1. What will happen when I appear in court?
At your initial court appearance you will asked whether you plead guilty or not guilty and whether you want a trial by a jury or a Judge. The formal discovery process then begins and your lawyer will meet with the prosecutor to get a copy of the police reports, witness statements, photographs, forensic reports, etc. Your lawyer can then begin investigation the case and building a defense for you.
2. How long will my case take?
Most misdemeanor cases will take three to five court appearances before a resolution can be reached. Felony cases often take much longer and require far more investigation. Felony cases can take a year or longer to resolve.
3. Is there a way to avoid a criminal conviction?
In many situations, especially for first time offenders, there are diversionary programs available which can result in a dismissal of all charges. Some of these programs are:
- Accelerated rehabilitation for crimes which are not of a serious nature
- Drug education program for cases involving possession of narcotics or drug paraphernalia
- Alcohol education program for cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Family violence education program for cases involving domestic violence
- Supervisory diversionary program for individuals suffering from a mental disease or illness
4. What should I bring with me when I meet with the lawyer?
If you were issued a summons or ticket by the police officer, bring that with you to meet with the lawyer. If you were taken into custody by the police and then released on bond you should have been given paperwork regarding your court appearance and you should bring that paperwork with you. If you were given a protective order, bring a copy of the order with you.
5. How much will it cost me to hire a lawyer?
Fees are based on whether the charges are misdemeanor or felony charges and the complexity of the case. The lawyer will make an estimation of the amount of time needed to fully investigate and resolve your case before setting a fee.
6. What is a retainer agreement?
A retainer agreement is the written agreement between you and the lawyer which sets out the amount of money the lawyer is charging for your case, when the money must be paid and what the lawyer agrees to do for you.
7. Is there a fee for an initial consultation?
There is no fee for an initial consultation with the lawyer. Consultations can take place in the lawyer's office or by telephone.
8. How do I make an appointment for a consultation with the lawyer
The best way is to call the office directly to set up a date and time that is most convenient for you.