1450 Boyson Road Suite C-2A Hiawatha, Iowa 52233     319-389-1889

Secret Code Book While there is no secret code book or decoder ring in the criminal law, it is wise for a criminal defendant to become an informed legal consumer, to find an attorney who is familiar with the process and who can reduce the complex to the understandable. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Waterloo, Vinton, Anamosa, Linn, Johnson, Black Hawk, Benton, Jones, or other Iowa counties, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for a free initial consultation today. 

Should I represent myself in a Cedar Rapids criminal case?


by David A. Cmelik Law PLC


No lawyer is going to say yes to this question. But let’s be fair about what you’re getting a lawyer for in this type of case. You want a lawyer who can (1) navigate a process unfamiliar to the defendant; (2) reduce complexity to English; and (3) uncover any defects in the prosecution that a lay person wouldn’t be able to identify. This begins with requests for discovery—police reports, electornic media, and the like—which are typically not automatically provided over to defendants, especially those who represent themselves. It includes reviewing the facts and determining whether your situation is more similar to a favorable case in the law or more distinguishable from an unfavorable case. Identifying issues and pointing them out to the court in pretrial motions, as well as seeking out and highlighting the 'good' facts all the while cognizant of the 'bad' facts, if any, is just part of the task facing a criminal defense attorney.

I usually tell potential clients this is a process—a marathon and not a sprint. A lawyer can make that process go more smoothly for a defendant and definitely offer communication and peace of mind in what is otherwise stressful.

In the final analysis, I understand that a criminal defendant is renting my secret decoder ring. They may not believe that a lawyer brings a skillset to the table-- to the average person, the sheepskin on the wall and the lawyer at the desk underneath it are a necessary evil. But make no mistake. They are necessary.  No more than I would try my hand at welding, plumbing, or concrete work, I wouldn’t recommend that a criminal defendant go it alone in a prosecution.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in Iowa, contact David A. Cmelik Law PLC for a free initial consultation today. 

cedar rapids / iowa city criminal defense