An intake happens when a potential client calls seeking representation. The intake coordinator will take both personal information as well as information related to your case and discuss the process of setting up a consultation. They can also answer questions about the law firm and services provided. If what you are looking for is not one of our practice areas, the intake coordinator can also provide you with resources and contact information for another lawyer or firm.
Do you charge for consultations?
Yes. The attorney is working during your consultation by reviewing your case and creating your defense plan, so it is considering a working hour that is billed for.
What should I expect during a consultation?
At JLongtin Law, a consultation is a paid working hour with one of our attorneys. During the hour, they will gather detailed information about your case, review materials you bring with you, and formulate a plan for presenting your defense based on your unique situation.
Another key part of the consultation is the time spent helping you understand the process, tell you what to expect moving forward, as well as coming up with the retainer fee. The attorney is there to answer questions, so do not be afraid to ask.
What if I cannot schedule a consultation before my court date?
Once a consultation has been paid for, we will write up a letter for you to take to court and present to the judge to show that you have a consultation scheduled.
Can I go through the legal system without an attorney?
Yes, you can. It is called proceeding pro se.
That said, it isn’t advisable. Having an attorney to represent you ensures that you don’t make a mistake in representing yourself simply because of a lack of legal training and knowledge.
Having an attorney also helps you to navigate the legal system and protect your rights during the court process. (It isn’t for no reason that attorneys are required to do so much studying before they can pass the bar.)
What does an attorney do on a case?
Your attorney is your counselor and translator for the legal process, and your representation before the legal system. If the courtroom was a battle arena, they would be the warrior with the shield going forth in your place.
An attorney will review materials involved in your case such as those you would bring to your initial consultation. They will negotiate plea agreement with the prosecutor, conduct or oversee legal research on case issues with the rest of your legal team, direct investigation, prepare your case for trial, and argue your cause before the judge and/or jury.
Overall, your attorney will be someone you can hand your problem to and who will take care of both it and you during the whole process.
What decisions does an attorney make on my case?
Your attorney will control the strategy of the case, the direction of the investigation and legal research, oversees the legal team working on the case, and advises you about the decisions you will need to make and your rights as the case progresses.
Your attorney will always work with you as your case progresses through the legal system.
What decision are always mine to make?
You, as a client, have the ultimate right to control what plea to enter in your case (such as guilty or not guilty), whether you will waive a constitutional right, whether you will accept a deal offered by the prosecutor, whether you want to go to trial, and ultimately, whether or not your attorney will continue to represent you in your case.
When should I start working to hire an attorney?
Immediately. Even if charges have not yet been filed in your case, an attorney can be a great help to you in the early police investigation process. After charges have been filed is the most common time to search for an attorney, but even in later stages you can hire an attorney to assist.
There is no time too late to consult with an attorney about getting some help, but there are some advantages to looking for an attorney early that you might miss if you wait too long. If you have already represented yourself at a few court appearances, the court may not be as lenient to you asking for more time in order to hire your attorney.
Are you or a loved one facing criminal charges? Talk to someone who can help. Schedule a consultation with us today.