I recently spoke to an attorney who mentioned that there are probably only two or three dozen Raleigh criminal lawyers working in Raleigh who regularly visit clients in jail.
I was shocked. I have always made it a practice to visit clients regularly in jail. In law school, when I was working with the Public Defender on felony cases, I made daily trips to the jail.
First, because people in jail need to get updated on the progress of their cases. They’re sitting in jail. They have no idea what’s going on. They may hear some rumors. But the truth of the matter is that unless the lawyer visits his client, the client can’t make an informed decision about how to proceed in the case.
Second, jail is an awful place. Now, I’m not in the business of hand-holding. But I do believe that clients ought to be treated with dignity and respect. Whether they’re private clients who are paying me for my services, or court appointed clients, they are people who deserve a bit of my time to make a visit, check on their condition, make sure they’re informed, and let them know about progress in their cases.
If you are being charged with a serious crime, you may spend some time in jail. It is crucially important that you find an attorney who will visit you in jail, who will work hard to get you out of jail, if that’s possible, and who will make sure that you are being treated properly in jail.
If you believe you may soon be arrested on charges that will land you in jail, give me a call at (919) 352-9411 weekdays, evenings, or weekends.
And do me a favor: do not discuss your matter on either the video terminals your family may use during their visits, or on the phone lines. Those are taped.
But the sheriff is prohibited from taping attorneys who visit their clients.