10 Tips to Optimize Your Attorney-Client Relationship

10 Tips to Optimize Your Attorney-Client RelationshipWhen facing criminal charges, hiring a Missouri criminal defense attorney is an investment in your future. To make the most of that investment, you should view it as a partnership. Position yourself to optimize your attorney-client relationship by following these ten tips.

  1. Trust Your Attorney

Trust is the basis of an effective attorney-client relationship. Trusting your attorney has your best interests in mind will help him or her achieve an outcome you find favorable.

  1. Follow Your Attorney’s Advice

Listen to what your attorney tells you to do, and follow their advice. Your attorney is relying on you to be a proactive criminal defendant. If you don’t fulfill your end of the bargain and follow his or her advice, you could easily sabotage your case.

  1. Do Your Homework

Your attorney might instruct you to gather specific documents or get information. Do so promptly. Your attorney can only do so much without your involvement.

  1. Tell Your Attorney Everything

No matter the situation, never lie to your attorney. Even if it’s information you think will spell disaster for your case, it’s essential for your attorney to have that information ASAP so he or she can take the steps needed to strategize effectively with all the facts at hand.

  1. Stay in Communication

It’s vital you make yourself available for your attorney, especially at important junctures in your case. Find the communication method that is best for you, and respond within a reasonable timeframe.

  1. Invest in the Outcome of Your Case

Staying abreast of your case developments and being prepared for court dates requires you be an active participant in your case. Remember, this is your future at stake.

  1. Consider Your Options

Your attorney may present you with some options for handling your case and advise you on the pros and cons of each one. Chances are your attorney knows what the best course of action is to minimize the negative consequences you face, but consider each option and make sure you are comfortable with the one you pursue.

  1. Think Long-Term

Many defendants facing criminal charges plead guilty to “get it over with.” While pleading guilty will indeed “resolve” your case, it will usher in the next phase: sentencing and punishment. Your attorney might have better options. For example, don’t write off a trial or other aggressive tactics before you thoroughly discuss them with your attorney.

  1. Learn From the Experience

While your case is pending, it’s wise to reflect on your actions and situation. Understanding why you’re facing criminal charges can demonstrate you might deserve leniency. Being thoughtful won’t get you out of trouble, but it can make this experience more worthwhile.

  1. Don’t Give Up Hope

Facing criminal charges is stressful for anyone. But don’t give up hope. A good criminal defense attorney can sometimes achieve a surprising result, but that takes trusting your attorney and following the tips we’ve listed above.

Facing criminal charges is much less stressful with an attorney who will fight for your rights by your side. If you need trusted legal guidance in Cass County, Kansas City or the surrounding areas, the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC can help. The attorneys at Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center have the skills and experience needed to guide Missouri residents through some of life’s most challenging moments. Trained at the nationally renowned Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and mentored under award-winning trial attorney and firm founder Kim Benjamin, you can trust our attorneys will fight with determination to get you the best outcome possible. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with one of our fierce legal advocates today.

 

 

DWI Accidents: Raising the Stakes

DWI Accidents: Raising the StakesAn Aggravating Factor

Nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities in the US involve drunk drivers. Intoxication greatly increases your risk of causing an accident. Consequently, Missouri issues harsh penalties for DWI accidents. If you are facing charges for causing an accident while intoxicated, you are probably worried about what will happen. The consequences for a Missouri DWI involving an accident are severe, and you could face felony charges if you injured or killed someone. In light of this fact, it’s best to learn about what is at stake and what you can do to fight your charges. While it’s essential you speak with a Missouri DWI defense attorney to devise a plan of action, here is some necessary information that can help you start that conversation.

The Consequences of DWI Accidents

Your prior criminal history, the facts and circumstances of the offense and the nature and severity of the accident will impact the charges you face. If you acted with criminal negligence and caused injury to another person while driving intoxicated, you could face charges for a Class E Felony. You can be charged with a Class D Felony if you acted with criminal negligence and caused serious physical injury to another or caused injury to a law enforcement officer or emergency personnel. You can face Class C Felony charges if you act with criminal negligence and seriously injure a police officer or emergency personnel or cause death to another. And if you act with criminal negligence and cause death to a police officer or emergency personnel, you can face Class B Felony charges. Those charges could be raised to a Class A Felony if you are a habitual offender. The penalties for Missouri felonies are severe and include steep fines and long periods of imprisonment.

In addition to the penalties you could face for a criminal charge, you could be implicated in a civil action as well. DWI cases involving accidents frequently result in personal injury claims as well as criminal charges. While these two proceedings are entirely separate, the outcome of your criminal case could affect the insurance company’s finding of liability. For this reason, the outcome of your actions could result in a criminal conviction and a judgment. Thus, it’s crucial you fight your charges to minimize these consequences.

