Spring Break 2019 is officially over. This year it was skiing in Colorado for me and my family. The days started out very early on the mountain and it was work, work, work all day. The work was not just carrying the equipment of the kids, teaching them to ski and running around after them all day. It was answering the calls of clients.
Most of these clients were Spring Breakers on South Padre Island who had unfortunate run ins with the law. They called about DWI’s, DUI’s, Possession of Marijuana and or other controlled substances, and Public Intoxication/Minor in Possession citations. Their Spring Break fun came to a sudden halt. The only good news for them thereafter is that whether I was riding a chair lift or swishing down the slopes, I always answer my phone. Even while on vacation with my family.
What most didn’t realize is that getting arrested was not the problem. The biggest challenge they had moving forward was hiring the right lawyer that was going to get them out of the mess. For many people, a criminal record can be detrimental to many aspects of their life, especially for students who have worked so hard in college in pursuit of certain careers.
When you look for a lawyer, do not go with the least expensive one or the first one you call. Call several. Interview them. Your future depends on it. My wife spends more time shopping for the perfect pair of shoes that will only be worn once and then sit in her closet for perpetuity, than most people do when shopping for a lawyer who will save them from serious punishment and strife. Now how does that make sense? This usually happens because most people have never been in trouble and do not know how to proceed. Nobody trains you growing up on what the protocols are and what the process is when you get in trouble. We just all have the mentality that it will never happen to us. Unfortunately, it happens to one too many that were in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Most of the people who get in trouble while Spring Breaking on South Padre are usually students from other parts of the state and some out of state. If you are a student reading this and have gotten in trouble, the very first thing you do is TELL YOUR PARENTS! Do not try to hide your legal troubles from your parents. They will find out at one point or another. Don’t let them find out when you can’t get a job or a professional license because of a criminal record. The support and decision making help from your parents is second to none.
For everyone else, the next thing you should do is call different lawyers and interview them. Ask them questions like: ” How many jury trials have you tried?” “How many of these type of cases have you handled?” “Can you tell me about the last three of this type of case that you have handled and the outcome of each?” Get a good feel on how you communicate with him or her. Be sure they are thorough on everything including price.
Beware of the lawyers who will take your money just to turn right around and plea you guilty without ever even putting on the fighting gloves. This is a classic case of “you get what you pay for”. You could save yourself some cash and just plea guilty without a lawyer if you were not looking at trying to clean your record. Last but not least, beware of any lawyer who gives you a guarantee on an outcome. There are NEVER any guarantees.
All in all, it was a good Spring Break for many people. The ones who fared the best were the ones who did not get into any legal trouble and made it back to their homes safely. If you or someone you know got in trouble during Spring Break, don’t hesitate to call our office. Time is of the essence. Don’t put your future on the line.