Criminal Defense

We are your advocates from arrest through trial.

James Law Group defends citizens accused of crimes. When the government charges an individual with a criminal offense, it is able to bring the full power of the State, with all of its resources, to bear against the accused. There will be a highly educated, highly trained, and a very skilled lawyer representing the State in an effort to convict the citizen. People who find themselves accused of a crime are at a serious disadvantage to the government who is prosecuting them. Representation by an experienced and capable attorney is the only way an individual can realistically protect themselves from injustice or persecution at the hands of the government.

The Founding Fathers of this country understood that the greatest threat to individual liberty was an over-reaching government. To protect us, they endowed us with fundamental rights. Most importantly, they gave us the right to be represented by an attorney and the right to a trial by a jury of our peers. The right to an attorney ensures that we can protect ourselves from illegal government actions and persecution at the hands of government agents by having someone trained in the law and the legal system protect our rights. The right to a trial by a jury of our peers ensures that citizens’ liberty will not be left in the hands of politicians by granting us the right to seek justice from our fellow citizens. This is where the power of government should rest.

If you or a loved one has been falsely accused of a crime or are being treated unjustly by the government, you need experienced and confident representation to protect your rights from government over-reaching. That means an attorney who is willing and able to present your case to a jury of your peers if the government officials refuse to handle the situation fairly. Our law firm has been protecting citizens from government over-reaching for over thirty years. We have the experience to seek justice for our clients at trial by jury when the government falsely accuses or treats our clients unjustly.

Felony

Felonies are criminal offenses that carry a potential punishment of more than one year in jail.  In addition to the potential for lengthy imprisonment, felonies also carry a unique stigma that is particularly difficult to overcome.  A felony conviction strips you of your right to vote in Missouri and many other states.  Being a convicted felon also prohibits you from ever owning a firearm again.  Even a simple plea of guilty to a felony with a suspended imposition of sentence and probation can have lifelong repercussions that can make it difficult to get a professional license or even to obtain a good job.

Whether you are accused of a “low-level” felony, such as punching someone, or the most serious of crimes, such as murder, the lawyers at James Law Group have the work ethic and the trial experience to present the best defense possible for your case.  From high-profile crimes where every filing is followed by the media to a felony possession of drugs charge, the lawyers at James Law Group work every case as thoroughly as possible because we know your liberty is on the line. Don’t trust your liberty and the serious consequences of a felony plea or jury trial to just any law firm. Get a law firm that gets results.

Misdemeanor

Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for one year or less. Misdemeanors include a wide variety of accusations such as stealing, assault, or trespass on property. Although some may consider misdemeanors “lesser” offenses, a plea of guilty or a conviction can still have lifelong effects associated with the stigma of having a criminal record in addition to the punishment range for the specific charge. Too often people casually accept plea offers of probation to misdemeanor charges because it is the easy and cheap thing to do. On many such cases, a vigorous defense could have resulted in reduced charges, dismissed charges, or an outright not-guilty verdict. Don’t allow the mere accusation of a misdemeanor charge resulting in a criminal record that will last a lifetime.

Hire an experienced law firm with attorneys that prosecutors know are ready, willing, and prepared to try your case to a jury to obtain the best results. Misdemeanors should be handled with the same rigor and scrutiny as any other criminal charge. Being labeled a “criminal” the rest of your life deserves more attention than hiring a cheap attorney and entering a quick plea. At James Law Group, we have a long history of trying any case to a jury that should be tried. We treat any criminal accusation with the attention and work required to protect you and your rights properly.

Traffic

Traffic offenses, also called moving violations are offenses that can result in points on your license. Getting any points on your license can cause your insurance rates to go up. Get too many points too quickly, and you will find your license suspended. Driving on a suspended or revoked license can be a surprisingly serious matter where prosecutors may seek jail time or even a felony record for repeat offenders.

Don’t listen to the officer who tells you to just sign the back of the ticket and mail in the fine. It may seem convenient and the easy thing to do, but you will surely pay for it in the long run. Instead of putting the ticket in the mail to simply plead guilty; mail it or e-mail a picture of it to James Law Group. Our experienced attorneys can often help you avoid points completely on traffic offenses so that your insurance premiums do not go up and you do not risk losing your license if you get too many tickets.

DWI/DUI

Many people believe a DWI is a “traffic matter” simply because it involves a vehicle. The truth is that DWIs are serious criminal offenses that can carry significant penalties and collateral consequences, including jail time. Should a person be charged with a third DWI in their lifetime, they will be facing a felony charge. The laws, scientific and pseudo-scientific evidence used in the prosecution of DWI, are ever-changing. An attorney needs to have specialized knowledge and experience to properly defend someone accused of driving while intoxicated.

An attorney must be prepared to meet the numerous scientific and quasi-scientific tests the government uses against those accused of DWI. Such tests include the “standard field sobriety tests” officers give drivers on the side of the road as well as Breathalyzer and blood tests. Many of these tests are of questionable reliability even if conducted properly by officers. Frequently, however, officers will improperly administer these tests rendering their conclusions meaningless. To defend someone accused of DWI, a lawyer must not only have a thorough knowledge of each of these tests, their inherent inaccuracies, and the common errors made in administering those tests but also must be able to communicate these concepts clearly to a jury unfamiliar with these test and their flaws.

These “tests” have been developed in an attempt to distinguish the person who has had “one to many” from the person who may have just had a drink or two with dinner but is not impaired. The difficulties in distinguishing the two often result in officers merely arresting anyone who is driving and admits (or whom he even suspects) has consumed any alcohol at all, regardless of their level of sobriety or intoxication. With the recent emphasis on DWI arrest and convictions in Missouri, sometimes there even develops a competition among officers to see who can charge the most people with a DWI by the end of the year. The officer who makes the most arrest and generates the most in “recoupment fees” (substantial fees anyone convicted of DWI must pay to the police department who made the arrest) is naturally looked on favorably by his superiors. Further, it is not uncommon for police forces to be funded in part or even have specific officer’s entire salaries paid for by federal grant money, which is dependant on arrest and conviction statistics. Obviously, such police officers have a strong motive to exaggerate the facts. Such an officer is likely to see even a legitimate question posed by the driver as being “uncooperative,” and the least movement from a perfect standing position as “swaying.” Many times it is the same officer that arrested the person that insists that the person take a “breath test” on the machine that the officer is going to set up and operate himself. If the officer finds the result to be too low, he is apt to say that the driver “refused” the test by not blowing into the machine the way he was instructed.

It takes an attorney with extensive experience in handling and trying DWI cases to both understand these biases and flaws and to demonstrate them to the jury. Any lawyer can say that he handles DWI cases, but there are few who really have the knowledge, experience, and the trialability to effectively challenge the evidence presented by these kinds of officers. The lawyer has to have a thorough knowledge of the literature about DWI detection and arrest by which the police officer received his training at the police academy and the ability to effectively use that material to put the officer’s testimony to the test. James Law Group has tried many DWI cases to a successful conclusion.

Representing clients throughout Missouri and the greater midwest. We have experience handling personal injury, criminal defense, and worker’s compensation cases. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

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