We receive a volume of calls at our office every week regarding people interested in retaining our services after being charged with a crime. So often, people feel that time is on their side. They get arrested and when they bond out they notice that they either don’t have a court date for another 3 months or they are told that they will receive notice in the mail. So often, people sit back and push these looming issues to the back burner because, “Its months away, I will deal with it later.” At least once a week people ask, when should I hire a lawyer? My response to that question is, as you are walking out of the jail you should be making calls. There are 4 very important reasons why you should hire counsel immediately and in this blog post, we will explain the benefits of hiring a lawyer in the early stages of your case.
First, a majority of defense attorneys have been in private practice their entire career. At Carter ♦ Pilgrim, we come with past experiences in prosecution. That experience gives us a tremendous amount of insight into “what the other side is thinking.” Every case is different and the reality is, from the outset, most prosecutors have confidence in their officer’s, confidence in their cases, and preconceived notions about you. They have seen a report/video and that is all they need to see. Along with that, you are no different than everyone else you will be sitting with in court.
By hiring a firm like ours, we will have you working proactively to set you apart from the 100’s if not 1000’s of people being shuffled across the prosecutor’s desk on a weekly and monthly basis. The things that we have you working on are strategically tailored to each individual case and formulated using the wealth of experience we gained during our number of years as prosecutors. Our goal is to position you and your case to garner discretion and avoid a trial if possible. By rule, if we could convince ourselves to reduce or dismiss your case, we can convince our adversary to do the same.
Second, there are many types of charges that could continue to expose you to law enforcement questioning and investigation. It is imperative to have counsel on your team during these times to advise you as to what level of participation (if at all) is appropriate. Issues with your bond could arise, problems with a victim in your case could present, or the State may seek additional charges due to a continued investigation. These are all things that having an attorney from the outset could help you navigate and possibly avoid.
Third, it takes time to get discovery (evidence). Calling an attorney a day or week before you go to court does not give us any opportunity to prepare for your case. We need to have a discussion with you to determine your side of the story, we need to obtain all reports and supplementals so we know what the state plans to present, and we need adequate time to review and absorb this information to formulate a plan and defense. We are good at what we do; however, we are not clairvoyant and cannot work miracles. Much of the time, pressure has to be put on the government to comply with our requests. This takes time and time is one thing we will not have if you wait to hire a lawyer. Judges are quick to not accommodate us with requests for continuance when our client has had months to retain counsel.
Finally, in many cases, there are deadlines and timing requirements to file documents and requests to protect your rights. We don’t know if those deadlines exist in your case unless you call us and we investigate it for ourselves. Don’t assume nothing has to be done for months. Many of these things cannot be fixed if a deadline is missed…so do not hesitate to pick up a phone if you have been arrested.
Again, on a case by case basis, I could probably point out even more reasons why it would be prudent to get counsel on board immediately; however, the above four stated reasons are consistent with nearly every case. If you have been arrested and charged with any type of crime, do yourself and your attorney a favor, make the call now and don’t wait. The longer you put it off because you “just don’t want to deal with it right now” the harder times will be for you and your future counsel.
Call us at (770) 945-2320 for a free case evaluation 24/7. Our phones are forwarded after hours. If we don’t answer, leave a message and you will receive a call back promptly.