Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Defense
As an attorney with over 45 years of experience, I regularly receive questions from clients and prospective clients on matters of criminal law. Below, I’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions I hear. After reading, you can contact David M. Lurie to get your own questions answered in a free consultation.
Can any attorney help me with my DWI/DUI?
In short, not necessarily. DWI/ DUI are very specific charges that require and in-depth understanding of local ordinances and drunk driving laws. Because I understand the negative and long-lasting implications of a drunk driving charge I take your case seriously and give it the time and attention it deserves. Even if it is your first DUI/DWI or drunk driving charge, the way your traffic tickets are handled, as well as your Administrative Suspension or Refusal Hearing is handled, has a long lasting impact.
Does law enforcement have access to my computer’s “cloud?”
Yes. While cloud computing is meant to help the consumer and make life easier it also means your searches and storage are less secure. Any information or data shared online whether through cloud computing or another storage sharing system can be easily lost or taken by a stranger. There is never 100% security when it comes to the Internet and all of the round-about ways to gain access to information.
Is it illegal to point a laser at an airplane or cop car?
Yes. According to Title 18 of the United States Code, aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is against the law:
(a) OFFENSE: whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
In Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court, if the aircraft happens to be a police helicopter, a defendant will most likely get charged with assaulting a police officer – since Kansas City, Missouri City Ordinances, nor the Missouri State Statutes, have a separate violation for illegally pointing a laser beam at an aircraft. If you have been charged with a crime related to pointing a laser at a police vehicle or aircraft, speak with an attorney who handles these cases.
Do the police have to tell me the truth when they are questioning me?
No. People think the police are required to be truthful in dealing with people they are questioning. They are not. As an experienced criminal defense attorney I hear stories of people being told by the police that if they will just say x then all that will happen to them is y. The police generally do not have this authority, so do not believe this when you hear it.
If I have a client that has been asked to speak to the police and I think it is to their advantage, then I speak to the police AND the prosecutor on their behalf and then I will go with them to talk to the police after I have a prosecutor’s commitment, in writing.
Again, I can’t stress this enough: The general rule is do not speak to the police – Instead – invoke your right to a lawyer. Ask to speak to your lawyer by name- then keep your mouth shut till your lawyer arrives.
Generally, absent a written promise from a prosecutor for a specific result, worked out by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, talking to the police is not a good idea; even if you are innocent and especially if you are not!
If I am arrested for shoplifting do I need an attorney?
Legally, you do not need one. However, it is usually in your best interest as an attorney can work to make sure that the charges are reduced.
Even if you have no record, generally prosecutors in Missouri will not deal with you. Unless you don’t mind having a shoplifting charge on your record, which you will have to explain every time any potential employer runs a background check on you, you definitely will want to hire a lawyer to work out some sort of plea agreement.
For first offenders these generally involve the kind of probation that results in no record when the probation is complete and some sort of shoplifting school. Since most people do not want a charge that brands them a thief on their record. If this is you then I would strongly recommend getting a lawyer to examine the evidence against you and use whatever is there to get you the best result possible.
Can I really get a DUI while in a parked car?
Unfortunately, yes. If you are parked with the engine running to stay warm, or even with the car off and the keys within your reach, you fit into what has been defined as “control of the vehicle” and are therefore operating one. Every case is of course different so it can’t hurt you to speak with a DWI/DUI defense attorney about your specific case.
Get Established, Professional Help Today
With offices in both Kansas City and Lee’s Summit, I can help residents and out of town visitors. Skilled in the criminal and DUI/ DWI laws of both states, let me help you preserve your record and future.