Consult with a Missouri DWI Defense Attorney for Strategic Help

Although the outlook may seem bleak when facing charges of DWI causing an accident, you should know that the prosecution must prove certain elements to convict you. Notably, it must prove you were driving while intoxicated and that your actions were the proximate cause of the accident and any injuries or property damage that may have resulted. Every DWI case involving an accident is unique and involves numerous factors. Thus, it’s vital to consult with an experienced Missouri DWI defense attorney, preferably one with trial experience, if you are facing charges for DWI with an accident. These cases can be complicated and frequently require the extensive knowledge of a DWI trial attorney for the best outcome given the circumstances.

No one should face DWI charges alone, especially in cases involving accidents. If you need trusted legal guidance in Cass County, Kansas City or the surrounding areas, the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center at the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC can help. The attorneys at Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center have the skills and experience needed to guide Missouri residents through some of life’s most challenging moments. Trained at the nationally renowned Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College and mentored under award-winning trial attorney and firm founder Kim Benjamin, you can trust our attorneys will fight with determination to get you the best outcome possible. Call our office at 816-322-8008, email us at info@benjaminlawkc.com or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with one of our fierce legal advocates today.

 

Kimberly Benjamin, Premier DUI Attorney, Advanced Level Training on Unconstitutional Fees In DUI Cases

Kimberly Benjamin recently received advanced level training, from the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, on Unconstitutional Fees In DUI Cases. Kimberly received training on a recent Court of Appeals Decision in Tennessee that administrative fees charged on blood draws are unconstitutional and violate due process. Many areas of the Country have similar administrative fees on DUI cases that may also be deemed as unconstitutional and violate due process. This training was provided to Association Members by David Ridings. Mr. Ridings is an AAPDA State Ambassador for Tennessee. Mr. Ridings’ office is located in Nashville, TN and his website is found at http://www.nashvillecriminalattorney.com/.

The American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys has compiled information from Judges, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutors (the Top DUI Prosecutors in each State), DUI Prosecutors, current Law Enforcement Officers, former Law Enforcement Officers, and DUI Defense Attorneys to determine exactly what skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies win the most DUI cases at trial and are also used to get DUI cases successfully resolved for the defense prior to trial.

When people need a DUI Attorney, the biggest challenge is knowing whether or not an attorney truly has the skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies that are needed to successfully resolve and win DUI cases. Countless attorneys handle DUI cases. But, only a very small percentage have the skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies that are needed to successfully resolve and win DUI cases.

Members of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys have received advanced level training on the strategies that win the most DUI cases at trial and are also used to get DUI cases successfully resolved for the defense prior to trial. Members of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys also have access to the resources and tools that are used to win and successfully resolve DUI cases and these are resources and tools that only a very small percentage of DUI attorneys have access to and use.

Kim Benjamin is a passionate trial lawyer with the Benjamin Law Firm, LLC, in Belton, Missouri, who has practiced since 1997 and has over 75 jury trials and over 250 bench trials. In recent years she has expanded her trial practice from criminal and DWI defense to include trial consulting work related to personal injury, and nursing home abuse & neglect, where lawyers seek Kim to be lead counsel due to her unique abilities and successes with juries.  In over 10 years she has not lost a jury trial.

Kim is on the faculty of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College (TLC), where she teaches trial skills to civil & criminal lawyers from all across the United States, and on the faculty of the National College of DUI Defense. Kim has spoken at the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center (NCADRC) about a nationally publicized & highly sensationalized sex case she handled in Missouri, where she obtained a hard-fought dismissal.  In addition, Kim is a frequent lecturer at local seminars for The Missouri Bar, Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, local DWI Defense organizations, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, and the Missouri State Public Defender System.

Kim attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and then law school in Washington, DC, at the George Washington University National Law Center.  After working at the Pentagon for the US Department of Defense and the Federal Communications Commission, she returned to Missouri and worked for the Missouri State Public Defender System where she was promoted to manage an office as the District Defender.  After almost 6 years as a public defender, Kim returned to her hometown of Harrisonville, Missouri and opened her own law practice.  In 2011, the law firm was relocated to Belton, Missouri, where the firm focuses on civil and criminal law.

Kim is the co-director for the Missouri Bar and Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) annual DWI seminar at the Lake of the Ozarks, where lawyers all over the state attend to learn about DWI law.  Kim is on the Board of Directors for MACDL and served as the President in 2012-2013.  She is also a member of the Missouri Society for Criminal Justice (DWI Defense organization), Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) and the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA).

In 2016 the Governor of Missouri appointed Kim to be on the Missouri Ethics Commission and it is her honor to serve her community in this appointment. Kim also volunteers her time to assist teenagers in the Cass County Youth Court program, where high school students act as lawyers and judges to handle minor juvenile law violations in the community.