Credit Preserving Strategies Overlooked By Most Family Law Attorney At Time Of Divorce

Things To Do Before You Divorce

TALK TO A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL WHO MAY BE ABLE TO HELP YOU SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE.

Even if you don’t think there’s hope for the marriage, “divorce counseling” can help you discover what went wrong, how to cope, and how to pick up the pieces and go on. Don’t wait for your spouse to participate. If you don’t know how to find a qualified counselor, our firm will be glad to recommend.

TALK TO AN ATTORNEY BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING.

Even if you don’t end up hiring an attorney to handle your separation or divorce, you would be well advised to get as much information as you can before you even discuss divorce with your spouse

DO NOT MOVE OUT OF THE MARITAL HOME WITHOUT TALKING TO AN ATTORNEY FIRST.

Leaving the house without a good reason may cause you to pay alimony or may result in your inability to collect alimony once the divorce is finalized. If you leave the house, you may also be unable to return until after a court divides the property according to standard divorce laws

IF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN ANY EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIRS, TALK TO A LAWYER BEFORE YOU DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR SPOUSE OR ANYONE ELSE.

In this case, honesty may not be the best policy. In addition to the fact that adultery is illegal in the state

Although an alimony claimant is not required to prove the other spouse is at fault in order to be entitled to postseparation support or alimony, the alimony statute addresses the concept of marital fault and permits a judge to consider evidence of fault in fixing the amount of alimony to be awarded, if any.

Fathers’ Rights: With a Good Strategy and an Even Better Lawyer, Dads Are Getting More Time with Their Kids.

a single father of 6-year-old twin boys, decided to pursue full custody of his sons, he knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey. He assumed, and often heard, that most family law judges

favor the mother in custody disputes. Although he was concerned the odds were stacked against him, he felt gaining custody of his sons was in their best interest. “Everyone’s situation is a little different, but for me personally, it involved the boys’ wellbeing,” he says. “I was concerned about their care when I was at work. I need to take action.”

primary custodian of the boys, but he and the boys’ mother still shared joint physical custody. However, she wanted to be named primary custodian which would place her in charge of decisions concerning the boys, including where they lived, as she preferred her home state

Family Law to represent him in the custody trial. It was a good decision. “When things come to a head during a separation, people can act irrationally and do things that hinder their case,”

“I remained calm and steady throughout the whole thing under the guidance of my attorneys. They helped me understand what I could and couldn’t use as far as evidence that could either help or damage my case. His team explored every avenue and put in extraordinary effort to present my case. Walking into the courtroom, I was confident that I did my best for my sons. The jury awarded me full custody.”

Marketing for Family Lawyers

Here’s how you can grow your family law firm with Internet marketing

Whether you’re a solo divorce attorney or a multi-location family law firm, winning new clients grows your business.

But it’s a highly competitive area and it’s hard to stand out. It’s made harder if you follow general law firm strategies that fail to get the right messages in front of the right people. Potential leads looking for a divorce attorney require a different marketing approach to those looking for an employment lawyer.

This guide is designed to stop you from falling into the trap of being too general with your marketing strategy. It will help you get specific and market directly to your potential family law customers. It will also help you get more and better leads – and more conversions.

Jumping in and attempting to market your practice without doing your homework first will prove expensive and ineffective. The “spray and pray” approach should be dead. All good marketing is highly targeted.

The Demographics

First, you need to establish exactly who your ideal customers are. Think about these five demographic elements:

Gender

Age

Location

Profession

Salary

How to Avoid Getting Overbilled by Your Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Clients are “Low-Hanging Fruit” for Family Court Attorneys

Family law is perhaps the one area of legal practice where the clients are the most susceptible to get over-billed by their lawyer. The reasons why clients are so vulnerable to getting ripped off by a divorce attorney is because divorce cases can be highly emotional for the client. Clients are typically angry, scared, or depressed and oftentimes not thinking at their rational best. Therefore, to a divorce lawyer, clients can be low-hanging fruit who are ripe for the picking. When divorce lawyers play on their clients’ emotions by urging them to fight unnecessarily, then client pays a high price for that game.

A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:

(1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;

(2) the likelihood that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;(3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

(4) the amount involved and the results obtained;

(5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;

(6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;

(7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and

(8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

Although there may be nothing inherently unethical about a divorce lawyer charging his or her normal hourly rate to perform menial tasks, this type of billing may mean one of two things:

Lack of Efficiency – Your divorce lawyer isn’t efficient and isn’t making proper use of his or her staff such as secretaries or paralegals who cost much less per hour than the lawyer.

