Believe it or not, it REALLY MATTERS who you have as your criminal defense attorney. No case brings that point home better than the case of Mr. Miller, who in 2004 was accused of the unlawful possession of the prescription drug (valium) without having a doctor’s authorization.
The DA wrongfully filed this crime as a felony offense. In fact this crime can only be a misdemeanor offense. Mr. Miller plead guilty to the crime as a felony because his lawyer did not realize that he could never be legally prosecuted for a felony.
Finally in 2011 Mr. Miller realized his error and he filed a motion to vacate his felony guilty plea. This felony on his record was preventing Mr. Miller from owning any firearms and he also was required to register as a felony narcotics offender. It sure would seem reasonable that he be allowed to withdraw his plea.
The court however didn’t agree with Mr. Miller. The court said that because he consented to the plea agreement he could not now set aside his plea to the felony.
Poor Mr. Miller had the wrong lawyer. His lawyer didn’t do the research that easily could have determined this was only a misdemeanor offense. The court of appeals has said “tough luck Mr. Miller” you are stuck with a felony on your record now for the rest of your life.
So the next time you are sitting around talking about whether it is important to retain a criminal defense lawyer who knows what he is doing, tell everyone in the room about poor Mr. Miller.
What is even more amazing is that the court of appeals would not allow Mr. Miller to set the record straight.
If you or a loved one is currently facing any type of drug charges in Southern California, make sure to contact the experienced law firm of Wallin & Klarich. Our drug possession defense attorneys have defended clients facing drug charges for over 30 years.