Drunk-driving, speeding, and other dangerous driving behaviors, can be costly to other motorists. However, they are especially dangerous to pedestrians. Statistics show that there are at least 70, 000 pedestrian accidents in the US annually; about 4, 500 of these accidents end in death, while the rest result in substantial injuries. Equipped with nothing to protect their bodies from impact, victims of pedestrian accidents are always exposed to much greater danger than most other car accident victims.
The usual victims of pedestrian accidents are children, older adults, and alcohol-impaired pedestrians. Sadly, many victims are left with all the consequences of the accident, and above all with the costly medical treatments, without being aware that they may be entitled to substantial compensation for their damages.
It is always a wise move to consult a personal injury attorney in the event of accidents, pedestrian accidents included. He or she will inform you of your rights as a victim of someone else’s negligent or careless actions and will help you in getting the compensation that you deserve through a lawsuit.
Personal Injury and the Tort Law
The chances of victims of pedestrian accidents sustaining severe injuries are substantial. Some of the major injuries victims may sustain are severe contusions, lacerations or abrasions, fractured bones, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, or traumatic brain injuries.
Any injury which is a result of someone else’s careless or negligent actions, under the tort law, may entitle the personal injury victim to file a lawsuit against those liable for the accident and to receive compensation from them for economic losses and the cost of medical treatment.
Successfully filing a claim for damages after a pedestrian accident can be complicated, and for many injury victims, it is the last thing that they may want to do. In these circumstances, the assistance of a qualified legal professional can be invaluable.
Although you may never think you will ever seriously break the law or get caught up in a criminal investigation, it is important that you are prepared for any situation regarding your rights and freedom. By knowing how to properly respond to law enforcement officers as well as knowing what you should or should not do in a number of situations, you can avoid potentially serious and life-altering consequences.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your rights during a criminal case is to have a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer on your side to help you every step of the way. You don’t have to face this time alone so make sure you have a professional legal representative in your corner.
Avoid These Mistakes
Criminal law can be very confusing and in many cases, even an emotional time. Dealing with these emotions could cause you to make a mistake. Some common mistakes include the following:
- Speaking with a law enforcement agent without an attorney by your side. Without an attorney you could potentially say something self-incriminating. Before answering questions, politely request a lawyer present.
- Giving police permission to search or seizure at your home or work without presenting the proper credentials or search warrant. Also ask to watch the search proceedings if they do have a warrant.
- Giving consent for a policeman to search your vehicle if you have illegal narcotics or paraphernalia in the car. You do not have to give an officer permission to search your car
- Volunteering to give samples of body fluids, handwriting, clothing, or fingerprints. You are not required to give any of the above without a court order or your attorney’s permission.
- Not hiring a criminal defense attorney or not hiring an attorney who focuses his or her practice area on criminal defense
- Not being courteous and polite with police officers. If you are not polite you could give them a reason to use force.
- Resisting arrest. If you do this you are only hurting your case in the future.
- Failing to ask the officer if you are under arrest. If the officer says you are under arrest, you also have the right to know why.
- Not telling your attorney the entire truth or all of the facts of the case. Without all of the facts, your attorney cannot adequately represent you and give you the best chance in court.
By knowing these common mistakes you can be better prepared in case you ever have to deal with law enforcement agents or with criminal charges.
A homicide by vehicle while DWI in NJ is a unique offense, separate from other forms of homicide. Considered a second degree crime, death by auto or vessel is a form of reckless homicide. It is specifically defined as causing death during the operation of a vehicle that is not man powered while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or over the legal .08 BAC limit. Based on this definition, operating a bicycle would not apply, whereas a motorcycle would.
In order to be charged with death by auto or vessel, it must first be proven that you are driving recklessly. There are two distinct ways to be considered a reckless driver. One way is to be sleep deprived. The other is to be impaired. Impaired driving can be caused by hallucinogenic drugs, liquor, habit-producing drugs or narcotics. The presence of these intoxicants can be detected by a blood test or urine test. Whereas being intoxicated can be a defense to murder in the state of New Jersey, it is not a defense to death by auto or vessel.
Because death by auto is a second degree crime, the sentencing is 5 to 10 years. However, the minimum term for this crime is the greater of three years or one-third to one-half that. A drunk driver that kills someone could easily spend five years in prison during which they would not be eligible for parole.
