Criminal Law FAQ
Some circumstances are more obvious than others. For example, when a law enforcement officer wants to speak to you about YOUR conduct, you need representation. What if, however, the approach by law enforcement is based upon someone else’s conduct? That is often a ruse to engage a person whom
law enforcement believes was involved with and/or aided the criminal conduct of others.
Like threatening weather, some storms take time to reach critical mass and law enforcement investigations are no different. A subpoena for documents and/or testimony from a law enforcement agency and/or prosecutorial authority may be either the first step or the last in an investigation leading to criminal charges.
I charge no consultation fee and if a simple conversation and/or phone call will allow me to advise you that my services are not required, it would be my pleasure to do so. In return, you will have had a pleasant, painless experience with an honest criminal defense attorney, something you will remember, well, the next time you are asked, Do you know a good criminal defense attorney?Except when in the courtroom, where talent and experience are essential components of successful representation, preparation and diligence is critical. Law enforcement gets the entire length of the statute of limitations (on average, five (5) years but, depending upon the nature of the alleged crime, sometimes shorter or longer) to prepare to prosecute you. Once charged, you will be required to respond immediately. When that “whirlwind” begins, the opportunity to think clearly has passed. It is best to have counsel as soon as you instinctively feel threatened and/or close friends advise you that you need an attorney. How do I find a good criminal defense attorney?First and foremost, you should look for someone with extensive experience. There are many criminal defense attorneys who have that. What other characteristics are important? Trials! How many trials have they had? Trials take time, stamina, and courage; presentation and persuasion skills are paramount. How good of a communicator is the lawyer? When you ask him/her questions, do you receive clear and direct responses? What about eye contact? Do you feel like you have the lawyers full attention and dedication? Remember: In criminal trials, a jury decides guilt or innocence and judges decide questions of law. If the lawyer cannot command YOUR attention, how do you think he/she is going to command the judge’s or jury’s attention? Finally, does the attorney have the time and dedication to vigorously represent you at trial or, in an effort to “turn” the case (much like a waiter in a busy restaurant who wants to make as many tips as possible), will the lawyer begin to persuade you to negotiate a guilty plea to bring the case to an end?Dedication to you and your welfare cannot be over emphasized. Aggressive as opposed to meek? Obviously, the former but “full speed ahead” should never be at the expense of the client (remember: the lawyer goes home at the end of the case; the client may not). Not all criminal cases are resolved by trials; most end with negotiated pleas. So how do you know which course is best for you? And here is where all the qualities the lawyer possesses come together under the heading of JUDGMENT. The lawyer should know which cases can be won at trial, which cases have the best odds of being “beat” and which cases are best resolved by negotiated plea. A good lawyer is not a magician and sometimes the prudent course is negotiation, which can often have wonderful results.Rarely discussed on a web site for fear of scaring off a potential client, the truth is, at least for my services: expensive. Of course, it depends upon the nature of the case, such as the charges, the size of the case (number of people charged, which increases the length of trial), whether in state or federal court, the relative consequences of an adverse conclusion (for example, a commercial airline pilot charged with DUI faces much more significant consequences than a self-employed business owner) and the location of the case (does it require long distance travel?). When you hire a criminal defense lawyer you are, most likely, in jeopardy of being a convicted felon and going to jail. That is not the time to look for a “deal”. What you want, what you NEED, is results. The pain of hiring a “cheap” criminal attorney may be life altering and remain long after the “savings” has been forgotten.Mr. Taylor serves clients in state and federal trial courts throughout the United States and Internationally.