In this day and age there is a wealth of information available to regular people (meaning non-lawyers) on the internet. However, as the coffee mug says, please do not confuse your Google search with my law degree.
What should I do if the police want to question me?
If you are accused of a crime, do not talk to the police. People have talked themselves into jail–nobody ever talks themselves out. When the police put you in an interrogation room they already believe that you did something wrong and they want you to help them prove it.
There are few real magic words in this world, but here are ten that work every time: “I will not answer any questions without my lawyer present.” Say that and they will stop asking questions and either arrest you or go away. If they go away they did not have any proof. If they arrest you they were going to anyway, regardless of whatever you said. Either way, the safest thing to do is stop talking.
Can you help with misdemeanors and minor offenses?
Yes, we can. Just because the penalties are not extreme doesn’t mean you should try to represent yourself in court.
Some things to note, if it’s not too late:
- If you are going to get in trouble don’t do it at WalMart. They have a million cameras and they take cases to court every time.
- The first rule of holes is “stop digging,” so if you have a legal problem ignoring it only makes it worse. Call a lawyer, ask a question, and get started fixing it right away.
Do I need to tell my lawyer everything?
Tell your lawyer the truth. I am not here to judge you, but what I don’t know can definitely hurt you.
What should I wear for my court appearance?
Dress like you are going to church for a regular Sunday service when you go to court. Do not wear a t-shirt with bad words, marijuana leaves or naked women on it. Do not wear your WWF Smackdown t-shirt. Now is not the time to declare your undying love for Bob Marley, Tupac, NASCAR or Jimmy Buffet. In fact, don’t wear a t-shirt period. Do tuck in your shirt and cover your tattoos as best you can. (A piece of unsolicited advice: If you get a tattoo visible above the collar of your shirt, everybody will think you are a criminal).
Do not wear Bama or Auburn stuff to court.
I was stopped for a traffic violation. Should I sign the ticket?
You can’t beat the police on the side of the road so don’t try. When you get a traffic ticket the officer will ask you to sign the bottom of the ticket. Many people are reluctant to do so. When you sign the ticket you are not admitting to anything and you are not agreeing to anything. In Alabama, all traffic offenses are criminal but you are generally entitled to a signature bond. When you sign the ticket you are giving your word to the court that you will appear at the court date. If you don’t sign the ticket the officer will have no choice but to take you to jail. So just sign the damned ticket!
Can I obtain a hardship license in Alabama?
People ask me this all the time. Some of the surrounding states will issue people whose drivers licenses are suspended a special license to drive only to work and back. Alabama does not offer hardship licenses. In my opinion, it’s not fair and causes people to lose their jobs. It also does nothing to cut down on traffic accidents. But it is the law in Alabama.
What should I do if I am asked to take a drug test?
If a judge asks you if you can pass a drug test, the judge is not bluffing and is going to order a drug test on you. So there are two possible responses:
- Say “Yes” if you will pass.
- Say “No” if you won’t.
You are going to get in trouble if you fail, so don’t make it worse by lying about something the judge can find out in ten minutes.
Never, ever, under any circumstance say “Maybe.” You will get in the same trouble as you would for saying “No” without any of the benefit of owning up to it.
Contact us for help with drug violations. We can help.
How should I approach my divorce or child custody case?
In family law cases people get mad and say hurtful things. Men threaten that they are going take kids from their mothers; women say they are going to take their partners for all they are worth. Relax, take a deep breath. They don’t know what they are talking about. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate and negotiate during these difficult times.
Give us a call at 251.626.5052 or send us a note. Let’s get you back on track legally.