I offer free consultations with all of my clients. Many of these free consultations take place on the phone. Others occur in my office. Whether they are on the phone or in my office, my goal is to give my client or potential client as much information as I can to answer as many questions as I can.
How should a potential client – you – use a free consultation? First, you should use it to gain as much information about your situation as you can. A lawyer should be willing to spend as much time as you need to explain the general process – how a DWI or criminal case or federal case or state case – is handled in general.
In addition, you should be prepared to give the lawyer a few specific facts about your case so that lawyer can give you some sense of how your case may go. Obviously during an initial consultation, you can’t expect a Raleigh lawyer to spend two hours discussing the facts of your case. This is simply too detailed. However, the lawyer you speak with should be able to give you some specific advice about your specific situation.
I am very surprised when I receive a call and the person has talked to two or three lawyers, but still doesn’t understand very much about the process.
I will usually spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour explaining how cases move through the system in North Carolina, and pointing out the good parts and bad parts of my clients’ case.
If you call a lawyer, and the lawyer promises you a result, run, do not walk, from that lawyer. Not only is it unethical to promise a result, it is simply bad lawyering. While a lawyer can sometimes say “I can probably do this for you” a lawyer who says “I guarantee a result” is setting up for failure. That’s because nothing is guaranteed in criminal law.
Finally, the lawyer you reach should be happy to talk with you regardless of the time or day. That’s because people don’t just get arrested Monday through Friday, 9 to 5. People have trouble with the police whether it’s in the late night, weekends, or on holidays. A criminal lawyer who is not interested in talking to you on the weekends, on weeknights, or on holidays probably won’t be that responsive should you call for an emergency call on a weekend when police are knocking on your door.
A free consultation with a Raleigh criminal lawyer is an excellent opportunity for you to evaluate the lawyer’s tone, approach, knowledge, and demeanor. Make the most of that opportunity.