No Staff Support – Some lawyers, especially recent law school graduates, practice law without staff support or a paralegal. Although there’s nothing unethical or wrong about an attorney who does everything on their own, this type of billing can significantly increase the costs of your divorce.

Guesstimating Time – When lawyers bill, they’re required to keep contemporaneous records of their time. In other words, lawyers must record their time immediately, if not soon after, the time is spent. When lawyers don’t stay on top of their timekeeping and, instead, rely on their memory to later record time, they may record too little or too much time.

Some indications that your divorce lawyer may be guesstimating his or her time include:

Erratic Billing Practices – If your lawyer doesn’t send you bills on a regular schedule (such as the 1st of the month) but instead sends you bills at odd intervals, then your lawyer may not be keeping accurate records of his or her time.

Untimely Billing Entries – If your lawyer sends a bill each month, then you should expect to see all of your charges for that billing time period. However, if your lawyer is billing you for the month of March yet you see time for January too, then your lawyer may not be keeping accurate records.

TIL DIVORCE DO US PART

There are so many different reasons why you may consider using a therapist in your family law case. A lot of couples going through a divorce have their own personal therapists, which can be a very healthy way to deal with the difficult personal situation they are going through. Some parents need a therapist to assist them in effectively communicating and co-parenting. Many, if not most, minor children have counselors to talk to about their parent’s separation and other issues related to a family law case they are involved in. Finally, sometimes when parents are estranged from their minor children it is required that they attend something called “reunification therapy” to try and rebuild the relationship between the estranged parent and the child.

Things to be Avoid if Using a Therapist in Your Family Law Case

All of these therapists are extremely useful, particularly when you have someone knowledgeable about the family law process. However, in my experience as a family law attorney, there are certain things to be aware of when using a therapist and being involved in a family law case.

Therapists Testifying in Court

First, your therapist probably does not want to testify, nor are they typically a very convincing witness on your behalf. A lot of therapists develop a relationship with their clients which is personal and private, in order for the therapy to be truly effective. They also often have a bias in favor of their client due to said relationship. It is the same as having your sister or brother or mother testify in your favor – a Judge will think “well, of course, they will sing your praises, they are your mother” and not a neutral party. Therapists can sometimes fall in the same category.

Don’t Delegate Decision-Making Authority

Another pitfall with utilizing a therapist in a divorce case has nothing to do with testimony nor disclosure. Instead, it has to do with letting a therapist or mental health treating professional “drive the bus” in the case. This is most likely to occur in a reunification therapy type of scenario.

For example, putting into an Allocation Judgment that the parties will take the recommendations of a therapist for purposes of increasing parenting time. The problem with doing this is that a lot of therapists are a bit conservative about pushing the children too far too soon in reunification therapy and they will err on the side of caution.

When To Consult A Dog Bite Lawyer

Dogs bite about 4.5 million Americans each year

Dogs are often referred to as “Man’s Best Friend,” unfortunately dogs are animals, animals are unpredictable, and animals often bite causing potentially devastating injuries. In reality, domestic dogs bite about 4.5 million Americans each year, half of which are children between the ages of 5 and 9. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in five (20%) of these dog bites lead to an injury requiring medical attention. Although strays or other strange dogs can be the culprits, most attacks are caused by a familiar dog, such as a friend’s pet or even the family dog.

What compensation can dog bite victims recover?

If you have been bitten by a dog, you are entitled to recover fair and adequate compensation for losses and damages. These might include a broad range of damages suffered by the victim. The two main areas of harm are economic damages and non-economic damages

Most homeowners insurance policies in Washington cover dog bites

Policies usually have “medical payments” coverage to help pay for medical bills incurred as a result of a dog bite until the case is resolved. Medical payment is no-fault coverage. In addition, most homeowner’s liability policies will pay the general damages for pain and suffering caused by a dog as well. By talking with an experienced attorney, you will benefit by having a full evaluation of all possible insurance coverages and liable parties may be for your claim. So, it is very important to discuss all your options with a dog bite attorney as soon as possible.

