My first step after interviewing a client seems pretty obvious, but surprisingly it’s not always done. In the words of the great Pat Metze, “RGDS!”. Put another way … Read the statute!
I read the statute of the crime my clients are charged with every time. Not everyone does this. Even the most experienced attorneys do not have every statute memorized. This is why we must familiarize ourselves with the statute every time it applies to one of our cases. Although it seems so obvious, it is often overlooked.
There are numerous reasons for reading the statute. The most important is to know exactly what the client is accused of doing and what the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If there are multiple elements to a crime, then the state must prove each element beyond a reasonable doubt. The law could have changed. The Oklahoma legislature is constantly rewriting laws, so a law could easily be different from one year to the next. Finally, the statute must match up with the charging document. Mismatches mean that someone working for the state messed something up.
I pledge to you that I will read the statute of the crime you are accused of committing whether I have had one or 1000 prior clients charged with that crime. Additionally, I will review previously decided cases that are relevant to your case. Reading relevant cases helps build a better picture and highlights areas in your case to look at for potential issues.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your case please do not hesitate to call me! (405) 633-3420