Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney: Go Cheap and You’ll Likely Go to Prison


Time and time again, I get calls from clients or family members looking for a criminal defense attorney. Sometimes it’s after they’ve been arrested for serious offenses like transportation of marijuana for sale or white-collar crimes such as wire fraud or conspiracy. Sometimes it’s after they’ve been convicted or pled guilty and are looking to pursue a Petition for post-conviction relief. The one thing I hear that bothers me time and time again is when I hear that someone is going to hire a criminal defense attorney because they offered the cheapest fee.

Quality Representation Isn’t Cheap

The reality in life is that you get what you pay for. I’ve been an attorney for nearly 24 years, I’m a former major felony prosecutor and have defended complex cases involving drug trafficking charges, violent crimes (including murder and aggravated assault), as well as sex offenses in state and federal courts all over the United States. I work with some of the best experts and investigators and experts in the country and use a team mentality to best defend my clients. Our results speak for themselves.

Admittedly, though, this type of defense is not within everyone’s reach. Sometimes, if you can’t afford to hire a quality criminal defense attorney, you may be better off saving your money and not hiring the “cheap” attorney and sticking with the public defender.

Experience Makes All the Difference

Not all criminal defense attorneys are cut from the same cloth. This is true both in Phoenix and all over the United States. Recently, I was contacted by a woman who was looking to hire a lawyer for her son. She had hired an attorney to represent him for trial, though the attorney was inexperienced and lacked the qualifications to even think about a case of this difficulty, particularly given the very lengthy prison sentence the client faced. She hired the attorney because, well, she was the cheapest.

Because I’m blunt, to the point, and often don’t have a filter (plus I was kind of nosey), I asked her how much she paid the lawyer. It was such a small fee, particularly when made in payment, I knew right away that it was so disproportionate to the magnitude of the case that 1) the lawyer had no clue what she was doing, or 2) that if she did know what she was doing, the fee was so small that she could have only budgeted a very limited – and grossly insufficient amount of time and resources to put into the case.

If You Are Going to Do It, Do It Right the First Time

If you are going to hire a criminal defense attorney, do it the right way. Hire an attorney who has the credentials and experience to get you the result you want. If a lawyer seems too low, particularly compared to others, run and run fast. If you don’t not only will you likely spend more money in the end, but you are putting your freedom in the hands of someone who really has no idea what they are doing, or worse yet, someone who only cares about taking your money.

Your freedom is serious business. Take a look at our Google reviews and see what our past clients have to say about what we have done for them. Confidential consultations can be scheduled by calling (602) 663-9100. And remember, good ain’t free and free ain’t good.

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