Tips to prevent dog bites

There are many collisions and natural disasters that can’t be prevented, but there are many things for which you can take precautions, even dog bites. Below are some things you can do that will give you a very good chance of preventing an incident where you may be attacked or injured by a dog.

Seek legal assistance today

We would all hope that everyone would take responsibility for his or her own actions, or the actions of his or her pets. No one wants to start a legal battle with his neighbor, but we would all hope our neighbors, friends or family members would do the right thing if their dogs caused trauma to another person. Unfortunately, not everyone makes the right choice.

Choosing a Dog Bite Attorney

Read Our FREE Dog Bite Guide

When seeking out an attorney if you’re bitten by a dog, it’s important to feel comfortable with the attorney that you’re speaking with. It’s important to trust the attorney that you’re speaking with, and it’s most important to find an experienced attorney who has proven results. You want someone who has a vast experience in this area of law. I think it’s important to have someone who specializes in personal injury law and who has experience in the realm of dog bites. They should be able to show you their abilities, based on their history, experience, prior awards, settlements, and judgments. You will benefit from someone who’s going to work hard, someone you trust, and someone who really knows that they’re doing. This is all done by hiring an experienced attorney.

Dog Bite

A dog can be a wonderful addition to a family. As a nation of dog-lovers, our pets bring us joy, unconditional love and years of companionship. Unfortunately, some of them also bite. Those bites can sometimes be quite serious, resulting in major injuries. In fact, about 1 in every 60 people in the U.S. suffers a dog bite annually. Approximately 1 million dog bite victims seek medical attention and 30,000 must endure some type of reconstruction surgery. Children are the most common victim.

Dog Bite Injuries

Severity of dog bite injuries depends on many factors, including type of breed, size of the victim, duration of the attack and how quickly the victim received medical attention.

The Massachusetts Department of Health reports head/face/neck injuries stemming from dog bites is most common among young children. In fact, 73 percent of children under 4 who sustain dog bite injuries will suffer injury to these regions, as will nearly half of all children between the ages of 5 and 14. Upon receiving medical care, these victims should be specifically examined for facial fractures and nerve damage.

All dog bite victims should first seek immediate medical attention, even if the wound doesn’t initially seem severe. At the very least, doctors will want to prescribe antibiotics to ensure a serious infection does not develop.

Bites should also be reported to the local animal control office. Although frequently serious dog bites are inflicted by a family pet or one beloved by a neighbor, family member or close friend, many times, damages for dog bite injury lawsuits are paid by homeowners’ insurance claims. Our legal team can work as amicably as possible to file these claims, so as to secure your compensation, but also preserve your relationships.

Dog Bite Attorneys

represents dog bite victims because irresponsible dog owners continue to let their pets run wild, where they can attack and bite people — usually young children — for being in the same location or on the same property. ​Dog bites often require serious medical attention, such as suturing, infection suppression, and even plastic surgery. When you or a loved one’s rights, health, and financial recovery are on the line, you can rely on our Sacramento dog bite lawyer.

Sometimes, specific breeds such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers have histories of attacks and must be treated with additional caution. But almost any kind of dog, under certain situations, may bite or attack. Owners who are careless in these situations may be held accountable for their negligence and the actions of their animals.

We usually seek compensation through homeowners insurance. Most standard policies include coverage for this kind of incident. As with all our cases, we look for maximum compensation for the type of injury at hand.

Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

Despite being man’s best friend, many dogs are owned by irresponsible people who do not properly restrain their animals or do not have a concern for the safety of others. As a result, many dogs run wild or are badly trained, leading to serious dog bite attacks.

follows a “one bite” rule which means a dog owner is not held liable for injuries their dog inflicts unless they knew or should have known that their dog was potentially dangerous, such as if they have bitten another in the past or if they have a history of aggressive behavior. An injury victim must prove negligence on behalf of the owner, or that the owner did not take care to prevent the injury.

When you or someone you love was hurt as a result of a dog bite injury, it is important that you act quickly, as the statute of limitations on cases of this nature is two years. Take photos of the bites at the initial stage and as they develop in addition to seeking medical attention and ensuring that your doctor keep track of your injuries in your medical report

Get Compensation For Many Types Of Injuries Using A Personal Injury Lawyer

How to Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney for Your Case

Getting fair compensation for your injuries can depend on having a good attorney. Here’s what you need to know to hire the right attorney for your case.

