Whether you have received a North Carolina Traffic Ticket, aNorth Carolina DWI Charge or you have been charged with a North Carolina Misdemeanor or Felony chances are you have thought about retaining legal representation. As a Raleigh Criminal Attorney and Durham Criminal Attorney, my business is helping those facing any and all of these types of cases. I constantly field calls from potential clients looking to possibly retain my services in order to best represent their legal needs. I have a fairly good rate of being hired from those that I speak with, and I believe that has a lot to do with how I run my firm. However, in these conversations, I notice some trends about what these Defendants may have in mind as to what they want and what is realistic (not always the same thing) as well some basic concepts they have about the profession of legal representation. The following article will offer some ideas on what Defendants should think about BEFORE contacting an attorney, what they should understand about the business of law and some suggestions on qualities that should be looked for in ones legal representation.
The first thing I would recommend to anyone facing a North Carolina Criminal Case and/or North Carolina Traffic Case and who is preparing to start looking for an attorney is to STOP and THINK. Many times, Defendant's don't know what they want from their attorney and believe the right attorney will just be obvious once they speak/meet with them. Though that may occur, it would simply matters for you if you first think about what you are most looking for in an attorney. Things to consider are: price, availability, experience, confidence in potential results and customer service. For example, when I speak with a potential client who is price shopping, meaning they are looking for the attorney who will do the work for the lowest price, often times I am not retained. I do not offer the lowest prices because I offer a high level of customer service and that comes at a price. Routinely, those that offer the work at the lowest price can do so because they are operating in volume. Volume does not normally translate to availability and customer service. That's not to say these attorneys do not have wonderful support staff who may do their best to field your calls and answer your questions, but if you want an attorney who will speak with you about your case whenever you need to, chances are it's not the attorney doing it for the lowest price.
Other people may put an emphasis on experience, which can often times translate into better results, but not always. Though every attorney is mandated to vigorously fight for a clients rights, some attorneys are willing to put more effort into that then others. They do this because, often times the results are the same, but every once in a while, the extra effort will pay off.
I mention these because if you know what you are looking for an the attorney when you call, you can better tailor your questions once you speak with them (assuming they provide a free consultation). If you are looking for the cheapest attorney, then any thing an attorney tells you about how they are available to you 24/7 or what extra steps they do in the representation of you in your case will not matter if it isn't the cheapest price. I also mention this because often times I find those that are price shopping also want quality customer service and expect to find that one attorney who manages to do the work for cheap but will take your many calls while your case is proceeding through the court system. I'm not saying that attorney isn't out there, but he/she will be hard to find and you won't know for sure you have found them until they are hired and representing you in court.
My last point relates to the previous one: legal representation is a business. What I mean by this is, every law firm has found a balance that works for them between the work they put in and the price they charge. My practice would never survive if I put the amount of time into a speeding ticket as I do a DWI charge. For that reason, I charge different prices which represent the level of work I anticipate to undertake. Additionally, I offer a high level of customer service: my clients have direct access to my cell phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don't charge extra for additional calls or office visits because I know my clients would ultimately have a better experience with my law firm if they can have their concerns put to ease as needed. Due to the extra time I put into each case, I charge prices which are not the highest, but definitely not the lowest.
So, if you need North Carolina Criminal Defense representation, I recommend thinking about what is most important to you, and open any conversation with your potential attorney with inquiring about that particular 'want.'
Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.