The penalties for death by auto are increased if the accident has any relationship with schools. This includes taking place in a school zone, at a school crossing, or at any property used by schools. It does not matter if schools were closed, or if there were no children at the crossing. It is not a defense to be unaware that the location was a school zone. Death by auto when related to schools is a first degree offense. The sentence for this crime is 10-20 years.
In addition to incarceration, those convicted of death by auto while DWI in the state of New Jersey will face other sanctions. Following completion of any jail time, those convicted of this crime will not be able to operate a vehicle for at least five years. There is also the possibility that the license suspension can be for life. Drivers convicted of this DWI offense must surrender their vehicles, unless it can be shown that a significant hardship to the family exists. This hardship must be more significant than the risk imposed by allowing the driver to continue driving the vehicle.
A death by auto or vessel offense is devastating for everyone involved. There are clear sentencing guidelines, but defenses exist to the allegation of drunk driving. A thorough examination of the blood or urine testing must be done to determine if the laboratory failed to do its job properly. Also, the police may have jumped to certain incorrect conclusions about the driver’s state of sobriety.
In addition to criminal charges, those convicted should also be concerned about wrongful death suits from the victim’s family.
Not one of my clients has told me that getting a DWI/DUI won’t really make a difference in his or her life. In other words, having a DWI or DUI conviction on your record always matters. From the jail-time to the license suspension to the huge financial penalties, there is at least one consequence for a DUI conviction that is going to strike a chord with someone. That is why it is absolutely necessary to have every weapon in a DUI defense arsenal available in order to attack a prosecutor’s case. Expert witnesses are very often the best weapons to have in that arsenal.
There are many types of expert witnesses that are essential in a DWI case. These are some of the areas where a defense witness can attack the prosecution’s case:
- Field sobriety testing;
- Breath testing;
- Blood testing;
- Urine testing;
- Drug recognition evaluations;
- Fatigue/Jet-lag issues; and
- Medical issues.
Field Sobriety Testing Experts
Although I’ve taken multiple training courses for standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), have read the studies concerning these tests and have actually administered them to drunk people, I don’t believe for a second that field sobriety tests actually measure a person’s sobriety. However, prosecutors will try to use the results of these tests to convict people. In order to combat this prosecution tactic, I will use former police officers and state troopers who trained fellow police officers to use these tests. These defense experts will be able to attack the way the tests were administered, the way the tests were scored, and if the driver had certain physical issues that would have affected the outcome of the tests.
In addition, if a person suffers from back injury, knee injury or any other physical condition that affects balance, then a treating medical physician will be able to explain how those physical problems prevented a driver from doing balance tests. A treating doctor’s testimony goes a long way when disputing sobriety tests.
Breath Testing Experts
Some of the issues that arise during breath testing concern the following physical conditions and these types of experts who can address those conditions:
- Diabetic attacks -> Medical Doctor or Toxicologist;
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -> Medical Doctor or Toxicologist;
- Limited lung capacity-> Pulmonologist;
- Exposure to volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) -> Medical Doctor or Toxicologist;
- Presence of dentures/bridges, tongue ring, tobacco -> Dentist or former breath test operator (police officers)
Other areas of attack concern the way the breath test machine was operated or if it malfunctioned at the time of testing. Former breath machine operators or scientists in the breath testing field will be able to examine the testing procedures and the raw data from the breath machine in order to call into question the test results.
Blood and Urine Testing Experts
Many of the issues that can arise for blood/urine testing require expert testimony in the following areas with the following experts:
- Mishandling of the blood or urine specimen-> Forensic Chemist or Toxicologist;
- Chain of custody issues-> Forensic Chemist or Toxicologist;
- Failures to follow proper scientific testing procedures -> Forensic Chemist or Toxicologist;
- Contamination during testing-> Forensic Chemist or Toxicologist;
- Improper interpretation of testing data-> Forensic Chemist or Toxicologist;
- Incorrect opinion rendered concerning the effects of prescription or non-prescription drugs on ability to operate a motor vehicle-> Pharmacologist or Medical doctor.
