I have to laugh at some of the outright lies that certain criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix put on their website. They make statements that are not only illogical, but simply untrue. The most obvious being “We Are Available 24/7.” No they’re not.
While often blessed with extraordinary strength, stamina, and (periodic) wit, the reality is that criminal defense attorneys sleep. Occasionally.
The reality is that in my over 25 years of practice, I have learned something very important about the calls and emails I receive between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Most people are high out of their minds, seriously mentally ill, or both. And while I don’t discriminate against any of these conditions, it doesn’t mean that I, or anyone else, is actually available 24/7. When you do call a criminal defense attorney in the middle of the night, the likelihood is that you will speak to an answering service that won’t deliver the message to the attorney until morning. I make it a habit of checking email right before I go to bed and as soon as I wake up. 99.9% of the time, this handles all of my client’s issues.
The Rare Exception
There are occasions, that there is a true emergency in the middle of the night. Perhaps someone got arrested for a serious offense such as conspiracy to distribute or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Most search warrants, though, are executed during daytime hours so the possibility of getting arrested on a federal white collar charge in the middle of the night is also non existent.
When someone gets arrested on State charges (prosecuted by the County Attorney or Attorney General), they must be seen by a judge for an initial appearance within 24 hours. The judge will set bail at that time. In Maricopa County, initial appearances occur at 2:00 a.m., 5:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. 365/24/7. After someone is arrested, it takes several hours for the jail to process them into the system. Even if someone gets arrested at 10:00 p.m., the likelihood is that a judge will not see them until 8:00 a.m. at the earliest. It could take until 8:00 p.m. the following day. This means that you don’t need to hire a lawyer at 3:00 a.m. I’m an early riser so if you send me an email overnight, I will likely call you first thing in the morning so that there is plenty of time to attend the initial appearance.
Initial appearance in federal court typically happen at 3:00 p.m. COVID has changed things a little bit so the schedule can fluctuate with some initial appearances being scheduled around the lunch hour. Once again, if you decide to retain me first thing in the morning to appear at a federal initial appearance later that day, there will be more than enough time to prepare for the hearing.
The Bottom Line
Any lawyer you call in the middle of the night will likely give you a half baked sales pitch and will see your desperation based on the time of your call alone. They may charge you unreasonable fees, but worst of all, they may not be the best criminal defense attorney to defend against serious felony charges. Worst off, if they are up all night waiting for your call, they will likely act like a sleep deprived zombie in court and certainly can’t do their best to fight for you. You are always welcome to call me at (602) 663-9100 for urgent matters. Better yet, email me though the contact form below. I’ll see the minute I open my eyes and will get in touch with you to provide the best, most well rested, and caffeinated representation that a Phoenix criminal defense attorney can offer.