When interviewing a criminal defense lawyer, here are the top ten common questions about my representation that I am often asked:
1.) How long have you practiced criminal law?
This question should not be overlooked. It’s a good way to determine that the lawyer has actually had significant experience as a criminal defense lawyer, instead of simply handling a few cases. ANSWER: I have been practicing law 23 plus years as of November 2019!
2.) How often do your cases go to trial?
Many criminal defense lawyers settle many of their cases via plea bargains instead of going to trial. If that’s the case with your potential attorney, then they likely don’t have a lot of experience at trial. Your case might be too complex for them to settle. If a trial seems imminent, be sure to find a lawyer who is both skilled and comfortable with trial work. ANSWER: On average between State and Federal Court I try at least 10 to 12 criminal cases to a judge or jury.
3.) Do you have a specialized area of law?
Criminal law covers a variety of cases. Some lawyers see the majority of their cases come from a specific legal issue, such as drugs, murder, DUI, or white-collar crimes. You should find out how many cases they have handled that are similar to yours. That way you can be satisfied that they know what they are doing. ANSWER: I tend to specialize, and am hired for more often then not, any type of conspiracy type case white collar or otherwise, drug (possession and delivery) and firearm)(possession and or assault related) cases.
4.) How much is this going to cost?
In criminal law, attorneys quote flat fees for their service. Occasionally, there is a range they can charge within, but most of the time the rates they charged are locked in at a flat figure. This question goes beyond just hourly rates, it gives you an idea of the other costs you could expect to see. ANSWER: The best answer is “it depends” on the facts of the case, a potential clients criminal past/record, where and what county the crime was allegedly committed, if the crime was allegedly committed while the potential client was on probation or parole or pretrial release and lastly whether the case is a state or federal misdemeanor or felony.
5.) Will you be the only one to work on my case?
You have to decide if you want an attorney who is solely devoted to your case, or if you’re willing to work with their team. The team option can actually save some money, since it usually means your lawyer will assign work to paralegals and associates who bill at lower rates. But if you’re worried vital info will slip through the cracks, you might want to find someone who can dedicate their time and attention to your matter. ANSWER: Yes! I am and will be lead counsel on your case from start to finish! From time to time, I may have another lawyer associated with the firm stand in for me if there is a schedule conflict (not for a trial or a motion hearing) but absent that, I will be the one standing by you and defending your interests.
6.) How would you handle my case?
This question allows you to see how a potential lawyer will approach your legal matter. You can also find out if the attorney thinks you should go to trial or settle without a trial. ANSWER: Depends on the case, however I early and often discuss tactics and strategy and the game plan going forward with my clients.
7.) How often will we communicate?
When you’re facing criminal charges and the reality of possible incarceration and large fines is hitting you, you need an attorney will be available for you when questions arise. When you’re wondering if a plea deal is possible in your case, you should be able to call your lawyer and ask. When you’re worried about keeping your job or ending up on the sex offender registry because of a potential conviction, you should be able to get a hold of your attorney with no problems. Think about how often you’d like to hear from your lawyer, and use that as a tool when speaking with people who will potentially represent you. ANSWER: I provide at minimum weekly updates via text, and certainly a telephone call to discuss all upcoming hearings.
8.) What will you need from me?
There might be some documents or other important information that you need to contribute to your case. A lawyer should be able to give you an idea of what they will need from you. ANSWER: All relevant evidence, paperwork that you have or received regarding the case, a list of witness and addresses and patience to answer all of the questions I will have of you to fully evaluate your case!
9.) How long do you think my case will take?
Again, it’s impossible to know an exact time frame, but a lawyer could quote a general estimate so you know what you’re potentially facing and can prepare accordingly. ANSWER: Typical criminal case can take from a month up to the year, depending on the charges and the circumstances of your case.
10.) Why should I choose you?
Sometimes the simplest questions uncover the most valuable information. A question as straightforward as “why you” could help you decide how knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated a lawyer will be to your case. ANSWER: My experience, courtroom savy and dominance; my favorable reputation and relationships statewide and lastly my reviews from former clients speak volumes as it relates to my track record and their satisfaction with my representation-and of course the answers provided in this article!
For more information be sure to visit my informational website at www.detroitcriminalattorney.com!