1. What experience do you have in actually trying these cases and how many trials have you had versus simply pleading the client guilty?
What you need to know: Experience is important, not just the number of years in practice, but whether the attorney is among the very few attorneys that have and can actually try a case to a judge or jury. If so, how often are they in court and how many of these cases have they actually tried?
Answer from my office: When we meet, I’ll be glad to discuss my full experience in each area of defense, noting the nature of the cases that I have tried in the past. You should note that past results are not indicative of how your case will resolve, but will explain the full extent of my experience.
2. Who will actually handle your case?
Concern: Many large firms and offices with large advertising budgets and numerous attorneys will send you to court, often with a less experienced or novice attorney.
Answer From my office: As I have done for the past 37 years in practice, we will together prepare your case, speak to all witnesses, obtain and review all police reports, view all body camera and police car videos and create a strategy to obtain an acquittal and/or minimize your exposure to jail, fines or points.
3. What client preparation is necessary and why is it so important?
Concern: The state has professional witnesses, police officers and experts to testify against you. The manner in which you speak, appear and present in court is critical to the outcome.
Answer from my office: My job is to make sure that the judge sees you as more than just a case number. We will discuss how to answer questions and how to dress for court. At trial the judge may ask difficult questions before determining how to rule in your case. How you respond to these questions, and the manner in which we practice to anticipate any foreseen issues will have a direct impact on the trial itself.
Misconceptions: Clients have often said, “I’m innocent so why would I need a capable and experienced attorney?”
Reality: These are some of the hardest cases to defend. Many times the judge may be inclined to believe the testimony of a professional witness, such as a police officer, breath technician, drug recognition expert or other person testifying and therefore may find you guilty.