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The Art and Science of Defending the Accused

The philosophy of defending the accused successfully is both an art and a science. It requires the creativity and ingenuity of an artist and the reality grounded scientific principles of a scientist. A skillful criminal defense attorney is both an artist and a scientist.

A skillful defender should spend significant time, thinking about the case, discussing the facts thoroughly with the defendant, and researching the law, and investigating the facts. Sometimes it is helpful to relive the incident, moment by moment, just like a drama or a play. Sometimes it may be helpful to return to the scene and take pictures.

A skillful lawyer will look at the jury instructions for any legal defenses that are available on the case both factually and legally.

Sometimes it is useful to discuss the facts with other lawyers and see who has had a similar case and what legal arguments are available.

It is always helpful to know the judges preferences and the prosecutor's style.

It is sometimes helpful to Ask other lawyers what they know about the prosecutor and the judge.

With words, the lawyer skillfully paints the client's story in artistic phrases and expresses the defenses in the case to achieve the best possible out-come.

To be blunt, the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer is going to work, work, and work. There is no substitute for hard work.

I almost left out proper reference to Mark Bennett's blog, The Art and Science of Defending People, wherein he says that all lawyers are frustrated artists and the following:

"It is true that defending people well requires creativity. It also requires imagination, curiosity, flexibility, adaptability, and a willingness to take risks. In other words, it takes a childlike mind. A defense lawyer who thinks like a grownup, suppressing the ideas that are likely to be unpopular or unsuccessful, is often going to fail to find the best defense. (This may help explain why so many of us are lousy businessmen.)

We are all born with imaginative, playful, flexible minds (Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”). With the help of an educational system and a culture that tell us to “grow up,” most of us get over it: the childlike mind is still there, but suppressed, more or less, under a layer of “maturity.”

Elsewhere, in Bennett's blog: "So who’s the defender and who’s the prosecutor? Well, it’s like they say: Some days you’re the retiarius and some days you’re the secutor."

Lastly, Bennett says: "Someone once told me, and I long accepted, that all lawyers are frustrated artists."

Bennett says it eloquently, skillfully, and artistically, in everyday language anyone can understand.

By Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Lawyer

Tulsa Criminal Attorney Creative Ideas on Defending DUI and DWI

Tulsa Criminal Attorney Creative Ideas on Defending DUI and DWI
By Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Attorney, Email:

The Graham Law Firm consists of me and three other attorneys. I am a Tulsa Criminal Attorney who has been defending Tulsa felony and misdemeanor criminal cases including Tulsa DUI and DWI cases for over 21 years now. Some of the creative ideas that I have discovered in defending these types of cases include:

Requesting an administrative hearing on your drivers license within 15 days of the date of your arrest for DUI. You only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing on your drivers license. It says that on the back of the temporary license that you should have been given. Everyone is presumed to know the law, so if you fail to request a hearing within 15 days after the date of your arrest you forfeit your right to request a hearing on your drivers license.

The hearing on your drivers license is a "free" chance for me, if I am your lawyer, to challenge the evidence in the case. It is a chance to challenge the basis of the stop and the sufficiency of the evidence.

It is an administrative hearing before a department of public safety official. Most of the time you may lose that hearing but it gives you a chance to hear the evidence and for me as your lawyer to use it as a "discovery" tool. It is worth it to have the hearing because it allows me to discover any weaknesses in the state's case and to see if the officer will show up on the matter.

In a few cases, the officer may not appear and sometimes there are mistakes made and you win the hearing. If you lose the hearing, you have the right to appeal by filing a petition to challenge the sufficiency of the case. It does cost money to appeal but if you win the appeal, sometimes you may be offered a temporary license to drive. Also, you may receive a temporary license to drive while the appeal is pending.

Sometimes, it is useful to obtain written statements from any witnesses who can verify that you were not intoxicated at the time you left the business establishment or other place. It is illegal for a business to serve an intoxicated person. It may be illegal for a person to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person and then to allow them to drive home. Obtaining written statements from people who can verify that you were not intoxicated can be helpful.

The DUI laws are based upon the false assumption that everyone responds the same way to alcohol. It is based upon an "average" response by an "average" size person with "average" characteristics. This false "average" does not exist in the real world. People are made up of different sizes and people absorb alcohol at different rates. People of different sizes, and with different physical conditions, with different circumstances - such as the amount of food in the persons stomach, and whether they have past experiences with alcohol and have developed a "tolerance" to alcohol and are still able to function. There are a multitude of factors that can affect whether a person is actually "over the limit" and d.u.i. or whether they are just a little impaired. The law takes an "average" and attempts to apply this to everyone. Some people believe this law is discriminatory and violates the laws of science but it creates a legal "presumption" of intoxication if one "scores" above the "average" imputed limit. There have been a multitude of articles that argue that this violates the "presumption of innocence" and creates a "presumption of guilt" just because someone violates the "average" when in fact they may not be "average."

I have previously blogged about the "Inherent Unfairness of DUI Laws" in my blog here on June of 2007: The Inherent Unfairness of DUI Laws

I have been practicing law now for over 21 years, and I know all of the Tulsa judges, and I believe I have a good relationship with our judges. I also travel to the surrounding areas and I am a Criminal Attorney for Glenpool, Collinsville, Broken Arrow, Jenks, Bixby, Sapulpa, Owasso, Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and others.

I believe I have a good reputation as an Oklahoma Criminal Attorney, and I am a member of the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and the Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Oklahoma DUI Attorney Group, and the Tulsa DUI Attorney Group, and other organizations committed to defending the constitutional rights of people.

The specific facts of the case are always relevant and a good source of defenses. I would encourage you to schedule an appointment with my Tulsa Criminal Attorney Lawyer Office so we discuss the specific facts of your case for any possible defenses. Call my office at (918) 583-4621.

Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma


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