Consultation vs. Evaluation
Free Case Consultation
Like all Criminal Defense Attorneys, we offer a free consultation. The consultation includes:
- Discussing the case with the defendant and/or as many members of the defendant's family as want to participate. We actually prefer that multiple family members, if available, participate so that the information can be discussed among yourselves after the consultation is over. However, if possible, we do want all participants on a conference call so there are no mis-communications. We can set up the conference call if necessary.
- We will give you our opinion of the strengths and weaknesses as well as the dangers and opportunities we identify in your case and share our initial strategy ideas. Note that strategies are NOT determined in consultations. That is impossible without a review of case materials. However, the exchange of ideas can be quite valuable.
- We will quote you a fee for our services. Fees are negotiable and payments are sometimes accepted with a substantial down payment.
- Contrary to what is portrayed on TV, all consultations with attorneys, whether paid or not, are covered by the attorney-client privilege.
You can get a free consultation by calling our office at any time or submitting a case Case Evaluation Form.
2nd Opinion/Case Evaluation
A case evaluation is an in-depth analysis of a case. If you already have an attorney and want a 2nd opinon or if you just want more information before making important decisions like accepting a plea offer, an evaluation may be a good option. The full evaluation includes:
- Obtaining and reading all available case materials including poice reports, expert and private investigator reports, fact statements by the defendant or others and transcripts of previous proceedings.
- Interviewing participants including, investigators, friendly witnesses, the Defendant and their family as well as the current attorney and prosecutor if, after discussion, it is decided that this is appropriate. We will, of course, respect any instructions regarding confidentiality.
- If the defendant is in custody, visiting them after an initial review of the case materials.
- Legal research on all issues that require it which may include, admissibility of evidence, suppression motions, dismissal motions, sentencing issues, etc.
- A written summary of our findings conclusions and recommendations as well as discussions about those finding as often or as long as is necessary.
The cost of a full case evaluation is determined primarily by the amount of material in the case. It is not based on the "difficulty" of the case. For example, an accusation of child molestation, though it is exceptionally serious and can result in a lifetime in custody is usually a one or two witness case and does generate a lot of reports. On the other hand, an embezzlement case, which is often referred to as a "paper case" can generate thousands of pages of evidence.