Drug Recognition Evaluation Experts
“Drug Recognition Evaluations” have been referred to as “junk” or “voodoo” science by a vast number of reputable scientists and medical experts. The drug recognition evaluation (dre) is used by the prosecution in an attempt to show that the driver was under the influence of a drug while operating a vehicle. The drug recognition evaluations are done by police officers, not medical professionals. Nonetheless, the evaluation utilizes medical procedures in order to come to a conclusion about intoxication. These evaluations can be attacked by challenging the scientific reliability through experts in pharmacology and/or medical doctors. Otherwise, former police officers who were drug recognition evaluators can criticize the way a drug recognition evaluation was performed by a police officer; thus, calling into question the validity of the evaluator’s opinion.
Fatigue/Jet-lag Experts – Other Medical Conditions
Fatigue caused by lack of sleep, bad sleep or jet-lag can cause people to behave in ways that mimic intoxication. A police officer is not trained to distinguish the differences between sleep-deprived behavior and intoxication. Medical experts can evaluate a person’s sleeping history and behavior during a DWI investigation to determine if sleep deprivation was the major cause for erratic behavior.
Likewise, people experiencing hypoglycemic or diabetic attacks will exhibit bizarre, drunk-like behaviors. Medical doctors and pharmacologists can examine medical histories in order to determine if these medical conditions caused a person to appear intoxicated.
As the cliché goes, the best defense is a good offense. This especially applies if you have been charged with a DUI and want to win this battle.
Maybe you’re a college student heading back from a party with some friends and you’ve had a few too many drinks. Or you’re a parent who’s just come from a Fourth of July party where you had a couple of beers. It was all in good fun, and you don’t feel drunk, but when the cop makes you take a breath test, you’re just over the legal limit of .08 BAC – You know what that means: a DUI Charge.
It’s embarrassing and frustrating, but probably most of all, it’s scary. Will your driver’s license be taken away? Your car? Will you be fined? Have to do community service? Could they even put you in jail? Will you need a Pennsylvania DUI lawyer?
Everyone knows that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania takes driving under the influence very seriously, but a new law put onto the books on May 8 and effective since June 7, 2012, adds a new way to punish drunk drivers.
Senate Bill 539, Senate District 44′s Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. has created an entirely new offense which says that anyone found guilty of driving drunk with someone under the age of 18 in the vehicle at the time that the violation occurred has also committed a misdemeanor of the first degree in addition to any other penalties associated with the DUI.
What does that mean? Well, imagine that even though you’re of age, one of your college friends isn’t. When the cops arrest you, he checks IDs and discovers that the freshman girl you have been driving is actually 17! Now, you not only face that DUI, but another misdemeanor charge, just because she is not an adult.
Same thing applies if you’re a parent driving your kids home from a family barbeque and test just over the legal limit. Maybe you thought you were fine, but it’s the number on that breath test that matters, and you’re going to be hit much harder, because your children were with you in the car. It’s the state of Pennsylvania’s newest way to protect kids and ratchet up the punishment for anyone who decides to drink and drive.
Penalties Associated with New Pennsylvania DUI Law
Obviously, no charges are good charges, but DUI attorneys will tell you that, in general, misdemeanors aren’t that bad – at the very least, they’re far preferable than being charged with a felony. In this case, though, that’s not true. This law carries with it incredibly steep penalties that can alter the course of your life – especially when you add in the fact that it’s a separate charge from the DUI.
So what exactly are the penalties that come along with this new Pennsylvania DUI law?
75 Pa.C.S.A. S 3803(b)(5) Penalties:
First-time offenders can expect to receive 100 hours of mandatory community service that must be completed as well as a fine of at least $1,000. Second-time offenders will have to spend at least one month and up to six months behind bars, as well as paying a fine of no less than $2,500. And if you’re found guilty of breaking this law 3 times or more, you will be incarcerated for at least six months, and it could last up to two years.
Fight Your Charges with a Pennsylvania DUI Attorney
Since it’s pretty difficult to argue that the underage person wasn’t really underage (or wasn’t actually riding with you in the car), the best course of action to fight these kinds of charges is to fight the DUI itself. Many people think that there is no way to fight a DUI once they have been charged, but this is not the case. Even with a failed BAC (blood alcohol content) test, people have not only fought DUI charges, but won! The trick is having a good Pennsylvania DUI lawyer on your side who knows the law.
