My passion for Criminal Defense began when I was a freshman in college. My freshman year I lived in the dorms where all the students rooms were customarily left unlocked. Near the end of my first semester there, I noticed that $300 was missing from my wallet, which had been left lying in my unlocked dorm room. I informed the dorm manager that my money had been stolen. The dorm manager encouraged me to report the stolen money to the campus police. I was reluctant to do so since I was quite confident I would never see the money again. However, I followed the advice of the dorm manager and reported the money stolen.
Law enforcement came to my dorm to question all possible witnesses, including myself. Half way through their investigation, they asked me to “come down to the station for some further questioning.” Being the naive freshman that I was, I happily cooperated. Upon arriving at the police station, the questioning quickly transformed from an open ended investigation, to a full on interrogation, with me as the prime suspect. I was in shock! The police were now accusing me of falsely reporting stolen money. They were confident that the money had not been stolen, and that I was covering something up. They told me that they were trained to detect when someone was lying to them, and that I exhibited all the behaviors of someone who was being deceitful. They attempted to play the good cop, bad cop routine. They told me that all I had to do was come clean, and that only then could they “help me.” I was literally speechless, I couldn’t find the words to defend myself from their onslaught of accusations.
My world had been turned upside down. I had been raised to believe that law enforcement were there to help and protect us. I had believed that they had the best judgement. As a child I looked to the police as the heroes of the community. Now my character, and my reputation were being viciously attacked by these so called heroes, who clearly had no clue what was going on. Fortunately, for my sake, they gave up on their wild goose chase. Unfortunately, for countless others, they don’t always give up on their wild goose chases.
On that day, I quickly learned important lessons. I learned that the police are not always professional, nor are they always careful. They make mistakes often, and many have bad judgment. I learned that no one is safe from falling prey to false accusations. I learned how quickly a situation can get completely out of your control, and go in directions you never imagined. Today I look back and laugh at the absurdity of it all, but rest assured I was not laughing that day.
I remember on that day wishing that there was someone who could speak in my defense. I needed a real hero to save me from these so-called heroes. I remember resolving that no one should have to be put in such an impossible situation when they are completely innocent of any wrong doing. As I progressed through my education I realized that I could be a powerful tool in defending others from false accusations and trumped up charges.
I now have extensive experience in representing the accused, and significant experience in gaining victories for my clients. Prior to starting my own law firm I handled the criminal cases for a prominent Idaho Senator’s private law firm. Before entering private practice I had experience working for the Ada County Public Defender’s Office, and the Gem County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
More times than not defendants are either falsely accused, or at the very least, overcharged in Ada County. I am committed to defending my clients against false accusations and trumped up charges. I will use every tool at my disposal to make sure you are adequately defended from the over zealous county prosecutors. I am dedicated to putting the presumption of innocence back in the system.
I was born and raised in Yugoslavia and have been living in the United States since 1993. I graduated with bachelors in Political
Science from Boise State University and then moved on to graduate with his Juris Doctrate from the University of Idaho. I have practiced law in Idaho and Georgia in state and federal courts. I have an extensive experience in magistrate and district courts through Idaho’s third and fourth districts representing people in criminal and civil matters.
My belief is that protecting the individual rights of the accused against the overbearing powers of the government is the highest and the most sacred duty of a criminal defense attorney. I have had a first hand experience of having my rights taken away and that has made me keenly aware of the need to safeguard the individual liberties. Growing up in war torn Yugoslavia I was painfully made aware of the dangers that a government can present to its own people unless it is checked by the people. These dangers are especially real to me, as I had to flee my home country as a refugee to escape them.
As explained by James Madison, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” The problem lies in that government and police are made up of men and not angels. Although often well intentioned, police and government officials are just as often mistaken and sometimes downright corrupt. It is the job a criminal defense attorney to police the police and protect the rights of the people, so that the innocent never have to flee from the corruption of their own government.
I speak Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian. Those from that area of the world know that they are all the same language. I have represented many clients from this area of the world, and they always appreciate the fact that they can speak to me about things as complex as the criminal justice system in their own language.