Most criminal law firms offer some type of free first consultation or reduced rate initial visit because it’s beneficial for both parties. Offering a free case review gets more potential clients in the door and allows both the attorney and client to determine if they would be a good fit for one another. For example, we’ve talked with potential clients about their case and then sent them on their way on the recommendation that they contest the case on their own because it simply wouldn’t make financial sense to hire a lawyer based on the circumstances of their citation.
On the flip side, we’ve had clients come into our office who clearly just wanted to get a basic understanding of what they were up against and who had little intention of hiring a lawyer, but after learning about their case and what we can provide, they hired us to fight their battle for them. Sometimes we’re a perfect fit, and other times we’d be happy to point you in the right direction, but this first meeting is crucial for helping both parties understand what’s next in the process.
But what should you do in order to prepare for this initial consultation, and how can you maximize the benefit of this meeting? We share some ways to prepare for your free case review in today’s blog.
Preparing For Your Case Review
Here are some things you can do to get the most out of your first visit with a potential lawyer.
Organize Your Information – You’ll want to bring everything related to your case to this first meeting if possible. If you can, bring a copy of the citation, the arrest report, witness statements or contact information, records of dates and conversations and anything that could help your lawyer develop a defense to this first meeting. Also, organize your thoughts and your recollection of the events leading up to your citation. You’re going to recount your story to the lawyer, so be prepared to explain what happened.
Prepare Questions – The lawyer isn’t the only one seeing if they are a good fit for the client. As a prospective client, you should be asking questions about the lawyer to ensure they are someone you believe you can trust with your case. Come up with some questions to see if they are compatible with your goals for the case. For a list of some smart questions to ask your prospective lawyer, click here.
Know Your Goals – Your lawyer is going to want to know what you hope to get out of the case. We’ll obviously work hard to get the charges reduced or dropped, but we also always listen to plea options to help settle a case and achieve a desired outcome for our client. If you’re okay with a reduced fine, a sentence that avoids jail time or allows you to keep custody of your kids, bring it up to your lawyer and we can work to achieve a favorable result through both a defense and potential plea options.
Listen – You’re going to do a lot of talking about the incident and your goals with the case, but once you’re done explaining, make sure that you pay close attention to what the lawyer says. They have years of professional experience handling similar cases, so they are going to be a great information resource. Take notes if you have to, but make sure you’re hearing what they are saying during the meeting.
If you can do these four things, we’re confident you’ll have a great first meeting with your prospective lawyer. If you have questions about your case, or you want to set up this free case review, click here or give us a call at (952) 224-2277.