There are many reasons why a DUI arrest might be reduced or even thrown out of court altogether. Perhaps the officers didn’t follow correct procedure, lacked reasonable suspicion that you were committing a crime or a traffic infraction, or the breathalyzer they used wasn’t calibrated properly, amongst other possible defenses. Or you have GERD or other medical disorders that complicate taking a breath test and can throw off its readings.
Depending on the type of device used, BAC tests can be artificially inflated, so make sure you choose a DUI attorney with experience fighting these types of charges. That way, you can make sure that you pursue every possible angle to ensure that you receive a positive outcome.
The question is often asked of me whether chewing tobacco can affect DUI breath testing results. Personally, I have run experiments on a number of DUI breath testing devices, such as the Intoxylizer 8000, Breathalyzer 900 and Alcotest 7110, with varying results. Scientifically, one recent study has shown that Philadelphia’s breath testing device will register false readings, under certain circumstances, when chewing tobacco is present in a person’s mouth.
Science and Justice Magazine published a 2012 study, done by the Albuquerque Police Department Criminalistics Laboratory, that involved “dosed” chewing tobacco and the Intoxilyzer 8000. This breath testing device is the same device that the Philadelphia Police Department uses to test suspected drunk drivers. The results of this study proved interesting.
The researchers in this study used 14 completely sober test subjects who gave breath samples with dosed tobacco and without dosed tobacco in their mouths. In order to “dose” the tobacco, it was mixed with a small amount of liquor. Various types of tobacco were used, including long cut, fine cut, and pouch. The brands of tobacco varied as well – Skoal, Copenhagen, Lancaster and Marlboru.
The results of the study showed that the Intoxilyzer 8000 gave a .00% reading for all 14 test subjects with the non-dosed tobacco. However, when the dosed tobacco was used, a number of the test subjects gave breath samples that registered as high as .05% BAC. This means the breath testing device was incorrectly stating that perfectly sober test subjects had fairly significant amounts of alcohol in their systems.
The researchers came to the conclusion that a number of safeguards should be followed in order to ensure that chewing tobacco would not affect DUI breath test results. First, the operator of the machine should always check the mouth of a person before breath samples are provided in order to make sure it is free of any tobacco. Second, there should be a waiting period of 15-20 minutes after the mouth is checked.
In Philadelphia, it is not specifically required that a police officer check a subject’s mouth before breath testing. This is certainly a problem if chewing tobacco is present in a subject’s mouth. However, there is a required 20 minute waiting period prior to breath testing.
Commonly, chewing tobacco users will dose their own tobacco with alcohol in order to give the tobacco better flavor. If the tobacco chewer has also consumed alcohol, the combination of the two could cause the Intoxilyzer 8000 to give false test results up to .05%.
Even if the tobacco chewer did not does his own alcohol, physical issues, such as reflux (GERD), could potentially cause false breath results as well. Severe refluxing may cause raw alcohol in a person’s stomach to be forced into the mouth. This raw alcohol has a potential of being absorbed and retained by the chewing tobacco. The end result is a potentially false breath reading.
Regulations require that all foreign objects, such as tobacco, be removed from a person’s mouth before breath testing. So, even if the person does not have reflux or did not dose the tobacco, the presence of chewing tobacco will be reason enough to have breath tests results thrown out of court. A knowledgeable and experienced DUI lawyer will ask a client questions concerning tobacco use and will be able to prevent the prosecution from using breath test results, if that client had chewing tobacco in his mouth at the time of breath testing.
Recently, I had the pleasure of representing a seasonal police officer who worked for one of the New Jersey shore towns. He was a very nice guy with a concerned family in his corner and a spotless record. For the purposes of this article, he will be referred to as “Tom.”
When Tom initially contacted me, he was extremely upset and fearful of losing his license and career as a police officer, because he had been accused of a DWI. On its face, the case seemed like a bad one. Tom had driven his truck over a curb and into a house with the owner inside. Fortunately, the owner of the home was not injured, but part of the house was destroyed. The police conducted an investigation for a suspected DUI. Tom failed three field sobriety tests. The police took Tom back to the station and did breath testing. The result was .26% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) – three times the legal limit.
