The Long Arm

There are many laws on the books. Some will help the Prosecution and some will help the Defense.

Law Library

There are law libraries in most major metropolitan areas. Usually they are free and open to the public. There will be volumes of huge books filled with cases which might be similar to the one you are facing. It takes a bit of time to learn how to look up a case, but after a few hours you might be able to find some interesting case decisions you will want to think about. You also can find case law online.

Remember you are not trying to become your own attorney. You might find one case which sets a precedent which will be of interest to your own attorney. You can even ask your attorney if you can help by looking through the law books in your spare time.

Jailhouse Lawyer

If you are inside a jail cell there might be some access to law books. If you have a lot of time with nothing else to do, that might be a place for you to create your own law library. There are many cases where "Jailhouse Lawyers" have been released from behind bars after they filed their own motion or plea. It does happen. Many Jailhouse Lawyers are actually quite good and creative, Most are irritants in the judge's eye. It is better to take action on your own to get released if your attorney forgets who you are after the trial.

Higher Courts

Often at the State Supreme Court level, a case such as yours is being decided. If you have a trial coming up in a day or two and the State Supreme Court is hearing a similar matter next week, you can ask for a continuance to await the decision of the Supreme Court. Sometimes delaying your own trial is desirable, sometimes it is not. Be active and stay alert. Every action you take should be carefully thought out and it should include help from your attorney.

High court decisions will often affect dozens or hundreds of cases awaiting a trial. That is especially true if the high court is deciding whether the law is Constitutional or invalid. A Supreme Court decision can sometimes make all charges vanish.

Federal VS State Law

In most cases a federal law will supercede a state law if they seem to overlap. If you are charged with something that is a state law, see if any federal law would give you an advantage over the state requirements.

Be certain all federal laws of evidence and police warnings have been met and that your rights have not been violated.


If one state wants to extradite you from another state or extradite you from another country, do not be quick to give up your right to a trial or hearing. The state which wants you has to prove your identity and they have to show you are a fugitive. Get an attorney and fight extradition if it is in your best interest. Do not believe police officers who tell you it is best to waive extradition. Do not believe police officers who tell you grass is green. Think about what is best for you. The police will say things that are not true. Sometimes they are just unaware and often they are lying.

Miranda Rights

You never have to answer any incriminating questions. If you were not read your Miranda Warning before any officer asked you anything be sure your attorney knows. Do not argue with police officers. Do not alert a police officer that you know anything about Miranda or the case in question. Zip the lip.

The Law and You

The Law is a Tool

Use it

When you are arrested, the laws immediately can be harmful or helpful to you. Some laws carry a penalty if you are convicted. Some sentences can be overturned by opposing laws. The things which cause reversals to sentences are often the small mistakes made by arresting officers. Each new generation of police officers and prosecuting attorneys makes the same mistakes that were made by the same people in the past. History repeats.


If you hear that someone said something in your case which would help you, just saying it will not have any effect. Each bit of evidence has to be entered legally. If someone blurts out something on a witness stand which is harmful to your case but not admissable, your attorney must ask for a retrial. The jury has been tainted by the spoken or misspoken words of a witness which have been objected to by your attorney. Even though the judge rules the jury must not use that remark in consideration of their verdict, your attorney must ask to poll the jury and ask each one if he or she is able to forget the remark. A retrial must be asked for. If you do not get the retrial and you are found guilty, you will have good grounds for appeal.

Use the law like you would use a hammer or drill. It belongs to you. You are not unarmed.

Background of Witness

Has the witness against you been convicted of perjury? Was the witness offered a "deal" for his testimony?


Did the arrest take place in the jurisdiction of the person who made the arrest? Was the evidence found legally? Was there unnecessary force used by arresting officers? Were Miranda Warnings read to the arrestee? Follow the trail of evidence. Was the evidence left uncontrolled for a period of time?