When Should I Consult with an Attorney?
In the context of criminal law, the question is asked if I have not been charged with a crime should I consult with an attorney? You should consult an attorney whenever you are in over your head. Just like an auto mechanic, or doctor. Do you consult with a mechanic when your car is on the roadside dead, or do you contact one when your warning light comes on signaling that something is wrong? Do you wait until you are in the emergency room to get help from a doctor, or at the sign something is wrong with your body? Does the sense of urgency depend on if it is your eyes, brain, leg, or toe?
If you know you need your oil changed then you know exactly what to do. If you know you have a cold you probably do not go to the doctor unless it gets much worse. What if there are allegations against you that you have committed a crime, or are subject to a lawsuit. Do you wait until you have a court date to consult an attorney for legal help?
Many things can and should be done the minute you feel like you are in over your head. One is to gather information that might help you and your situation. Many attorney's have free phone consults. Many offer a half hour to hour of their time without commitments. How valuable is that fact, well if I could call a mechanic and he could maybe over the phone point me in the right direction, I could find out how much it might take me to fix my truck, or help me get a idea how much it might be for another to fix it. Maybe there are some things I could do to help my situation.
I have been retained by people whom feel that they might be charged with a crime. This allows them to say my attorney says not to speak with you without him being present. That stops all questions. It is also possible to help analyze the case tell the client how much it might cost, and things that can be done. As an attorney we can contact the Prosecutor's office and attempt to get the charges that do come out to be more favorable to you even before being charged. The prosecutor knows absolutely nothing about you, except what is in your police report, and criminal history. In case you are wondering they look at Juvenile cases also. These represent the worst times of your life. Based upon that they make a decision of what peg hole you fit into. It would be nice to give them some of the many good things you do in your life to help making the decision on what kind of person you are and what might be the ultimate charges in your case.
If you are a prosecutor and you have a marginal case, you can file it and see if they just plead guilty. Or if you have the same case and the defendant/party has already hired an experienced attorney to represent them and fight the case. This alone might be the deciding factor in them not taking action that they cannot ultimately win in trial. Depending on the charge you can easily spend 10's of thousands going to trial to prove your innocent or a couple of thousand not having that year long experience. Just like an oil change or engine rebuild, we offer both services.
As always for more information, or if you do have questions do not hesitate to call me today. 360-659-9210