Were you charged with a felony?


BEWARE - Not What It Appears To Be Posted May 16, 2017

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There are all kinds of tricks used in advertising to get costumers to buy products and the criminal law profession is no different.  Car dealerships often advertise prices of cars online only to find out when you get there to purchase the vehicle that you dont qualify for that price.  You see what they dont tell you is to qualify for that price you must be a veteran, trade in a 90-95 cavalier, have 6 children, a black dog, and 3 fish.  Basically no one qualifies for the price they list online; they only list it that way to get you through the door.  This is simply deceptive and dishonest and irritating once you find out whats actually going on.  Unfortunately its not much better in the legal community, especially in the criminal law arena.

On many attorneys websites youll see thing like:

Last three murder cases dismissed!!!

Although this may technically be true, its deceptive and dishonest to their potential client.  The lawyer posts this indicating that it was their lawyering that got the case dismissed and that their client walked out of jail a free man. On very few occasions does this actually happen. Murder cases rarely get dismissed in Tulsa county, most, I venture to say over 95%, either get plead out or go to trial.  The few murder cases that get dismissed at preliminary hearing are generally gang related and the state doesnt have any witnesses to come forward to testify so they have no choice but to dismiss. Its not great lawyering that got the murder charge dismissed, just a lack of cooperative witnesses. 

The other case where Murders are “dismissed” is when a plea deal is reached.  Often times the prosecution will dismiss the Murder in the First degree charge so that a plea deal can be reached. Murder in the First Degree in Oklahoma carries either life or life without parole, those are the only two sentencing options.  Therefore if the prosecution offers 35 years to the defendant they will have to dismiss the murder in the first degree charge and go with murder in the second degree, which carries 10-Life, or Manslaughter in the First Degree which carries 4-Life.  Technically the Murder was dismissed but the client is still doing 35 years at the end of the day. 

30 cases dismissed last year!!!

Once again, maybe, “technically true” this is deceptive and dishonest advertising.  First, even the most skilled defense attorney will not have 30 dismissals in a year; I dont even know if that is possible just purely time wise, but thats not the point.  This lawyer wants his potential clients to believe that he is so skilled that virtually all his cases get dismissed with his clients suffering no adverse consequences. Eventually a lot of cases do get dismissed, after probation is served and costs and fines are paid.  These attorneys claiming these type of stats are most likely referring to a deferred sentence.  A deferred sentence, which is handed out a lot for first time felons, except for major felonies such as Murder, robbery and Rape, is a sentence in which the defendant is placed on probation.  If the defendant completes his probation without any other violations of the law and pays all his costs and fines then at the end of the probationary period the case against him is dismissed and expunged from his record.  So when you see a statement such as this on an attorneys website its not that he has gotten the case dismissed and his client walked free.  Its simply that the attorney worked out an easy plea deal and their client completed probation, this is not what I consider a dismissal. 

Dont fall for the hype!!!

These are just two examples of the many deceptive practices that are employed by attorneys online, but there are many more and Im sure as time goes by new ones will be invented.  There is a theme to these deceptive practices that will allow clients to easily spot them.  The theme is that the attorney doing this type of advertising will not give any details on the cases they are claiming are dismissed.  All cases in Oklahoma have a case styling such as State of Oklahoma v. John Doe as well as a case number, for example CF-17-111.  All of this information is of public record and can be accessed in Oklahoma through www.oscn.net, the Oklahoma Supreme Court Network.  This website is available to the general public and requires no fees or special password to access.

If an attorney doesnt list the case name and case number for the cases he claimed he had dismissed, it’s a red flag.  If you meet with an attorney who advertises in this fashion ask them what the exact cases they had dismissed were. If the cant answer the question then its another red flag. Trust me, when you win you remember.

When you talk with Mark and I we are more than happy to discuss our previous cases with you, both the wins and the losses.  We will provide you with all the information you need to double check any claims that we make on www.oscn.net  and we would suggest that you ask any attorney you sit down with for the same. 

At the end of the day Im not trying to get you to hire Mark and I, although you cant do better, Im simply tired of seeing people hire lawyers who are not qualified to handle felony cases. Just make sure that you hire the right attorney, not just some jackass who talks a good game.

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