Do I actually need a lawyer?
Yes, in most cases. You either need a lawyer or one will be appointed by the State. You can proceed pro se, but it is not an advisable course. We will answer your questions without obligation and without charge so that you can make that decision. However, generally speaking, many cases involve difficult legal and factual issues which can best be sorted out by an attorney who is trained in handling criminal matters. Further, without an attorney, the Police and Prosecutor are able to continue to build a case without you having someone to defend your rights. This oftentimes has long-term, irreversible and damaging effects on an individual’s case, especially if the State goes forward with charging. In most cases, the client’s life is turned upside down and is not well enough to handle the rigors of police interrogation and the stresses that Prosecutors and Detectives create. By securing an attorney early, it is possible to prevent filing, reduce charges, divert allegations into an informal resolution, assist with surrender and/or avoid arrest. Let’s be clear, the State does not have any concern for your well-being and is not looking to protect your best interests. That is where we, as your Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer, can help make the difference.
Does your firm offer a free initial consultation?
Absolutely. We will be happy to discuss your case with you. There is never a charge for consultation. Call us at 206 355 5527, and an experienced attorney will be sure to get back with you within 24 hours.
How can you help me? What will your firm do?
If we accept your case, all of our professional resources will be directed to resolving the unique issues involved in your particular case and in obtaining the best possible outcome. Our firm is dedicated to servicing those have been accused by the State. It takes very little to accuse—it takes a great deal to defend. We are tough, aggressive legal counsel. If trial becomes necessary, rest-assured that you, as our client, will be well-prepared.
What do your services cost?
We have various payment methods available to retain our services. The first of which is an hourly rate. We decide this hourly rate on a case-by-case basis with due consideration given to the time and complexity involved, as well as the lawyer who will be handling the file. However, this can oftentimes be expensive and cost-prohibitive to a client. Therefore, other cases are operated under a flat fee agreement. We can discuss which would be the most effective approach given your case. It is important to note, if you are searching for the least expensive attorney, you should probably keep looking. Rather than seeking volume, we pride ourselves on doing good work and prefer giving a high-quality service to select clients.
What are your office hours?
Our regular office hours are Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. However, we recognize that often times people are in need of emergency assistance. An arrest can occur at anytime of day or night. In those situations, a person may need to meet with an attorney from our office after normal office hours. We recognize this fact and are more than amenable to coming to a prospective client’s home or place of business. When you contact us, we can discuss what time and place works best.
What are my chances?
This is one of the first things that our clients would like to know. However, even the most experienced criminal defense attorneys would never go about trying to answer this question until they have had an adequate opportunity to fully investigate. Obtaining the underlying facts adequate information from the discoverable case information provided by the Prosecutor is necessary to forming an educated opinion. We pride ourselves in the quality of the cases we take on as opposed to quantity. We do not sacrifice the value of our client’s case in favor of quick and easy settlements with the Prosecutor.
Is it possible to settle without having to go to trial?
Yes. The vast majority of our cases settle before trial. Quite often negotiations make it clear to a Prosecutor that if they proceed to trial, a jury of your peers could very well return a verdict in your favor, thereby wasting both time and money. However, we are not going to avoid a good fight. In fact, unlike many lawyers, we actually look forward to trial. In the end, whether we go to trial will be up to you.
If I have been investigated, what steps should I take to protect my legal rights?
The very first thing we suggest you do is to contact us for consultation. It is critical that you not do anything that might adversely affect or prejudice your rights. No statements, written or recorded, should be given to Police or Prosecution.
What should I do after I have been contacted by the Police?
You have a right to refuse to answer any questions. You may be required to identify yourself, but you cannot be required to make statements or answer questions. You should remember that whatever you say to the officer may (and probably will) be used if charges are filed against you at a later time. This is true even if you do not give a formal, signed “statement.” It is always better to decline to make any statements or answer a question until after you have consulted with a lawyer. If your case went to trial, the prosecutor and officer would not be allowed to even mention the fact that you were asked questions and did not answer. You have a right to speak with an attorney. The police must advise you that you have a right to speak with an attorney as soon as it is practical to do so after your arrest. If you request to speak with an attorney, the police may not ask you any questions about the incident until you have had an opportunity to speak with an attorney. People often believe if they are cooperative with the Police the whole problem will go away. You should not rely on a false friend wearing a badge that offers vague promises like: “If you cooperate, we will make sure and go easy on you.” “Just tell us your side”; or “We are just here to help you.” Deciding which rights to exercise, and when to exercise them, is a decision best made after speaking with an attorney.
When should I hire a lawyer?
If you are going to retain legal counsel, you should always do it sooner rather than later. Evidence can spoil or be lost. Oftentimes we find witnesses who are more than willing to help at first, then become uncooperative as time passes. It can also help to hire an attorney early in order to prevent the Prosecutor from ever filing charges. Consulting with an attorney during the early stages of the case can help secure evidence and protect certain rights.