Many people receive solicitations in the mail after they are arrested. People will naturally ask their friends or family members if they know a lawyer. Some people have a family lawyer who they go to for all legal advice. The internet and yellow pages are full of ads by lawyers who say that they handle DWI cases, among many other kinds of cases. Many lawyers advertise through referral services that they are DWI lawyers, but they may have never tried a DWI case or they have tried very few cases. You should ask how many DWI cases the lawyer has actually tried before juries. There are many more questions which you should ask yourself before entrusting your case to these referral service lawyers.
Is he an expert?
George Scharmen was Board Certified in Criminal Law in 1992 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization .
When you hire a lawyer, you should have a professional who is specially trained in the area of law in which your problem is found. You would not hire an eye doctor to operate on your appendix, even though both of these doctors went to the same medical school and they are both intelligent professionals. Criminal law board certification is a process which ensures that the lawyer’s primary field of practice is criminal law, and he has studied and taken a special test in order to hold an additional certification in this field of law. His practice is dedicated to criminal law.
Does he keep up with the law?
George Scharmen is a Founding Member of the National College for DUI Defense.
You want a lawyer who is dedicated to his field of practice and who works for his clients. You also want a lawyer who works to improve his knowledge and the knowledge of others in his field of practice in order to keep his defense skills current and timely. The National College describes itself as “a professional, non-profit corporation dedicated to the improvement of the criminal defense bar, and to the dissemination of information to the public about DUI Defense Law as a specialty area of law practice.”
Can he try a DWI jury trial effectively?
George Scharmen was certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in 1993.
If you had surgery you would not want a doctor who is not a surgeon to operate on you, even though the general practitioner is legally allowed to perform surgery. You would want a surgeon, not a general practitioner. Certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy requires that the lawyer demonstrate that he has had at least 45 trials before he can qualify to apply. Additional requirements, testing and evaluation by his peers qualify the lawyer to state that he is an expert in criminal court trials. George Scharmen tries jury trials every month in different counties throughout Texas. He has tried hundreds of jury trials and he wins the majority of his DWI cases.
Is he recognized by others as a leader in the field?
Author and Frequent Lecturer on DWI Topics
George Scharmen has been the chosen DWI speaker in the last two annual Criminal Law Seminars sponsored by the State Bar of Texas. He has twice been chosen as the DWI speaker before the State Bar College, and he is a frequent lecturer annually before the San Antonio Bar Association Criminal Law Institute, the San Antonio Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and other local bar associations in the field of DWI defense. You want a lawyer who other lawyers in the field of practice look to for information and advice about how to practice DWI law. George Scharmen has written and lectured on DWI topics to other lawyers for over 20 years, and he continues to be a source of information for continuing legal education.
Does his law office have any effect upon the DWI laws of the State?
Appellate Victories Which Assisted DWI Defense in Texas
George Scharmen has been an appellate lawyer advocating for DWI defense for many years. Some of the most important cases governing DWI trials and the defense of breath test cases were won by George Scharmen in the appellate courts.
Hartman v. State: The State's expert testimony about a person's alcohol concentration, at the time of driving, must be scientifically reliable.
Mata v. State: Scientific reliability means that the State’s expert opinion on a person's alcohol concentration, at the time of driving, must be based on several known facts about the person, including the amount of alcohol consumed, the time of the last drink, whether the person ate and when they ate, the person's height, weight and gender, as well as the person's drinking habits and tolerance to alcohol.
Bagheri v. State: When a trial judge ignores these rulings and incorrectly allows the jury to hear scientifically unreliable evidence of a person's alcohol concentration, at the time of driving, a new trial may be required even if the person might have failed some of the field sobriety tests.