No one is prepared to get arrested. No one is financially prepared to hire a lawyer. Legal fees can be very expensive. It is your life and your freedom at stake. You need someone to “get you out, keep you out, and make the case go away.”
Choosing the right criminal defense attorney could be the most important decision you ever make. You need to take into account several areas of concern including:
The attorney’s past results are very important.
Overall cost, including up front fees.
Creative representation: Is the attorney able to think outside the box?
Alternative negotiations: Can you settle out of court?
Personalized attention: Who is really representing you?
What experience does he or she have?
Look for an attorney that starts by treating every person differently, as each case has special needs and unique situations. Each person also has their own financial ability. Why pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to go to trial, when your case may be settled to your satisfaction for far less? If you are not happy with the settlement, only then should you proceed to trial.
The attorney should research, investigate and review every case personally. Your attorney should evaluate your case and defend it in every possible way. However, keep in mind that you want them to first attempt to settle your case with the most creative alternatives possible to reach a settlement you approve and a settlement you can live with.
A resolution or settlement is the result of what is commonly known as “plea bargaining.” People enter into a plea bargain for many reasons. It is not always because they are guilty. Often times a person wants the case to simply “go away” as quickly as possible and as painlessly as possible. Other times, a person is accused of a lot of charges and enters into a settlement so that more serious charges are dropped in exchange for accepting responsibility for significantly lesser charges.
Most people want their case settled and most cases can be settled. Don’t pay an attorney huge fees to prepare for trial when you can settle your case in a manner acceptable to you – for a price you can afford.
Their rates should be reasonable and comparable to other attorneys. I would also not suggest bargain hunting when looking for the right attorney. A great attorney will know their worth and will charge accordingly. You should only pay a flat fee to attempt to settle your case.
If your case cannot be settled or you are not satisfied with the proposed settlement, you can decide whether to proceed to trial. In most cases a flat fee is charged. This means you will not be charged on an hourly basis. You will also know the exact fee for each portion of your criminal case. If your case requires legal services beyond the initial settlement fee, then you should be quoted additional fees for those services up-front.