Happy Labor Day, or Not
Simple Advice When Searching for a Criminal Defense or DUI Lawyer
I woke up this morning, happy to not to have to shave, put on a suit and drive to court somewhere in Southern California. Although I know I will have to pay for the holiday somehow, I can enjoy today as any other day off: I get up later, I leisurely read the newspaper, sip my coffee and there it is, staring at me in black and white, another DUI checkpoint snares several unlucky drivers. I guess these folks didn’t read my last post about how to avoid a DUI over Labor Day.
For those of you who were the unlucky few to get caught or if you otherwise had the misfortune of losing your liberty this weekend, I have a prepared a few pieces of advice in your search to hire a lawyer. Please note that this list is by no means exclusive and is in no particular order.
- If the person you speak to on the phone is not a lawyer or is not THE lawyer who will be representing you in court there may be a problem. This is usually a sign that the law firm is a mill. They take in so many clients that the lawyer doesn’t even have time to talk to them himself.
- If you are not able to speak to the lawyer you seek to hire before meeting him, there may be a problem. If the lawyer doesn’t have time to talk to you before you pay him, he will not likely have time to talk to you after you pay him.
- If the lawyer you speak with on the phone does not want to meet with you in person, there may be a problem. See number two above.
- If the lawyer you speak with on the phone has offices in too many places, there may be a problem. This is normally a sign of a “bait and switch” firm where one lawyer advertises and lot and once hired, he sends his flunky to court for your case.
- If what the lawyer tells you on the phone or in person sounds too good to be true, there may be a problem. Remember what your parents always told you: If it sounds too good to be true it likely is.
- If what the lawyer tells you on the phone or in person scares you to death, there may be a problem. This is a common tactic to instill fear in order to get you to open your wallet.
- If the price the lawyer quotes you for your case is too cheap or too expensive, there might be a problem. This is just common sense.
- If the lawyer you talk to is not familiar with your particular problem (i.e. DUI) there might be a problem. Does the lawyer practice criminal defense and DUI defense every day? If not, find someone who does.
- If the lawyer you talk to is not familiar with the location where you will be going to court, there might be a problem. If not, be certain that the lawyer you are about to hire really knows his stuff. Finally and possibly most importantly;
- If the hairs on the back of your neck stand up; if the little voice inside your head is talking to you; or if you get a sick feeling in your stomach when you meet the lawyer you are thinking of hiring, there might be a problem.
If you or someone close to you has been arrested for DUI or any other criminal charge, call me for a free, confidential evaluation of your case. Or, if you have doubts about the lawyer you already hired, call me for a second opinion about how things are going with your current lawyer.
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (818) 783-5700 or (888) 764-4340 or Email Me.