8.16.2012

What You Need to Know about Attorney Consultations

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Being arrested or charged with a crime is one of the most stressful and fearful things one can experience.  Ignoring it will not make things better or go away.  It is important to immediately seek out an experienced attorney to help guide you through this ordeal and fight for you all the way.

The first thing you need to do is consult with an attorney.  Not all attorneys are the same and you may need to consult with several attorneys before you decide who will represent you.

A consultation with an attorney is very important and helps you understand your case and the law.  A qualified attorney should have no problem discussing the facts of your case, the law, and possible defenses during your consultation regardless if you decide to hire that attorney.

When you go to consult with an attorney there are several things that you need to discuss.

The Facts

Start from the very beginning.  An attorney needs to know what happened leading up to the arrest.  Your defense starts before the actual arrest.  Law enforcement needs reasonable suspicion to stop you and probable cause to arrest you.  You should go through all the events leading up to your arrest.  Where you were, what were you doing, who was with you, when did this occur, and why did this occur all sounds very basic, but can be critical to your defense.

Contact with law enforcement needs to be discussed thoroughly with the attorney.  Still, who, what, when, where, and why needs to be discussed.  What officers were involved, what they said to you, what did they make you do and what did you do and say are just some of the basic, but critical facts that need to be discussed with the attorney.  Typically, once law enforcement stops you, they are trying to gather probable cause to arrest you and their investigation of possible crimes has started.

An experienced attorney will help guide you through your case.  It may be helpful for you to write down everything you remember as soon as possible to refresh your memory if needed.

The Law

An attorney should be able to explain the charges you are facing or may be possibly facing depending on the facts of your case.  Even though statutes are suppose to provide notice to citizens as to what is illegal, it can be very confusing for people to understand.

During your consultation, the attorney should explain the law and any questions you may have.

Possible Defenses

An attorney should discuss possible defenses there are depending on the facts of your case and the nature of the crime.  Some common things that should be discussed are defenses raised by motions and possible trial strategies.  You should feel that the attorney has a grasp about your case and the law.

The Process

The legal system can be very complicated and time consuming.  An attorney should explain the process from beginning to end with you.  You should feel that you know what to expect going forward.

Possible Outcomes

There are various possible outcomes to your case.  An attorney should explain these possible outcomes and the consequences.

Fees

Attorneys charge various fees and for good reasons, but make sure you know what you are paying for.  Your attorney will need to make numerous appearances for you; make sure that you know what you will be paying for and how much.  Remember the rule of thumb: that a good lawyer is not cheap, and a cheap lawyer is not good.

The Decision

Many Attorneys will do free consultations so take advantage of these, but make sure you discuss your case and feel informed.  Trust your gut.  It is completely acceptable to visit more than one attorney and an attorney should understand this.  You are about to enter into an attorney-client relationship.  So take your time, weigh your options and make a decision you feel comfortable with since you and your attorney will have a close working relationship.

Contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata to set up a free consultation.

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