American Justice

I get clients from other countries who are living here, working here, or just visiting and who have been accused of minor crimes such as retail fraud, (shoplifting) or drunk driving.
In some countries, if you break the law and if you have enough money or know someone in a position of power, you can get the charges dropped. But by and large, that doesn’t work here. Sure, if I know the judge or prosecutor, they will at least listen to me, but there is no guarantee that my client will get what he or she wants. And not many judges or prosecutors are going to put their careers on the line for a non-citizen by looking the other way.

I often explain, especially to those foreigners who are living and working here, that one of the reasons they come to America is because we have laws and those laws are generally equally enforced. Of course, if you have a lot of money, you can hire better lawyers, so while maybe that might seem unfair, by and large the system works.

Bottom line, if you are from another country, don’t expect the criminal justice system to work like it does at home. You are not at home, you are here. In fact, many Judges take the attitude that you are a guest in this country and guests make sure they act like guests.