Depending on the seriousness of the crime you are charged with, the most it will ever cost you is your life. Being convicted of a crime can result in the loss of your very freedom. It can also cost your career, your house, family relationships, reputation, professional license, educational opportunities and affect your entire future. A good Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer can help you.
While unfortunately it would be improper for me to list quotes without knowing something about your case, I can tell you the cost of giving me a call to talk about your case…absolutely FREE, so take it advantage of it.
Most people don’t plan to be charged with a crime, and that is why I am committed to making quality legal representation as affordable as possible. I handle the majority of criminal cases on a flat fee. In other words you do not have to worry about being charged by the hour or for each-and-every phone call. We agree to a set amount for the representation in your case in most matters. This gives you the peace of mind that if your case becomes more complicated than anticipated, or drawn out for any reason, you are not going to be financially drained or left without representation. I accept a most forms of payment.
A free consultation does not mean free legal advice. I get calls from many people every day asking if I can tell them what they should do or if I can give advice to their lawyers. I appreciate that a person charged with a crime will likely be very nervous and will want to call a nationally ranked criminal trial lawyer like myself for advice. This being said, the purpose of a consultation is to make an assessment if you want to hire a lawyer. It is an opportunity for you to inquire about a lawyer’s experience, defense philosophy, trial record and knowledge. It is also an opportunity for the lawyer, assuming he or she is reputable, to assess whether they are the right criminal attorney to help the prospective client.
Should you go over all the facts with a lawyer during a free consultation? Probably not. Going over all the facts of your case with a lawyer during a free consultation is probably not in anyone’s best interest and it is probably not necessary. Once an attorney is retained, he will want to get a full history and recitation of all the relevant facts. For purposes of determining if the lawyer can help, knowing all the facts is more than what is necessary. It is also important to point out that the client is frequently not aware of all the “facts.” Although the client may know best what actually happened, other relevant factors are what allegations are made, what alleged statements are attributed to the client, what are the police or other law enforcement officers claiming (many times falsely), and much, much more. The facts don’t determine which lawyer is best, the best Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer can deal with the facts…no matter what they may be. The key in a consultation is to find the lawyer you feel would be best able to protect you and get you the best possible outcome (whether that is an amazing plea bargain or an extremely good sentence). No matter what the facts of your case are, the lawyer will have to deal with them. A great criminal attorney will get the best outcome possible whether the facts are great or terrible.
Many people who are charged with a felony or misdemeanor charge often want to find a lawyer who will not charge them unless they “win.” This is called a contingency fee. The Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct specifically prohibits entering into an arrangement for charging or collecting a contingency fee in a criminal matter. Essentially, when you hire a lawyer relative to a criminal charge, you are paying for that person’s time, experience and reputation and not the outcome. A lawyer who agrees to accept a “tip” or extra fee in exchange for a promise or guarantee of a particular outcome is willing to violate the ethical rules that govern their profession and should be avoided at all costs.
If you hear the words, “I promise you won’t do jail time…,” find someone else. Giving a promise or guarantee is unethical and probably illegal. It is fraud, plain and simple. No lawyer, regardless of experience or relationships with judges or prosecutors, can guarantee anything reliably. If giving a guarantee or a promise is unethical, who do so many criminal attorneys do it? Desperation and greed, plain and simple. When people tell me that another lawyer is promising no jail, no prison, no probation or some other result, I tell them to get the guarantee in writing from the criminal defense lawyer. What do you think happens? The lawyer refuses. If a result is a certainty, the lawyer should be willing to put it in writing. They won’t do it, they never do. Giving a promise in exchange for a legal fee is dishonest, unethical and deceptive.
Oakland County, Wayne County or Macomb County?
Many people who are charged with a crime anywhere in Michigan often times feel that they have to hire an Oakland County Criminal Attorney or one who is from Wayne or Macomb under the theory that the lawyers in the tri-county area are most experienced and considered the best in the State of Michigan. Considering the amount of felony and misdemeanor charges in those areas, the level of legal representation is understandably considered by many to be of a very high caliber. This being said, it is not necessarily the case that a lawyer in another part of the state may not be an excellent attorney. It may be best to speak to a local lawyer and a lawyer from Oakland County for example and then make the decision as to who would be best for the case. The attorney that is going to be able to attain the best possible resolution in a case is NOT a local lawyer but the best lawyer. A great attorney will be known throughout the state no matter where their office is located. The top criminal lawyers in Michigan routinely practice in courts throughout the state.
“So how much is a fair fee in a criminal case?”
The bottom line…