Pre Charge Processes
What happens when I am charged with a crime?
What should I wear to court?
How Long Do Criminal Cases Take To Resolve?
Do I have to go to trial?
Hiring A Criminal Lawyer
If I am innocent should I get a lawyer?
What happens at an initial consultation?
At the initial consultation the attorney will generally ask you to give him or her a brief description of what you need help with. At this point, the attorney is not looking for the whole story, but a brief summary. He or she will then ask you a series of targeted questions in order to determine: The nature of your legal issue;
• Your legal options;
• Whether the attorney can assist you;
• Your prospects of success; and
• The amount of work that will be required to achieve your goals, and the cost associated with such work. At this point, the attorney will try not to go into more detail than is necessary for him or her to make these judgments. More detailed fact gathering will occur after the initial consultation if you decide to hire the attorney.
Once the attorney has an understanding of your case, he or she will typically let you know what your legal options are, your prospects of success in achieving your goals, and how much he or she expects this to cost.
The attorney will generally tell you the next steps in your case and tell you how much he or she will require as a retainer if you would like to move forward. A retainer is basically a down payment for the attorney’s work. It is kept in a trust account and remains your money and refundable until the attorney earns it.
The initial consultation is a great time to ask the attorney any questions that you have, including questions about his or her experience with cases like yours. Attorneys will usually not answer specific legal questions until you have retained them, but they may answer general legal questions for the purpose of assisting you with the decision about whether to move forward with your matter.
Should I hire a lawyer from the same place as where the court appearance is?
The advantage to hiring a local lawyer is that the lawyer has a greater familiarity with the day-to-day idiosyncrasies of that area, and will also have a greater familiarity with the other attorneys and Court clerks working in the area.