Practical Criminal Defense Law

September 13, 2013

The University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa
8:30 a.m.
6 MCLE Credit Hours, including 1 Ethics Hour

[ Seminar Brochure ]

Don’t miss this important program, which includes crucial information on changes in the State Sentencing Guidelines. Top criminal defense attorneys and experts will give you practical information on the hottest issues and latest changes that you need to know about. This program is designed for both novice and seasoned criminal defense lawyers.


If you are unable to attend this seminar in person, you also have the option of watching LIVE from your own computer! Live webcasting allows attorneys from all parts of the state to have access to quality speakers and programs without having to travel. Webcasts count as "live credits" just as if the viewer were in attendance at the seminar. Price for the webcast is $299 for early registration, and you will receive handout materials by download.

TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBCAST, just click “InReach Online Seminars” on the home page and then click “Live Webcast” and follow the on screen instructions.

Instruction on how to purchase a "Live Webcast"

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TO REGISTER FOR THE LIVE ON SITE SEMINAR, please select the registration option below. 

To pay by check, you may download and print the mail in registration form Mail your form and check to CLE Alabama, Box 870384, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0384.

To pay by credit card, select the option below:

$350 LIVE ON SITE SEMINAR - registration within five days of the seminar Registration
If you register more than 24 hours in advance you will receive a link for downloading and printing the written materials to bring with you.

8:00 Registration and Continental Breakfast Buffet

Presider: Joel L. Sogol, Attorney at Law, Tuscaloosa

8:30 Changes in State Sentencing Guidelines

As of October 1st, select drug and property offenses will be subject to presumptive, rather than voluntary, sentencing. This presentation will cover the information you need to know, including new drug crimes added to the guidelines, the corresponding amended drug sentence length table, presumptive sentencing in general, aggravating and mitigating factors, and procedures required to depart from presumptive guidelines.

Rosa H. Davis, Office of the Attorney General, Montgomery

Bennet Wright, Alabama Sentencing Commission, Montgomery

10:00 Refreshment Break

10:10 Controlled Substance DUIs

Defending your clients requires a thorough grounding in the science behind a controlled substance DUI charge. This topic will provide the most recent information and updates, including what level of drug is under the influence, and how it is determined.

Curt E. Harper, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Birmingham

10:55 Search and Seizure: Issues Involving Vehicles

Because many criminal cases are based off of traffic stops, it is important to understand the law and procedure related to all facets of these incidents. Topics to be discussed include seizures, when a person is seized, and the different types of seizures; what a search is and the exceptions that typically apply to an automobile; standing, the exclusionary rule, and the exceptions to the exclusionary rule.

Jeffery (Beau) A. Brown Jr., Alabama Office of Prosecution Services, Montgomery

11:55 Lunch on Your Own

12:55 Collateral Consequences of a Guilty Plea

Once an individual enters a guilty plea to a criminal offense, that individual is subject to a wide range of sanctions, penalties, and disqualifications seemingly having little or nothing to do with the crime they committed. These sanctions may include access to government benefits and housing benefits, employment and license restrictions, and loss of civil rights including the rights to vote and to possess firearms. Non-citizens may, in certain circumstances, be subject to removal or deportation. As the practice of all areas of law trends toward specialization, lawyers representing persons charged with crimes must be aware of the real-world consequences of criminal convictions. To provide effective assistance of counsel, they must know and advise their clients not only of the direct consequences of convictions, but also of the wide-ranging collateral sanctions and penalties which their clients may face.

Joseph P. Van Heest, Office of the Public Defender, Tuscaloosa

1:55 Refreshment Break

2:05 It’s a Small World After All: Representing Children Charged In Adult Court

Representing a child presents unique problems for a criminal defense lawyer. A child is not a short adult! In a series of cases, the Supreme Court has reviewed and accepted adolescent brain development scientific studies and determined that laws apply differently to children. It is not enough to know the case results. Lawyers need to know the science that underlies the holdings.

Gary L. Blume, Blume & Blume PC, Northport

2:50 Ethics for the 21st Century Public Defender: Ethical, Professional, and Client-Centered Representation

As we reflect on this 50th Anniversary of the right to counsel, a recurring theme is that America’s criminal justice system is broken. Not only have the rights of poor people accused of crimes taken a beating but so too has the image of those who defend them. In this session we will consider what role we can play in redefining the image of the defense lawyer, and examine how we can use the rules of professional responsibility to reestablish ourselves as the protectors of our nation’s highest ideals.

Jonathan Rapping, Gideon's Promise, Atlanta, Georgia

3:50 Adjourn