to make it look like they were far superior to their colleagues, when in fact they were not. As a result, by 1982, the Florida Bar developed board certification.

What Is Board Certification?

As you can see in figure 2, board certification is vastly different from social media reviews. In fact, the bar prohibited the use of testimonials for a long time, because of their manipulative influence on members of the community who have no experience in hiring lawyers yet finds themselves needing a lawyer in a particular area of law for the first time. However, subsequent Supreme Court decisions have allowed testimonials, and testimonials flood every website. However, there is one gold standard you can rely upon, and a single question you can ask. Does the Florida Bar certify you as a specialist in criminal law? There are two answers to this question. Yes, I am, or the long story of why a particular lawyer is not.

This is how it works. Any lawyer can use their marketing team to game a social media review service. There are several out there. These social media review companies do not require actual testing of a lawyer’s particular skill, or experience, there is no actual jury trial experience. This may surprise you, but only about one percent of all cases go to jury trial. In addition, here are the two reasons why most lawyers, when you ask them if they are certified by the law as a criminal law specialist, have to give you the long story of why they are not. By the way, they will not tell you this: They do not have the required trial experience with serious and complex cases. They cannot pass the board certification exam in criminal law.

At the time of this writing, the last time the board certification exam was given to lawyers in Florida; almost ninety percent of those taking it failed the test. Here in the first judicial circuit, a four-county area previously mentioned, every single lawyer who took the exam failed. This is more important than you might think. Ask yourself a question “Which lawyer does the prosecutor want to go to trial with the least?” The lawyer who makes it extremely painful, because they have been through board certification are extremely skilled in what they do, and they have lots of serious trials under their belt, or the lawyer who has a lot of pretty social media reviews, but very little actual experience with trials. The answer is obvious, and it affects everything from plea-bargaining to the results of a case. It can be the difference between a negotiated dismissal, and a painful sentence.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Okaloosa County Criminal Case Law, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 466-1522 today.