Doug Weathers asks criminal defense lawyers, “Would you rather have Good Facts or Good Law?”:

Every time I am preparing for a trial I deal with the question of do I have good facts or good law. Rarely do you have both because those cases are usually dismissed or never go to trial. Sometimes you have neither good facts or good law and those cases usually plead. In most of the trial cases you will have either good facts or good law.

In my experience as a criminal defense attorney in Texas, there is precious little good law for the defendant.

On Law & Order and other TV shows judges are routinely throwing out cases for undotted i’s and uncrossed t’s, but it ain’t exactly so in real courtrooms. The overwhelming government interest (according to appellate courts) in convicting anyone and everyone when it comes to the War on Drugs has darn near killed the Fourth Amendment.

And then there’s that DWI exception to the Constitution:

In sum, the balance of the State’s interest in preventing drunken driving, the extent to which this system can reasonably be said to advance that interest, and the degree of intrusion upon individual motorists who are briefly stopped, weighs in favor of the state program. We therefore hold that [stopping drivers without reasonable suspicion or probable cause**] is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.

[**original wording is “it”. Read the case. My substitution for the word “it” is 100% accurate.]

Good law? Only been practicing a little over ten years. I’ve heard rumors that such a thing existed in the 70’s. And I’ve read plenty of caselaw overturning those well reasoned precedents. 

I’ll go with Good Facts. Medium Facts. Any Facts.

OK. Enough dreaming. Gotta get back to work on some of those “Not So Good Facts/Not So Good Law” cases…

  • allen

    on Xmas eve about 11:30 pm, I was driving just under the speed limit (72 mph) when I approached a vehicle going very slow , I slowed down to a speed of 35, the vehicle was a police car… he started to accelerate to speed limit, when he quickly changed lanes into the service road, I cautiously passed when he got back in the lane behind me,… he then turn on his lights and siren when I pulled over… he approached my vehicle yelling “get out of your vehicle” I did asking the officer what I had done …. he had me handcuffed and spread behind my car so fast…. he said he had his lights on for a ling time… I apologize and said as soon as I saw your lights I pulled over… I asked him again what I did… he said evading arrest… then he asked if he could search my vehicle… I asked if I have a warrant, he said no, so I said, “I’m sorry then you cannot search my car,,.. then he took my arm pulled me to his car and said then I’m going to take you in so I then I said ok search my car … a few min latter he produce a small empty baggie saying it had a control substance residue he then arrested me… for evading arrest and poss of a control substance. I did nothing wrong… can a police officer go 35mph on HWY… then say I was evading arrest and can he search when I say no? I have a lawyer but I want a second opinion… he said the police said he was doing an inventory but he never recorded anything and I never signed anything..