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Hiring a Lawyer to Handle Your Criminal Case, Felony or Criminal Appeal

Updated on January 19, 2011

The Most Difficult Moments in Your Life

By Andrew J Thompson

I've talked to people moments after they've been served with a warrant, been arrested, received a charging order served by the local sheriff, and even immediately after they've been released from jail.

In all of those situations, I hear a sense of overwhelming and intense anxiety, something I'm sure only occurs a very few times in anyone's life. I hear the story directly, from girlfriend's, moms, dads, siblings - it doesn't change much.

The whole family often gets involved. The point quickly centers around what can be done to make the best of a very bad situation.

The first point to deal with are the charges themselves. If the charges are a felony, there are special considerations and, fortunately, there are additional Constitutional protections for your rights.

You also need to quickly assess your position in relation to the charges. What is the likelihood you can succeed in beating the charges if you fight them?  What is the best plea arrangement the prosecution is likely to offer?  Obviously, you also need to know the costs involved in defending yourself. 

Making the Right Decisions

The decisions you make about hiring a criminal attorney, may affect your life for a long time to come. It's fairly likely that the attorney will settle the case in a matter of a few moments at the bench with the Prosecutor. Either that, or pressing through to a jury trial.  It is true, that many cases are settled in between these events.  But more often than not, they are settled at a first pre-trial conference between the prosecutor and your own attorney. 

This is why many attorneys charge flat fee rates for criminal defense work.  Or conversely, you might say, flat fees are why many attorneys settle at the first meeting with the prosecution.  The fact that you could and might get a better offer from the prosecution if you wait and push further toward trial, is a good reason to look at hiring counsel that will bill hourly against a retainer rather than charge you a flat fee.

Of course, you have to consider that option in light of your own financial circumstances.  If all you can afford is one flat fee of so much money, you may have to accept the offer from the prosecutor or alternatively, look into using the public defender to handle your case.  If there's a way you can find the resoruces to fund your own defense, it can be well worth your while to do so.

The bottom line is that, in hiring an attorney to meet your needs, you need to choose wisely.  Consider the experience of the attorney, the billing rates and method, and all of the other issues that will make a difference to you in getting teh best representation you can.

For a free initial consultation regarding your own legal defense, please contact the Thompson Law Office at (317) 564-4976 or toll free - (877) 365-1776 today!


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    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      Sorry but this was more like an ad than a hub.