NCDD BLOG

Successful Criminal History Challenge in Kansas DUI Cases

In a recent appeal, No. 112828, I argued that Kansas can no longer use some Missouri DUI convictions because the acts prohibited by Missouri’s law differs from the acts prohibited by Kansas’ law.  The Kansas Court of Appeals agreed and the Kansas Supreme Court...

Are Field Sobriety Tests a Search?

I have an appeal pending that addresses, in part, the State’s ability to comment upon the Defendant’s right to refuse a warrantless search. Georgia has well-established case law that precludes the State from commenting upon a Defendant’s refusal to submit to a...

Updates from the National Forensic Science Commission

The National Forensic Science Commission has fully reported on its last two meetings. Of concern, currently there are no practicing private criminal defense attorneys on the Commission.  As of meeting ten, the Commission has come up with 14 recommendations to the...

Stars in the Universe: 2016 Legacy Members in the Spotlight

We at NCDD honor the lives of those we lost in 2016:       Richard Koch was a 1971 graduate of the University of Nebraska Law School, a founding member of the Koch & Garvis law firm, and helped found the National College of DUI Defense, as well as the Minnesota...

Our Tone Matters – Particularly In More Difficult Cases

The vast majority of our time is spent investigating the evidence in our cases, reviewing the state’s evidence, preparing to attack field sobriety evidence, preparing to cross-examine cops, and preparing arguments to discredit blood or breath tests. That time and work...

Update from the NCDD Forensics Committee

There have been 9 committee meetings by the NCFS (National Commission on Forensic Science) created by the Obama administration. The commission is comprised of scientists, judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers.  Here are the highlights from each meeting:   Meeting 1:...

Why All Young Lawyers Should Attend NCDD’s Summer Session

I will never forget my first NCDD summer session. It was seven years ago and I was fresh out of law school. I’d been hired to work for Andrew Mishlove on a Monday, and was on a plane to Boston the following Wednesday.  Having never handled a DUI case, I had no idea...

My Summer Session Experience

It was my pleasure to attend and participate in the National College of DUI Defense Summer Program.  There were many familiar faces in the crowd and many renewed friendships.  This year I was most impressed with, not only the quality of the program but the increase in...

Some Useful Tips for Getting the Most from the NCDD List Serve

If you are like me, I spend a LOT of time reading all the posts on the Listserve.  I truly believe it is one of the very best benefits of membership of the NCDD!  Sometimes, however, it may seem like certain days there are hundreds of emails that come through and...

Board Certification for You

In 2001 when I applied for Board Certification, the designation was in its infancy. I have since been recertified twice. Preparation, then and now, really consists of being a solid DUI defense lawyer and brushing up on some statistics. You cannot, and should not, cram...

How NCDD’s Board Certification Program Became ABA Approved

Our Certification Committee is often asked how the NCDD Board Certification Program came to be approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). In response to this query, allow me to provide a historical perspective.   In the mid-1990s, the NCDD made a historical...

Preparing for Board Certification

One of the very best experiences in preparing for Board Certification was that I talked myself through the fundamentals of being a successful DUI specialist:  Knowledge, Preparation, Training and Talent.  Reviewing the knowledge that I gained by being in court every...

Yes, You Should Take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam

Is it demanding?  Yes.  Is it challenging?  For sure.  Will it make you a better lawyer?  Hell yes.  And that reason alone is why you should take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam. I practice in Washington State, where specialties and Board Certifications are not...

Why You Should Take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam

For many years, I was of the opinion that I didn’t need to take the Board Certification test. Oklahoma didn’t recognize certification. I have never been asked by a potential client about it. I was competing for and signing up cases without it. I took the bar exam and...

How to Tackle NCDD’s Board Certification Exam

You may have heard how difficult the DUI Board Certification test is. Unfortunately, there are many among us who allow themselves to be discouraged from taking the test because they have allowed themselves to believe it is too difficult.   The truth however, in my...

The Great Dichotomy of Birchfield v. North Dakota

There are various aspects to the United States Supreme Court’s recent holding in Birchfield v. North Dakota (2016) ___ U.S. ___ (Docket No. 14-1468) that trial and appellate courts will have to address in future cases. A couple of them derive from the following two...

The Incredible Shrinking Fourth Amendment

The Supreme Court decided two Fourth Amendment cases this week that diminish our freedom from police searches.  The Fourth Amendment says:   The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,...

Can you travel to Canada after being convicted of a DWI or DUI?

Entering Canada after a DUI or DWI Conviction If you have been convicted for a DWI, entering Canada may be a challenging proposition. This is especially true if your conviction was in the last 10 years. This article outlines the Canadian laws that create a barrier to...

Going Against the Government’s Adminstrative Scheme

When decisions are made behind closed doors, it’s that much harder to get your hands on the evidence of impropriety in the decision making process. That’s what happened with British Columbia’s drunk driving scheme. When we finally got the evidence that Administrative...

The Oldest Question In the Book: Do You Take a Test?

Well, it may not be the oldest question, but it may be the most important. Since the 1940’s and the onset of cheap breath/blood alcohol testing, it is one that lawyers and defendants must initially face following a DWI arrest. Should your client take the test?   The...

How the 2016 NCDD Winter Session Helped My Client

I attended the NCDD’s 2016 Winter Session in Marina Del Rey for the sole purpose of learning how to try the hell out of a Pot DUI case that I had coming up for trial.  I continued that trial until after the Winter Session, which was probably the smartest thing I could...

Experts in DWI cases

Criminal Defense Attorney Benson Varghese explains the types of experts commonly used in DWI cases and considerations to keep in mind before deciding to use an expert in an intoxication-related case. The NCDD Blog is for our members to comment on matters of general...

My First Winter Session, Thanks to the NCDD Diversity Committee

Must be something about the cold weather that made everyone so enjoy Winter Session!  Read what our DIVERSITY COMMITTEE STAR YANINA TABACHNIKOVA had to say:   I cannot express how thankful I am for the diversity scholarship the NCDD granted me to attend the winter...