Tom assured me that he drank only a few beers over a period of a couple of hours and that there was no way he was intoxicated or had a .26% BAC. Yet, under the circumstances, Tom felt that he had no chance of being exonerated. He was hoping to simply get his license suspension, which stood at 7-12 months if convicted of the DWI, down to 90-days.
I assured Tom, although the case seemed like a tough one to win, even the worst cases have ended in victory. I would start my own investigation into the matter and begin thoroughly exploring the way the police did their investigation and breath testing.
After months of research, I was able to determine that there were major discrepancies in the case. The reports of the two officers who did the investigation were deficient in crucial ways. The first officer on the scene noted nothing about suspecting Tom of drunk driving. The second officer on the scene started the DWI investigation simply because a serious accident occurred and because Tom was leaning on the side of his truck. That was the sum of their initial suspicion of drunk driving.
Neither officer bothered to examine the interior of the truck that Tom was driving to see if he hit his head during the impact. Nonetheless, it turned out that there was evidence Tom hit his head on the windshield during the accident. The window had an impact mark on the driver’s side that resembled a spider’s web. This is a classic sign of a head impact. The result of such an impact would have certainly left Tom disoriented and unbalanced immediately after the accident.
The police neglected to take this circumstance into consideration when asking Tom to perform field sobriety tests. These tests involved balance. Certainly, the accident itself and potential injury to Tom could have affected his ability to do balance tests.
Moreover, Tom did not exhibit typical signs of intoxication. His speech was fine. He did not have fumbling hand movements. He did not stagger while walking. The major observations that police noted were that he talked slowly and moved slowly. Of course, these behaviors would also be typical following a major accident with potential head injury.
At this point, the results of the field sobriety tests were in certain doubt. However, I still had to find out why the accident occurred. Well, it turned out that that it there was dense fog and mist on the night of the accident. Both the weather reports and pictures from the accident investigation revealed as much. This accident happened at a “Y” intersection. Due to the weather, Tom could not see the stop sign or the turn in the road. That explained why he kept driving straight through the intersection and over the curb.
The second officer claimed in his reports that the weather was clear and dry. Yet, his partner wrote that the weather was foggy and misty. This discrepancy would certainly prove useful at trial.
Finally, a thorough examination of the breath testing device records revealed that the device had not been working properly. Additionally, I was able to retain an expert who would testify about the faulty device at trial. At trial, the prosecutor conceded that he would not be able to enter the results of the breath testing into evidence. Without the breath results, the State’s case was considerably weaker. The testimony of the police officers could simply not stand with all of the contradictory information that was uncovered.
As the trial proceeded, all of the discrepancies in the case were revealed. Ultimately, the judge found that the evidence was insufficient. Tom was not guilty of DWI. Needless to say, Tom and his family were relieved and ecstatic about the result. Now, Tom would be able to pursue his career and help the community.
VINELAND, New Jersey – Anderson Sotomayor, a forty-five year old Southern New Jersey man, who was charged five times with drunken driving within five weeks, was released on bail for a separate drug charge.
His driving record includes two prior convictions for DWI in 1989 and 1992. Additionally, the man’s license was suspended 23 times by the Motor Vehicle Commission.
In the State of New Jersey, a person with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or greater, who operates a motor vehicle or a boat, is considered to be driving while intoxicated (DWI) and can face penalties ranging up to 20-years license suspension, hefty fines, and surcharges along with community service and six months of jail time.
The common conception about judges is that they will always believe the word of a police officer. Officers seem to have built-in credibility as they take the stand. Throughout my many years of practice, I have come across credible police officers who do a good job of policing, credible police officers who do a poor job of policing, and flat-out liars. Unfortunately, the vast majority of judges tend to give incompetent or lying officers free passes by convicting a defendant when an officer is simply unbelievable.
When it comes to lying police officers, a jury will often sniff out the lies and reject the testimony. That is one of the great elements of our criminal justice system. Yet, there are certain cases that do not require a jury to decide guilt, because the Pennsylvania and U.S. Constitutions do not mandate jury trials when the maximum time in jail can be, at most, six months. In these cases, a judge acts as the decider of law and fact. People accused of crimes in these instances become understandably concerned about one person acting as the judge and jury.
