I’ve started a video series on Facebook detailing things that you should know about court and the criminal justice system. In a recent video, I discussed why it is important to pay your lawyer on time. A synopsis of the video is available below. Check out my video series and other information by following me on Facebook.
Paying Your Lawyer
I filed several motions to withdraw this week, and that’s all based on non-payment of retainer fees. When a person gets arrested, they are constitutionally entitled to the effective assistance of counsel. If that person can’t afford an attorney, they can apply for a public defender, and the court will appoint them an attorney. That attorney is free and doesn’t cost anything. But the flip side of that is that that lawyer has hundreds of cases because they’re a free lawyer and other people are using their services as well.
And so if you find yourself in that position, a public defender might not have enough time to give you the attention that you require, sit down with you personally, things like that. If you want a more personalized experience it might be a good idea to hire a private attorney. Maybe you think that you can get a better result if you go to a different attorney, someone who is specialized in a specific field, for example, I do sex offenses. Or maybe you want somebody with a little bit more experience.
So say you’re assigned to an attorney at the public defender’s office that hasn’t been practicing that long – something to that effect. You come to me, you come to my office, and we will quote you a retainer fee. So I don’t get paid by the state to represent you. The only way that I get paid is by you paying your retainer fees. So it comes to a head when I have attended court on your behalf five, six, eight times, and then you decide you want to put your case on the trial list. And don’t get me wrong – I’m an attorney, I love legal issues. I love fighting the good cases. I love litigating good issues and winning in court. However, I can’t do this for free. I have loans, my office needs to make payroll, we have a staff – all of the things that made you come to us in the first place require money to operate.
So please pay your attorneys. I realize that money gets tight sometimes, but I have clients who have no problem picking up cases and then paying their bail bondsman, but I’m the one that’s actually keeping you out of jail. I’m the one that’s trying to keep you from getting felony convictions. So these things, if they’re valuable to you, please pay your attorneys. If you have any questions feel free to email me at [email protected]