Choosing a personal injury attorney can be a challenge. There are so many out there. Some attorneys have their names and faces plastered on billboards, while others don’t even advertise. Some have offices in high-rise buildings, while others work out of small offices

Some attorneys limit their practices to catastrophic injuries from medical malpractice and wrongful death. Others concentrate on asbestos and related toxic poisoning cases. Many have expertise in car accidents, slip and falls, and workers’ compensation.

Find an Attorney You Can Trust

You must have total confidence in your attorney. You don’t want to be second guessing them throughout your case. Using your existing network is a great way to find someone who’s trustworthy and accountable.

There’s nothing wrong with reading an attorney’s advertisements, social media, or website.  The firm’s website is a great way to find out what types of cases the attorney handles, and where they practice. Some attorney sites even describe the injury compensation they’ve recovered for select clients.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Most people don’t think too much about personal injury attorneys until they are in an accident. People get injured all the time in all kinds of ways, and in most cases those accidents are due to someone else’s negligence. Sometimes the resulting injuries are severe, and the recovery long. Injured people may miss work or become unable to work in the same field because of those injuries.

If you have been in an accident, seriously consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney rather than trying to sort things out on your own. Personal injury attorneys have experience negotiating fair settlements with insurance companies and those at fault. Personal injury attorneys are also able to pull from experts and evidence to provide a more accurate estimate of the actual damages you suffered, in terms of injuries, treatments, therapy, lost wages, lost quality of life, etc.

If you have never met with a personal injury attorney before, you may wonder how you can find a good one, how exactly they help you, and what you should ask them. So here are some suggestions for choosing a personal injury lawyer. How Do I Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer?

It can be difficult to tell whether someone is a good personal injury lawyer. But there are some guidelines you can follow to help you find a good one. First, make sure you look for a lawyer who practices in the state where you live or the state where you were injured.

Second, look for lawyers who handle your kind of case. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, look for a personal injury lawyer who handles car crash cases. You can usually find this information on their website. Third, once you have a working list, check and see if there have been any disciplinary actions filed against the lawyer you are thinking of contacting.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

How do you Decide what Lawyer is Right for you?

This is a guide about how to choose a personal injury lawyer. Hiring a lawyer is one of the most important decisions you can make on behalf of you and your family. For some people, hiring a lawyer may be a whimsical decision, based purely on advertisements. For others, the choice of who to hire is based on the attorney’s experience, skill, reputation, and expertise in handling personal injury cases.

What if I Don’t Want a Trial? How Can I Still get Full-Value for my Personal Injury Claim?

Sure, everyone hopes their case will settle without a fight. But think about it. Wouldn’t you agree that having a seasoned, Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer is the best way to increase the risk to an insurance company and, accordingly, having them offer a fair settlement to you? You need to hire the lawyer the insurance companies hope you don’t hire

Hire a lawyer the insurance company is afraid. Lawyers that scare the insurance companies care more about their clients and will successfully take them to trial. Insurance companies pay fair value to the clients of aggressive, talented trial lawyers.

Also, just because you hire a trial lawyer does not mean a suit will be filed. It doesn’t mean you will necessarily end up in trail either. But by hiring a trial lawyer, you improve the chances of your case settling sooner and for a higher value. Since insurance companies don’t want to take any risk, they don’t want to make a lowball offer and face having a lawsuit filed against them.

Before you hire an attorney, make sure the attorney is experienced in the type of law you need help with. It’s important to know how to choose a personal injury lawyer for your specific type of claim. Make sure the lawyer devotes most of their practice to that area of law.

Choosing a Good Personal Injury Lawyer

You’ve decided to hire a lawyer to handle your personal injury claim. It’s a smart move, but there’s more work to be done to ensure that your case ends up in the right hands.

In any kind of personal injury case, having the right lawyer on your side can make a big difference in terms of money and time, which makes choosing the right personal injury lawyer an important step. But where do you start your search, and how do you know what to look for when it comes to the attorney-client relationship in a personal injury case?

Starting Your Search

Most lawyers who specialize in personal injury cases tend to represent a particular side of these kinds of cases—either the plaintiff (the person who was injured) or the defendant (the person, business, or other entity who is alleged to have caused the plaintiff’s injury)—not both. If you’ve been injured, you want to hire what’s called a “plaintiff’s lawyer.”

Personal recommendations and word of mouth are probably the best place to start when you’re looking for a lawyer. If someone you know had a good outcome with their personal injury claim, ask to be put in touch with that person’s lawyer.