Every DUI case in Philadelphia goes, at first, before a judge in the municipal court, rather than before a jury. Some second offense DUI cases and all third offense cases can later be appealed to the court of common pleas, where the case can be heard before a jury. However, valuable financial resources and time are spent at trial in the municipal court prior to the appeal.
So, both defense attorneys and their clients hope that the judge hearing the case in the municipal court will be fair and impartial, not just someone who will rubberstamp a conviction. Fortunately, I had a recent trial in the Philadelphia Municipal Court where the judge was not just a rubberstamp.
In this case, my client had the courage to reject the government’s plea offer and take the case to trial. There were many factors in his favor concerning both the roadside investigation and breath testing. We had planned an attack on the government’s case that involved six separate areas. One of those areas concerned what seemed to be pure exaggeration on the arresting officer’s part.
This officer claimed that he followed my client through a busy college campus for approximately ten city blocks and observed over 20 separate, dangerous motor vehicle violations. It was not until this officer reached the edge of his jurisdiction when he decided to pull over my client. Almost immediately, the officer made an arrest for DUI, without conducting any real investigation.
At trial, I was prepared to test the credibility of the officer’s allegations concerning the so-called motor vehicle violations. I was convinced that the right judge would see that an officer, who is supposed to be concerned about public safety, would have stopped my client much sooner than this officer did, if the violations actually happened. Fortunately, for my client, we had an impartial judge hear the case.
During the cross-examination, the officer changed his testimony numerous times. He appeared to be making it up as he went. My impression was that he was trying to get a conviction, instead of telling the truth. Low and behold, the judge agreed with this argument and found that the officer was not a credible witness. Ultimately, the prosecutor dismissed the charge.
My client, who is a productive member of society, got the right result. Just as important, a judge did the right thing by telling a police officer that justice is not served when the truth is not told. This judge showed that the criminal justice system can work even when a judge acts as the jury.
In recent years, arrests have been on the rise for drivers suspected of being under the influence of prescription drugs. These arrests often involve people who are lawfully taking medications, which have no intoxicating effects on driving skills. Unfortunately, an arrest for an alleged drug-related DUI/DWI can have tremendous financial and personal consequences for the accused. Fortunately, there are many ways to fight this type of DUI charge.
In a prescription drug DUI investigation, the police will often utilize drug recognition evaluations (DREs) and blood or urine tests to try to prove the charge. These officers typically have little to no formal education concerning how drugs affect the human body. Moreover, the officer usually has no information concerning the driver’s medical history. At best, an officer has a checklist of symptoms he follows in order to come to a conclusion that the driver is impaired by drugs.
A knowledgeable DUI defense attorney will be able to damage a police officer’s credibility on these points.
An expert in pharmacology is realistically the only suitable witness who can give an opinion about a driver’s intoxication due to prescription drugs. In order for a pharmacologist to render an opinion about a prescription drug DWI, a number of factors must be known. First, the expert must know the medical history of the driver.
This includes when a drug was prescribed, why it was prescribed, how often the driver takes the medication, and how long the driver has been taking the medication. Second, the expert must know when the last dose of the drug was taken. Third, the expert must know what behaviors were exhibited by the driver during the police investigation. Lastly, the expert needs to know what were the results of any blood or urine tests.
Any competent pharmacologist will agree that, without all of this information, it is difficult, if not impossible, to state that a driver was DWI.
Lab results alone do not tell an accurate tale of whether a driver was DUI. The mere presence of a prescription drug in a driver’s blood or urine only shows that the person took the drug sometime recently. In fact, if a person has been taking a prescription drug on a regular, prescribed basis, then the drug should be detected during a blood or urine test. Unusually high amounts of the drug in a driver’s system may show intoxication, but the prosecution needs to have an expert witness properly explain that the amount of the drug caused the driver to be DWI.
Finally, crime labs are not infallible. Mistakes in testing are made for a number of reasons.
Evidence samples can be improperly labeled. Preparation of evidence samples can be mishandled. Technicians running the tests may forget to do every step in the testing process, which would jeopardize the results. Misinterpretation of the testing results may occur as well.
Lawyers representing clients charged with prescription drug DUIs should have extensive training and experience concerning drug testing. These lawyers will know what type of information must be obtained from the lab and how to analyze that information in order to properly attack the government’s case.
Call Leckerman Law now to discuss how your case can be defended.