After practicing criminal law for over 20 years, it never ceases to amaze
me that many people fail to avoid some common red flags when they are hiring a
criminal defense attorney in Phoenix. There is no doubt that when you or a loved one is in serious trouble,
rational thinking gives way to emotion.
Many people in this situation are susceptible to promises and guarantees
of false hope with an assurance of a particular outcome, which almost
always falls short. The reality is that no criminal defense attorney –
that is, a reputable criminal defense attorney, can guarantee you anything.
Many law firms have resorted to the unscrupulous model of having potential
clients meet with an intake person – who is nothing more than a
non-lawyer salesman. Even on simple marijuana cases – for which
prison is not even possible – the threat of a long prison sentence
is dangled, if only to extract a fee from a client. The salesman, who
is not a lawyer, does not know or ignores the fact that in Arizona, you
cannot get prison for simple marijuana or cocaine possession charges unless
you later refuse drug treatment.
(Conspiracy with Intent to Distribute and Drug Trafficking cases are another story.)
Another common red flag is that clients think that they will be represented
by a somewhat experienced smiling criminal defense attorney whose face
graces their advertising. In the end, when the consultation is done and
the fee is paid, the client is passed off to a junior inexperienced criminal
defense lawyer who likely just came from the prosecutor’s office
and whom the client would not have hired in the first place. This young
attorney may be one of many attorneys who are interchangeable within the
firm. What happens is that at every court appearance, a new attorney appears
and the client really doesn’t know who is representing them. They
just know they hired a firm. If you had heart problems, would you go to
a cardiologist and expect to see a different intern every day instead
of the specialist you selected? I didn’t think so.
I could write on for hours, but these are some of the common red flags
to avoid when hiring a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix. These are
some of my pet peeves. I have defended clients for many years in serious
felony cases involving marijuana trafficking,
money laundering, and a host of
fraud cases in both state and federal court. I take pride in the work I do and make
sure that my clients not only get good results but that they feel good
coming out of a bad situation.
If you are in one of those bad situations, let rational thinking prevail
over emotions and avoid the red flags.
Give me a call and let’s see what we can figure out to fix your problems and make it right.