Below are the answers* to some of my most commonly asked questions about criminal defense. If you have a question you don’t see answered here, please feel free to contact me by phone at 214-356-9800 or email at email@example.com.
How do I choose the right criminal defense attorney?
Start by looking for lawyers who limit their practice to criminal cases. Referrals are a great way to find an attorney, because you know that person has done a good job for someone else. Although time is of the essence when hiring an attorney, don't hesitate to meet with more than one lawyer to make sure you hire the person who's right for you. When you first meet a prospective attorney, ask about fees upfront and make sure they put their fee agreements in writing. After spending time with the attorney, ask yourself if this is someone you want working for you. Do they seem to be genuinely concerned about your criminal case? Do they have the experience necessary to do the best job for you? You are placing a great deal of faith in the person you hire, and you need to know that they will work their hardest for you.
Should I expect to pay for an initial consultation?
No. A successful trial attorney does not earn a living charging consultation fees. I offer all prospective clients a free consultation. This provides me an opportunity to learn some basic facts about your criminal case and make a preliminary assessment. It also provides you an opportunity to learn more about me so that you can determine whether I might be the right attorney for you.
What are your fees?
My fees vary based on the nature and complexity of each case. This is why it's so important to meet with each client in person and learn more about their case before discussing fees. In most cases, I start out with a retainer fee that covers all the investigation and negotiation necessary to reach a resolution my client is happy with. If you choose to take your case to trial, I charge an additional fee. This is fee is included in our written retainer agreement when you hire me.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes. Many of my clients are on payment plans. I work with each client to establish a manageable payment schedule. For a better idea of how my fees work, look at a Sample Agreement Regarding Legal Services [link].
Will I get to participate in how you handle my case?
Of course! Unfortunately, many clients come to me unhappy with their current attorney because they feel left out of their own cases. Although you hire an attorney to use his expertise on your behalf, the case is ultimately yours. You have the right to be updated on the progress of your case at all times. You also have the right to ask questions and be advised on any issue that comes up in your case. And you have the absolute right to decide whether or not to accept a plea offer, whether to have a trial by judge or jury, and whether or not to testify in that trial. I respect your rights and work hard to get you an outcome that you are comfortable with.
*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for consultation with a criminal defense attorney. If you have a legal problem, seek the advice of qualified legal counsel.