While Cherella Law is a top Milwaukee Criminal Defense Attorney, I understand
people may need an attorney for other reasons. You might hire an attorney
when you purchase a home, draft a will or are injured in an automobile
accident. Should someone contact my office looking for an attorney to
help with a practice area that I normally do not work in, I am more than
happy to give him or her names of attorneys who practice in that particular
area of the law.
Having said the above, today’s blog post pertains to potential questions
that a client should ask a prospective attorney. Why ask questions at
all? Understand that working with an attorney, in any field, is a personal
process. The lawyer will generally have access to sensitive information.
Often enough, if an attorney is involved, the situation itself is fairly
high stakes. With that in mind, hiring the right
criminal defense attorney for you is critical to accomplishing your goals in defending against certain charges.
What do I mean by the right attorney? You want to hire the right criminal
defense attorney for you. Since the process is so personal and high-stakes,
find the attorney that is a good fit for you. Accordingly, here are some
questions you should and should not ask a prospective attorney to see
if he/she is the right attorney for your needs.
First of all, how much will it cost? Obviously, when you hire a criminal
defense attorney, you will want to know the cost. Most attorneys that
practice in this area will require an upfront payment to cover the cost
of the representation. This is normal in the industry. The attorney will
want to make certain that he/she is amply compensated in order to perform
the proper representation designated specifically for you.
Different types of cases will warrant varying fee schedules. For example,
if you hire an attorney to represent you on a
federal criminal defense matter, the fees will normally be much higher than that in a state criminal
defense matter. The reason is simply that the process normally takes more
time, and the government’s file is usually much larger in federal
court. Accordingly, the fees will tend to be greater in the federal arena.
Also, the nature of the charge may dictate the cost associated with the
defense. A simple misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge will normally
be less expensive than a felony distribution of marijuana charge. The
reason is simply that the process in misdemeanor court is less intensive
than in felony court. The criminal defense lawyer that you hire will know
this at the outset and will base his/her fee on the proposed amount of
time that may be required in your case. This is based largely upon experience
in the legal industry.
The second question is how long will this representation take? This is
a question for which the attorney may be able to give you a ballpark estimate
but most likely cannot give you a specific time frame. As a Milwaukee
criminal defense attorney, I have represented thousands of clients throughout
the years in both state and federal court. Depending on the forum and
judge, I can normally advise a client as to a rough estimate on the time
frame that will be involved in the representation. I am usually very good
at taking into consideration several factors that are to be considered
in answering this question.
What will I need to do as the client? The criminal defense attorney and
client work together to accomplish a specific goal. That goal is normally
determined at the outset of the representation. The lawyer takes the helm
with respect to courtroom strategy and guiding the client through the
process. It is imperative that the client listen to his/her attorney and
follow the attorney’s advice when requested to do certain things
and perform certain tasks. The criminal defense attorney can only fully
assist the client when the client follows through on the advice provided
by the lawyer. There must always be an open line of communication between
attorney and client for the relationship to function as one.
If you need legal help, please
contact Cherella law.