What Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Ask Me in a Consultation?
By Dan Noll on October 7th, 2015 in
If you’re being investigated or you believe that criminal charges are going to come, one of the questions you have to ask yourself is, what can I expect from a consultation with the attorney? Whenever you’re talking about a consultation, we do, the Noll Office does, consultations and initial consultation at absolutely no expense to the client. The reason we do that is severalfold.
Number 1, people got to understand who you are. We want to invite people in. Let’s chat. Let’s figure out what’s going on and see if we can help you. We may not be able to. We may be too expensive. It may be a situation that’s not in … It might be admiralty law or something that we’ve never done before, and we would decline representation. When a person comes into the office, we deal with them. Let’s talk about contact information. We have a form. Fill it out. Name, rank, serial number, telephone number, those kinds of things. Then we know how to get a hold of the individual.
The next thing, we then will ask, “Why are you here? What’s got you concerned?” Maybe it’s an investigation going on or something prospective that the person wants to make sure does not become a problem. That’s a legitimate issue. Then one of the questions we ask, “What’s your sense of where things are? Have you been charged? Do you expect to be charged, or are they just inquiries from authorities right now and you want to have some idea how to handle that?”
Then, and this is really, really important, one of the things initially that we need to do is to ask, are there certain witnesses or exhibits that need to be, if you will, frozen. When I say that, for instance, you have 911 calls. 911’s great. It’s really helped us out in a ton of cases, getting people acquitted. 911 calls are made. They’re recorded. They identify the time, the action, and so forth, but they’re erased after 30 days in most jurisdictions. We need to get … Our office needs to get out there, get a subpoena, and get copies of those. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve won cases because we had information or critical evidence that we preserved, and so that’s really very important.
Finally, the last thing I’m going to ask you about, “What’s your criminal history?” If you’ve got 17 convictions, realistically, I got an uphill battle. If you’ve been working with Mother Teresa in the Sisters of the Poor, that’s a whole different thing. Those are the kinds of things that you can expect to hear questions from me as an attorney. Who are you, what’s involved, where it’s involved, when it’s involved, what are your thoughts, and then ultimately, the last question we ask, what are your expectations? What do you believe is a proper disposition of this matter? The expectations really give the attorney some sense of the type of individual they’re dealing with and the type of issues they’re dealing with.