Consider any special needs you have and some key practicalities. For example, could you benefit from an attorney who speaks a language other than English? Is the lawyer’s office close to public transportation? Unless there are special circumstances, you’ll want to hire a lawyer with a local office, or in the location where your accident occurred.

How To Find The Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Whether you want to hire a lawyer to handle all aspects of your personal injury claim, or you just want professional guidance on settling your personal injury case yourself (or preparing it for small claims court or arbitration) you don’t want to hire just any lawyer. You want an experienced personal injury lawyer. And you want one with whom you are comfortable.

Finding an Experienced Lawyer

The practice of law has become highly specialized, and many lawyers know less about personal injury law than you will after some reading through this site. So, your first task is to find a lawyer who has experience representing claimants (known as “plaintiffs”) in personal injury cases. You do not want to be represented by someone who has primarily been a lawyer for insurance companies, even if they’re experienced. Such a lawyer may be too accustomed to taking the insurance company’s side and might not fight hard enough for your claim.

There are several ways to find experienced plaintiff’s personal injury lawyers. The best way to proceed is to comparison-shop. Get the names of several lawyers and meet with each of them to discuss your claim before you decide to hire any one of them

Friends and Acquaintances

Contact friends or coworkers who have been represented by a lawyer in their own personal injury claims. If the friend or coworker says good things about the experience, put that lawyer on your list of people with whom to have an initial consultation. But do not make any decision about a lawyer solely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Different people will have different responses to a lawyer’s style and personality. Also, at any particular time a lawyer may have more or less energy or interest to devote to a new case. So do not make up your mind about hiring someone until you have met with the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you are comfortable entering a working relationship.

Lawyers You Already Know

You may already know a lawyer, either personally or because the lawyer has represented you before in some legal matter. And that lawyer may be very good at the job. So, when you consider hiring a lawyer to work on your personal injury claim, it may seem obvious to hire this person you already know

Non Profit Criminal Defense Attorney

How To Pick A Good Criminal Defense Attorney

Don’t automatically eschew the public defender. Generally, public defenders are among the best trained and most savvy attorneys you can get. They know the lay of the land, have probably tried more cases than most private attorneys, and generally are driven by mission, not money. That means they care. If you don’t make enough money to hire your own attorney and can get assigned a good public defender, don’t mortgage the house.  Better to use your money for bail then to pay for a high-priced attorney who may not do as well as the court-appointed one.  If you’re in a state or federal jurisdiction where the judge doesn’t inquire into your finances and pretty much assigns everyone public counsel, consider yourself lucky.

If you choose to hire a private attorney, how do you find a good one? Start with word-of-mouth.  Any friends who are lawyers know other lawyers in other fields.  They may be able to refer you to someone good, or at least refer you to someone knowledgeable who can then refer you to someone with the skills to do your case. (We’re all on listservs with access to info about good attorneys pretty much anywhere.)

Look on the internet, though this method is scattershot at best. Sometimes the attorneys who pop up first may not be the best. They could merely be the ones who invested the most money in Google ads or search optimization.  Yes, this shows they have good business acumen, but not necessarily good trial chops. That said, because we are now in 2019, the best attorneys should have a decent web site that includes accomplishments, client reviews, important cases, and easy-access contact information. I’d look for how long this attorney has been practicing criminal law.  How many trials have they handled?  Did they come from a prosecutor or public defender background? (You make the choice who would be more suited for your case.) You can always then cross reference with a general Google search of the person’s name to see if he or she has handled any high-profile cases or has popped up in the news.

The amount of money a person charges doesn’t always correlate with excellence. I call this the “Hampton” syndrome.  A cousin of mine who works in the pool business in Southampton tells me if he doesn’t charge exorbitantly for his services, people won’t think he’s good.  So, the same job he’d do in Coney Island for 10K, he’d charge 50K for in the Hamptons. When I first opened my own firm after a stint at the public defender’s office, I didn’t know how much to charge clients.  A senior lawyer advised, “Find out what the person does for a living, figure out the highest amount he can pay, and that’s what you charge.”  I was the same exact lawyer I was when I was a public defender, but it’s funny how much my reputation improved when I started charging money.

