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If you or a loved one are under investigation, are about to be arrested or have been arrested in Sarasota or Bradenton, before hiring a lawyer, read this important information
Hiring the right or best lawyer is the most important decision you will make, know the facts.
The Truth about Lawyer Advertising
Most people now search on the Internet with computers or cell phones. Do not be fooled.
If you conduct a Google search using a term like “I need a criminal defense lawyer” or “I was arrested for heroin possession” or “I am under investigation for a sex crime”, on the first page that comes up, and for many pages thereafter, you will see endless listings for lawyers.
The first three listing
(“Ad” highlighted in yellow gold)
are paid Google ads.
Lawyers pay for placement and placement means absolutely nothing when it comes to qualifications. Or the right hand side, the listings are also purchased with Google “ad words. This is also paid for advertising placement. Also, on the first page, are all of the lawyer referral services like Findlaw, Avvo, Lawinfo, and others. There are also many listings from lawyers who primarily simply take calls and refer you to other lawyers. Many of the ads are from out of town lawyers who do not even regularly practice, or may never have appeared in a Court where you have been charged. What you need is a good competent experienced defense attorney that knows the system, knows how to get things done and get good results. How do you find the best lawyer for you?
Can I believe the lawyers ratings or reviews?
The truth is that ratings and reviews can be deceptive. The ratings are often manipulated and the reviews may or may not be true. You need to do your homework. Do you want a lawyer that is good at advertising or a lawyer that is good in the court room? No ethical lawyer can call himself the “best”. As in all of life, there is always someone better. Do you want a lawyer that is experienced in handling your type of case? Does the lawyer have substantial real experience in actually trying felony cases? For example, many lawyers claim to handle sex crimes like Internet solicitation of a minor or traveling to meet a minor, when in fact, they may have handled only one or two in their life. When your entire life is at stake, the decision as to which lawyer to hire is an important decision that should not be based on advertising alone.
What questions do I need to ask the lawyer?
Inquire about the lawyer’s background, education and prior law enforcement experience. Determine the number of cases like yours he has actually tried. Many criminal defense attorneys were former prosecutors. Successfully defending cases is much more difficult than prosecuting them. How much experience does the lawyer have defending felonies like trafficking in drugs, racketeering, sexual battery or complex financial crimes like tax evasion. Is the lawyer admitted in Federal Court also? What degrees does the lawyer possess? Does the lawyer’s practice really focus on serious criminal charges or is he a jack of all trades taking on all types of cases? Are the lawyer’s fees outrageous? Some people think that if you pay more you get a better lawyer. That is not true.
Go Meet with the Lawyer
There is no substitute for a person to person meeting
Some lawyers use referral services to screen potential clients. Do you want to discuss a serious private matter with someone on a computer via text or email? Is your communication really private and secure? Most lawyers, myself included, do not charge for a free consultation. People under stress sometimes make a decision they regret and hire the wrong lawyer.
Can I change Lawyers?
Was the public defender appointed at your first court appearance? Should you hire a private lawyer? The public defender is over burdened and under funded. Each one handles hundreds of cases at a time. Private lawyers generally can devote more time and effort to a case. Even if you hired a private lawyer, you may not be happy with the lawyer’s services. Were you shuffled off to someone else? Can you reach him on the phone? In Court, does he appear to know what he is doing? Do you have confidence in his abilities? Is this the lawyer you want standing beside you in the courtroom? If not, investigate the alternatives. Does your lawyer need help from a more experienced lawyer? Sometimes, hiring additional counsel with experience in a particular type of case, like child pornography for example, may be advisable.
It is your life, your future, your reputation and your freedom
Ask yourself these questions
- Would I go to a public health clinic if I had a choice?
- Would I buy the cheapest parachute?
- Would I go to a foot doctor for a heart problem?
- Would I go to sea in a boat without checking it out?
Apply those questions to the decision about which lawyer to hire.
As a veteran criminal defense attorney, a former Federal investigator, a former Federal Prosecutor and a lawyer with thirty years actual courtroom experience I get calls almost every day from people who made the wrong decision about a lawyer and regret it. Make the right decision based on facts and not slick advertising or puffing. Do your homework!
Questions call 941 366 3506