When facing any type of legal proceeding that requires the services of an attorney, it’s important that you find the right attorney for you. Not every case requires a slick, shark-like attorney with 50+ years of experience. At the same time, not every attorney is going to handle your case exactly the same way. It would be to your benefit to find out more about your choices and choose an attorney who is most appropriately matched to your needs.
There are few important questions that you can ask your attorney, or one that you are considering, that will help you to know if they are what you’re looking for.
1. How much?
Working with an attorney is a fairly intimate process, one where he or she will learn quite bit about you, your private life, your financial situation and your family relationships. Money will change hands and typically, the outcome of the case is high stakes or you wouldn’t be looking for an attorney in the first place. With this in mind, it’s absolutely acceptable to ask an attorney for at least an estimate of the cost of representation.
There may be a few exceptions that would make it more difficult for a lawyer to give you an accurate estimate. These exceptions include what type of charges are involved, whether or not you are honest and truthful about your case and how much investigation will be required. For example, felony cases will usually take more time than misdemeanors. But for the for most part, you as a potential client should have at least an idea of the costs involved before your attorney goes to work for you.
2. How long?
There’s really no way to expect an exact answer to this question, but having a general idea is what is important. Knowing an approximate timeframe for your case will help you know how to move forward and what to expect. In most cases, an attorney should be able to give you an idea based on cases like yours that they’ve handled in the past. If the attorney you’re considering can’t give you an estimated timeframe for your cases, this might give you an indication of their experience handling this type of case.
Again, there are uncontrollable factors that may come up such as delays by the court or any other party involved. You should be able to establish a good working relationship with your attorney and his or her office staff to keep you updated on any unforeseen delays.
3. What will I need to do?
It’s important to realize that working with an attorney through your case requires client involvement from the beginning. The sooner you are able to grasp that concept, the smoother your case will go. Because you need to be working together with your attorney to accomplish your goal, it’s important to know what’s expected of you.
Your attorney may ask for your help with any kind of task, no matter how big or small, both in and out of court. This might include contacting a phone company to get records of calls to seeking out additional testing and assessments. And in some cases, it could be that you’re asked to not do something, or avoid certain people and places.
The more information you can gather from your attorney regarding cost, length of time and what’s expected from you, the better working relationship you will build. This will not only help to ensure that you’re on the same page as your attorney, but will also help you be able to plan your life accordingly. If your attorney can’t provide even an estimate of the answers to these questions, you may want to consider someone else.
At the Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys, we take great pride in working closely with our clients to help them see the results they want and get their lives back to the way they were before their case. From the initial consultation to court dates, Mesa criminal attorney Charlie Naegle is dedicated and passionate about helping his clients.