Beware of web services like Avvo that claim to rate lawyers. Their rating model is uneven at best.  Some of it makes sense.  They ask lawyers to solicit reviews from their clients and claim to have a system that ensures the reviews aren’t fake. However, their 1-to-10-star rating is based, in part, on what the attorney is willing to pay.  For example, all lawyers get solicitations from organizations selling accolades like “Best Of” awards.  Mail comes in from, let’s say, Lawyers of Distinction.  The letter states, “You’ve been chosen to be named among the 100 BEST Lawyers of the Year.”  The price, $350.   Avvo will award you an extra star if you pay for such an endorsement.  My theory is that Avvo gets kickback from such companies.  (I’ve heard similar stories from doctors regarding their “Best Of” lists.)

Tips To Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer

Confident but No Guarantees

Find a criminal lawyer who is confident that they will build the strongest case possible. An air of confidence is a helpful trait in a lawyer. Be skeptical of any lawyer who guarantees you a specific result.

Check References

Find a good criminal lawyer and you will find a reputation to match. Ask friends and associates for recommendations. Ask for references and talk to previous clients.

Check the Team

Preparing a case for the court is not a one-person job. Even a very good defense lawyer needs a team behind them. Check to see whether there are an administrative team, paralegals, and other criminal lawyers in Greensboro NC backing up your lawyer.

How to Select a Criminal Defense Attorney

Figure out if you need a defense attorney.

If you are facing a criminal charge, no matter how minor, you should seek legal advice. Even if you decide not to hire an attorney to represent you in court, a consultation can help you to understand the charges against you. Your attorney should explain the defenses available to you, any possibilities for a plea bargain, and what your next steps would be if you were convicted.

Research the role of a defense attorney.

Criminal defense attorneys are the attorneys that represent people charged with criminal conduct or have had a lawsuit filed against them. Most attorneys specialize in either criminal or civil law. Civil cases are typically brought by an individual or company, while criminal charges are brought by local, state, or federal government.

Decide what type of defense attorney you need.

You will need to determine if you need a state or federal attorney. If you have broken a state law, hire an attorney that specializes in state law. State law cases include traffic violations, broken contracts, robberies, and family disputes, among others. Federal cases include, but are not limited to, cases involving violation of the US Constitution, cases in which the United States is a party, bankruptcy cases, copyright cases, and patent cases.

Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney

Who’ll be handling your case.

When you hire an attorney who’s a solo practitioner, you can be fairly certain about who will be working on your case. But if you hire a law firm with multiple attorneys, you’ll probably want to ask who will be responsible for your case and coming to court with you. Clients are sometimes dissatisfied when they think they’re hiring one lawyer—the lawyer they speak to when hiring the firm—but another attorney from the firm ends up being in charge of the case.

Fees.

To avoid disputes in the future, it’s important to know ahead of time how much you’ll be paying for your case. Typically, attorneys either charge an hourly or flat rate. An attorney who charges an hourly rate bills for the actual time spent working on the case. With flat-rate fees—which are perhaps more common in criminal cases—you just pay a set amount for your case. For example, a lawyer might charge $2,500 to handle a DUI case, regardless of how many hours of work it takes. But you should always ask what the flat fee covers. Sometimes attorneys do a pretrial flat fee but there’s an additional fee if the case goes to trial. It’s also a good plan to ask about whether the attorney anticipates any other costs such as expert witnesses or investigations.

Local knowledge.

Also, ask about whether the attorney is familiar with the court you’ll be going to. An attorney who regularly practices in a certain area is more likely to know the prosecutors and judges and their tendencies. For example, an attorney might know that a particular judge is especially harsh with DUI offenders and to therefore avoid that judge’s courtroom when defending against drunk-driving charges.

Tips for Choosing the BEST Criminal Lawyer

Is the fee comparable?

An experienced attorney will probably cost more than a lawyer fresh out of law school, but if your lawyer’s fee is much higher or lower than other similarly qualified candidates, you should ask why.

You need a lawyer you can understand.

Lawyers might use specialized terms in court or when preparing legal documents, but when they are talking to you they should speak clearly using terms you will understand.

Will they take time to explain your options?

Decisions relating to your case can’t be made on a whim.Find a lawyer that will explain your options from plea bargains to sentencing. Every decision you make carries lasting consequences and you need information to make an informed choice.

Find a lawyer with courtroom experience; just in case.

Heading to court is expensive, but sometimes is the best option for your case. You need a lawyer that isn’t afraid to go to court and represent you.