What can I expect from a free consultation with a lawyer?
A free consultation is an opportunity for you to speak with an attorney and decide if they are the best person to defend you. If you face criminal allegations, you will want the best lawyer you can get to protect and defend you.
Free Consultation with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Many lawyers offer a free consultation while a potential client considers which criminal defense lawyer they’re considering. Potential clients often wonder, “What is a free consultation?” The free consultation allows the client to meet the attorney and evaluate the attorney as a potential representative. The meeting also provides the lawyer with a chance to determine if they can meaningfully provide the help the client needs.
Best Criminal Defense Lawyer Qualities
A free consultation is important from the client’s perspective because this is the one opportunity to meet a lawyer and judge whether they can provide the legal help needed. The client wants to use the interview to ensure that a lawyer is the best choice to achieve an extraordinary outcome. What do you want to gain from a free consultation? Key considerations are:
- Experience – does the lawyer have experience handling similar cases? You would only want to hire someone with experience handling similar criminal matters.
- Specialization – does the lawyer only practice criminal defense, or do they practice various areas of the law? You would only want to hire a lawyer whose practice is limited exclusively to criminal defense.
- Reputation – does the lawyer have a good reputation established within the community and the court system? Reputations can be evaluated with an online search or by looking at a lawyer’s ratings with national ranking websites like Avvo, Martindale Hubbell, or SuperLawyers. Google is often a good source for reviews as well.
- Professional – is the lawyer an established lawyer with adequate resources to handle your case? Make a point to see an attorney’s office and speak to their staff. A successful lawyer will have a professional work environment and adequate resources to defend your case.
- Legal Team – is the lawyer a solo practitioner, or is there a team of lawyers who will collaborate to defend you? The idea of collaboration is critical to a successful legal defense. Different lawyers have different experiences, thoughts, strategies, and connections. A good law firm will have many lawyers who cooperate and defend clients as a team.
What to expect from a Free Consultation?
The primary things you want to see in a free consultation are honest, intelligent, and genuine answers to your questions. You should be able to ask anything on your mind, and you should expect a fair, honest, and thoughtful response. If a lawyer is impatient, contentious, arrogant, or self-absorbed at the time of the consultation, things will only go downhill from there. The attorney should look you in your eyes, treat you with respect and compassion, be knowledgeable, demonstrate unambiguous confidence in their work, and help you feel comfortable that you are making the right choice. What you should expect from a free consultation is a level of confidence you are sitting with someone who will ensure your rights are protected and get the best result possible.
What should you NOT expect from a Free Consultation?
Any lawyer that gives you a guarantee, promise, or percentage chance of winning is being dishonest with you, and such representations are unethical. A lawyer willing to make specific representations regarding the probability of an outcome or making guarantees is acting unethically to get your money. Avoid this type of attorney at all costs.
You should also not expect free legal advice, free strategy, or free answers to specific legal questions. Free consultation does not mean free legal work. The purpose of the free consultation is to evaluate the attorney as a potential legal representative. Does the attorney have the qualities you are looking for in a criminal defense lawyer? What is a free consultation? It is an opportunity for you to make sure you are hiring a lawyer you trust to protect and defend you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are free consultations really free?
If a lawyer offers a free consultation, they should meet with you, generally discuss your situation, and discuss legal fees without charging you anything. If you want to review the intricate details of your case or get legal advice, most lawyers will charge a consultation fee. It should raise a red flag if you visit with a lawyer who advertises “free consultations” and then charges you.
What is free initial consultation?
So, when a lawyer provides a free consultation, they will sit down with you, listen to your situation, and give you some early ideas on it without charging you a fee or putting you under any obligation. This meeting allows you to “interview” the lawyer while also allowing the lawyer to interview you.
Why do I have to pay for a consultation?
If the consultation is “free,” you will not have to pay anything. If a lawyer offers a free time-limited consultation, like 30 minutes, you might be charged if the meeting takes longer. If you attempt to get specific advice regarding your situation, the attorney might decide those services are not included. Some attorneys do not offer free consultations. If the lawyer has a consultation fee, you will have to decide if it is worth that amount to meet and interview the attorney.
What to say to hire a lawyer?
There is no magic set of words to hire a lawyer. If you have a free consultation and decide to hire the attorney, just let them know. If you are confused about the terms and conditions of the lawyer’s services or fees, do not be shy and ask about anything unclear.
What does a free consultation include?
A free consultation includes a telephone, video, or in-person meeting with a lawyer who will want to get an overview of your situation. The lawyer should answer all of your questions regarding their fees and strategies for handling cases similar to yours. Finally, you should be able to ask the attorney general questions about their practice and experience. The lawyer might ask you various questions, and it is essential to be open and honest. Remember, the attorney/client privilege applies to a free consultation.
What is the purpose of a legal consultation?
The purpose of a legal consultation is to help you determine if a lawyer is a good fit for you and your case and to determine if their legal fees are within your budget. From the lawyer’s perspective, the consultation helps them determine if they can help you or if it would be best to seek representation from someone else.
What is a consultation fee?
Some lawyers do not offer free consultations. If the attorney charges a fee to meet with them to discuss your case and give you some initial instructions, they charge a consultation fee.
Does the attorney/client privilege attach at a free consultation?
The attorney/client privilege does attach at the free consultation. Anything you say to a lawyer during the consultation is strictly confidential.
How should I prepare for a free consultation?
It is best to collect all documents that relate to your situation and bring them to the free consultation. In a criminal context, you would want to bring any of the following if available: driver’s license, complaint, indictment, search warrant, ticket, affidavit in support of search warrant, notice to appear, court documents, pleadings, anything from the police department, tabulations, etc.
Your Best Defense Starts Here – Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one is accused of committing a felony or misdemeanor in Michigan, you need an experienced, successful, and aggressive criminal defense lawyer. The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has an unparalleled track record of successfully defending clients in state and federal court. If you call us for a free consultation, we will take the time to talk with you, answer all of your questions, and address each of your concerns. Together, we will find a way to build a winning defense.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.