Common mistakes people make in tough economic times.

Many of us don’t remember another time in recent history when the country’s economic outlook looked so bleak.   In the past year, many of us have had family members or friends lose their jobs.  Some of us know people who have lost their savings in the stock market or have lost their homes.

So it is no surprise that when we are confronted with a family member in legal trouble, most of us feel that hiring an attorney is now just a luxury and not a necessity.

Now more than ever, it is important to be wise in your search for an affordable and effective advocate for your family member.

The first mistake I see a lot of people making is saying that a criminal defense attorney is a luxury and they cannot afford one.  Well, I think for some cases, you cannot afford NOT to have one.

Some cases need extra attention, time and aggressiveness.  These cases need the advocacy of a criminal defense attorney that can devote the type of time and effort that only a privately hired attorney can provide.  As good as some public defenders may be, the truth is that they are severely overworked and do not have the time to devote to one single case.

In the past 4 months, I have received calls from clients that had decided against hiring an attorney for financial reasons.  Now, their case is well advanced in its stages and they are not happy with the way things are going.  They have come back to me and asked me to help “fix” the situation.   Unfortunately, its not as easy as it sounds.   Hiring a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible is important because the final result of my work is based on months, if not years, of hard work.  “plugging in” a criminal defense attorney at the late stages of a case is putting you and your loved one in  a tough situation.    It is not uncommon for some people in these economic times, to just wait and “see how things go in court” and then try to hire an attorney.   My advice to you is clear.  Any effective criminal attorney that earns his fee wants his hands on the case as soon as possible.   By the time you realize you need a privately retained attorney, it might be too late.

The other  obstacle that most families face in todays economic climate is wanting to spend the least amount on an attorney.  Some attorneys have noticed that this may be the case and have flooded the market with cut-rate, low quality service at a very low price.  If you are arrested, you will likely receive lots of  letters in th mail from unscrupulous attorneys that promise to charge them a fraction of the cost of a legitimate attorney.   Again, my advice is clear:  Run away. Fast!

Any criminal defense lawyer or DUI Attorney that is offering to do your DUI or criminal case for what seems like a ridiculously low fee, you have to wonder what services are you really getting.  The old saying of “you get what you pay for” rings true for finding a criminal defense lawyer.  If an attorney is charging you what seems to be a fraction of what others are charging, be aware of just how much time that attorney is looking to spend on your case.  On the other side of the coin, you don’t need to mortgage your house to finance the right attorney, you simply need to be a smart consumer in a tough economic climate. 

The last two pieces of advice that will likely save you some money and save you from jail are simple.  1) Choose an attorney that only handles criminal defense and not one that handles many areas of law.  2) Choose an attorney that is local to the court where your case is pending.  These two criteria will assure that you have an attorney that knows the highly specialized area of criminal defense AND that attorney knows the people and procedures in the court where your case is pending.

 Best Regards,

Anthony Arzili