Be careful. I can’t stress this enough. So many people hire the wrong lawyer to start their case and then at the 11th hour, they decide to change lawyers … to improve their position … to get the right person involved. While you can always change lawyers, be mindful that you should treat your case seriously from the start by hiring the right lawyer from the start.
Hire the right lawyer from the start.
This is easier than you think. Many people understandably panic when arrested or charged with a crime. Fear, stress, anxiety and other feelings overwhelm and the need to hire a lawyer immediately overwhelms. This is normal. However, few good decisions are made while in a state of panic.
Rather than panic and make a emotional decision, take a night or two to let things marinate. While this may be difficult, this waiting or cooling off period will prove invaluable. It will give you time to get recommendations, research lawyers, research online and ask around. By doing that, you can avoid being misled into hiring the lawyer that your workout partner recommended to you. In a panic, your gym partner’s recommendation seems valuable and reliable but with research you’ll learn that maybe he or she is a friend, classmate or relative of the gym partner. Maybe you’ll learn that the lawyer did a small case, e.g., traffic ticket, for the gym partner. Neither being a relative or having handled a traffic ticket warrants being hired on a major or serious case.
The waiting period also allows you an opportunity to assess what court you’re in, where the case is located, who the prosecutor may be and what the consequences are for you. Some lawyers are simply better in some jurisdictions than in others. A lawyer that only handles juvenile matters may not be qualified to handle a case in Oakland County Circuit Court.
The waiting period also permits you to avoid hiring or being represented by your “family lawyer.” I’m not sure what a family lawyer is but based on my experience, its someone that does business or corporate work for your mother or father and has agreed to handle the matter for you. A family connection may give the lawyer familiarity with you and your family but not necessarily with the practice area, serious criminal defense. Don’t let a “family lawyer” take over your case because your parents said you should have this person … its your life, take responsibility over who defends you.
Last, money. The waiting period will allow you to gather money and funds to hire the right lawyer. Many people want to be economical when hiring a criminal defense lawyer. You wouldn’t be economical with a surgeon so why be with someone that will have your life in their hands legally. Save your money. Please. You’ll need it and the successor lawyer, when you ultimately get around to replacing the first lawyer with someone like me/us, you won’t receive a credit towards the successor lawyer’s fees for the money wasted on the first.
Moreover, there are valuable issues that must be addressed early on. Preliminary examinations, discovery and report gathering and evidence preservation are just a few of the few of the things that must be done immediately. With judges becoming infrequently more insensitive towards scheduling of cases, you should be aware that you need to use every day you have to your advantage.
Hire the best lawyer you can. No one ever said, “my lawyer was too good for my kind of case.”
For more information contact Neil Rockind at Rockind Law at 248.208.3800.