Providing outstanding criminal defense is the mission and focus of Souder Tate Law. I have a heart for defending and protecting clients charged with property, alcohol and drug-related offenses. Whether you are charged with a felony, misdemeanor or ordinance violation, I can help.
Preparing your criminal defense begins the moment I become your attorney. I give you the opportunity to tell your side of the story. I review all reports and evidence to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case against you. After thoroughly reviewing all the evidence, I will discuss your options, including trial or plea bargain. The final decision is always yours. However, for you to make a wise decision, you need the competent advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can answer all your questions.
Criminal charges have a dramatic impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. They can cost you your job, your education, your family and your dreams. To face the uncertainty of your future, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your constitutional rights and increase your odds for a successful outcome. I defend clients in state and municipal courts in Springfield and throughout Southwest Missouri. I handle felonies, misdemeanors and ordinance violations directly or indirectly involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Between 2001 and 2013, 51% of the federal prison population were imprisoned for possession, trafficking, or other drug crimes (see this report). In state prisons, drug offenders made up 16% of the total state prison population in 2012. Twenty-five percent of female prisoners were serving time for drug offenses. With few exceptions, prison is a poor response to addiction or substance abuse. I can help clients charged with drug offenses take the steps necessary to reduce their chances of going to prison or jail. When defending drug cases, the fundamental issue usually is whether the search and seizure violated the United States or Missouri Constitutions. Possession of a controlled substance is always a felony in Missouri unless it is less than 35 grams of marijuana. In Missouri, drug charges are covered in Chapter 195 of the Missouri Revised Statutes.
The Springfield Police Department reported that in 2014 there were 1814 reported burglaries, 9509 reported thefts and 1315 reported stolen vehicles. Although these numbers were down from the previous year, total property crimes for 2014 were 12,638 compared to 1290 violent crimes (See this report). http://www.springfieldmo.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14727. Studies have shown that somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of people serving time in jails and state prisons committed their offenses to get money for drugs. In Greene County, a restorative justice program is available for certain property crimes, providing an opportunity to avoid a felony finding of guilt.
Probation Violations and Drug Court Termination Hearings
Probation violations often result in prison time or other severe sanctions. Too often, prison sentences are seen as the only solution by frustrated probation officers, judges and prosecutors. By seeking innovative solutions for your probation violation, I can persuasively argue for reasonable alternatives to prison. As soon as I am hired on a probation violation, I get a copy of the field violation reports to determine what issues need to be addressed. I also contact the probation officer to let them know I am on the case. Many times, a creative solution and persuasive argument can get probation continued.
An increasing number of felony criminal cases end up with the defendant in treatment court. Although drug courts and DWI courts have a much better success rate than supervised probation, too often the participant is terminated from the program and set for a probation violation hearing. I have the knowledge and experience to represent defendants facing termination from treatment court.
Constitutional Due Process Rights at a Drug Court Termination Hearing or Probation Violation Hearing:
probable cause determination
written notice of violations
right to appear
disclosure of evidence
right to cross-exam witnesses
an independent judge