Initial Consultation With a Criminal Defense Attorney or a Public Defender
If you are in a position to hire a criminal defense attorney then you will likely want to interview a few attorneys before hiring one. Most attorneys will offer you a free initial consultation. This is a time to discuss the attorney’s strategies, expertise and fees as well as the facts of your case. In order to make the most of your free consultation, it is essential that you share as much information as possible with the attorney so that you both have a realistic picture of your defense. The consultation is also a time for you to determine whether or not you are comfortable with the attorney and whether or not you trust the attorney to represent you in a criminal matter.
The initial consultation is often free because it is to the benefit of the attorney to evaluate the case before entering an attorney client relationship. If at some point during the consultation, the client decides to hire the attorney and an attorney client relationship is formed then the attorney may decide to charge the client for that portion of the meeting that took place after the attorney client relationship was formed. As with all legal fees, it is important for the client to understand exactly what the attorney will and will not be charging for and the amount of those fees.
If you are arrested then you should have been provided your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest. Those rights include the right to have an attorney appointed to you if you cannot afford to hire one. The criteria that are used to determine whether or not you can afford to hire a private attorney vary from state to state. If you think that you cannot afford an attorney then you simply request that the police provide you with a public defender and fill out a financial questionnaire.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
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