Do you need a juvenile criminal defense attorney? Here's a few questions to ask before you get one in Montgomery County, Texas
It is a chilling moment for everyone involved. The moment your child faces arrest is often cause for panic and outrage for the parent.
The situation may be dire, but the solution can be simple.
When your child is the accused of a crime, you need a juvenile criminal defense attorney.
How do you know you're getting the best one to represent your child? These questions below will help you determine if your lawyer is the right one.
The Concerns of a Juvenile Arrest
It is a scary thought for any parent, getting that call that your child is under arrest. A lot of thoughts can go through your head.
You may anger towards any number of individuals, or sadness that this has happened. In the moment, it is hard to ignore those emotions.
To best help your child, though, you must be calm, collected, and set up a legal defense as soon as possible.
Questions to Ask Your Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney
Meeting with a lawyer can be a stressful time. A professional has organization on their side and will run you through all that you need to do.
Even if you are already with the best lawyer possible, it is always good to come prepared. These 8 questions will cover your bases in regards to what you need to know when picking a lawyer for you and your child.
1. What is Your Experience with Juveniles?
Certification in Juvenile Law is a great start towards an acceptable lawyer. There is a lot more to consider.
As there is a lot less concrete background to juvenile cases, due to the larger number of adult cases on record, experience in these types of cases is key.
Has your lawyer represented a minor before? Have they represented, or even sat in on, a juvenile law case?
The more years a lawyer can note as experience in this particular matter, the better hands you are in. Most law firms will note their expertise in juvenile cases, as it is less common than other types of cases.
2. What is Your Experience with My Charges?
Each court case is different. Every charge accused brings with it a dozen variables that all need consideration in different ways.
A lawyer's experience can be vast, but the most important note here is how the lawyer views the case. Even if they have no experience with the exact charge, they may be able to identify the similarities this charge has with other cases.
A lawyer with no experience, but with an eye towards adapting and understanding what each charge means can still be invaluable.
3. Are you Attorney who will Handle my Case?
When dealing with a large law firm, it is a common practice to send in a senior lawyer in for a consultation. Afterward, a junior lawyer may be in charge of the case.
This is common, so you need to be upfront and make sure the questions you ask are going to who you need to judge yourself.
It would be a waste to spend time with all these questions only to find the lawyer you asked is not the one representing you.
This also gives you a good idea of who you have to deal with. You can be confident with whom the law firm sends as consultation.
Though, if the actual lawyer in question has nothing but inexperience and uncertainty, then the firm in question is not right for you.
4. What is Your Fee Structure?
Payment is, as always, a big consideration with any service.
Lawyer fees can be simple. The more you question and go over, the easier the idea will be. Is there an hourly fee or a flat rate? Are there retainer fees? Does going to court affect your fee? What other expenses may come up in this case?
5. Can you Guarantee the Outcome of my Case?
This is a trick question but can identify a good lawyer in a fast manner.
No lawyer can guarantee an exact outcome. But a good lawyer will analyze your case and walk you through some of the expected outcomes and concerns that may come up in a case.
Most law firms will try and guarantee an outcome. Most of them are saying what you want to hear to get your business. Make sure your lawyer sits and talks out the details with you. That is where a good lawyer can shine.
6. Is There any Misconduct On your File?
A simple and to the point question. While misconduct on a lawyer's file does not dismiss their ability, it can foreshadow some problems down the line.
It can be awkward, but a lawyer with your interests at heart will be upfront about the question.
Misconduct may not always mean the lawyer had done something wrong. A lawyer who is upfront about the misconduct may convince you that they are still very trustworthy and professional.
Either way, being upfront about the question will warn you of potential danger.
7. What Strategy Do You Suggest?
The answer to this can vary from case to case, and from lawyer to lawyer. The important thing here is that they have, or can come up with, a sound strategy that fits you and the charges against you.
The strategy they might suggest will not be the absolute way your case should go. In the early stages of consultation, there are still many variables to consider.
The idea is having a solid grip of how similar cases may go. As well, a good lawyer can notice and understand many of the prime variables right away, such as the degree of charges and nature of the incident.
8. What Can I Do to Help my Case?
No matter whether you are a juvenile or an adult, the first thing you want to do is to be on your lawyer's side. Once you have found a lawyer that you are confident is right for you, stick with them.
A lawyer's job can get complicated. The last thing they need is for their client to do something that could jeopardize the entire case. Listen to your lawyer, do what they tell you to do, and be open and willing to proceed with their plan.
Getting the Representation You Need
Dealing with the criminal justice system is never a happy time. This is even truer when you add a juvenile to the system.
With the right juvenile criminal defense attorney, you can make it through with integrity and effectiveness.
If you are in trouble in the Houston area, contact the law firm of Andrea M. Kolski. We are here to help.