Frequently Asked Questions

Will I go to trial on my first setting in court?

No, but it is important that you be in court, and on time.  

How long will it take to resolve my case?

Often, it can take many months to resolve a felony case.  This generally works to the advantage of defendants because it permits thorough investigation and preparation for trial.

Will my friends, family, or boss need to know about my case?

That depends.  There will be times when I will ask for character references to obtain a dismissal or a favorable outcome.  I understand that sometimes, the ones that know you best are the ones you least want to know.  That is a decision that we will make together.  

Why do I have to make an appointment to talk to my lawyer?

Your case is important, but it is not the only case that we handle.  I have to be in court almost every morning to help, not only you but others as well.  This leaves a limited time in the afternoon in which I can return phone calls and/or meet with clients.  It is the nature of the business.

Why won't the State just dismiss my case?

The prosecutors depend on law enforcement to bring the case to them.  That means they tend to trust law enforcement and tend to believe the officers even if they've made a mistake. It's like when you were in school; if someone else told the teacher a lie about you, you had to work harder to prove you weren't misbehaving.  We may get you there, but it will take time.

Why do we have more than one trial setting?

In every criminal court, there are some accused whose cases are older or more serious than yours.  There are also people who have been in jail since they were accused.  The trial court does its best to give incarcerated people and people accused of more serious crimes priority.

It is stressful, but imagine if you were the person in jail who needed a trial and someone on bond went ahead of you.  It is a tough system, but the courts try to be fair about it.  

Why do I have to pay extra for an investigator and/or an expert?

The fee you pay the lawyer is for the lawyer's time and expertise.  Knowing which expert is needed and how to focus the investigator are the skills that a lawyer brings to your case.  Each person plays a different role and, thus, gets a separate fee.

If I finish my probation, is my case "off my record"?

It depends on the type of probation that you had.  There are 3 types: 

Pretrial Intervention/Diversion - usually means that your case is dismissed at the end and eligible for an expunction.

Deferred Adjudication - your finding of guilt is postponed and if you complete your community supervision you will not have a finding of guilt and your record is eligible to be sealed, except in certain instances.

Straight Probation - you are found guilty, but in the interest of justice, you are not placed in jail or prison and allowed to live in free society.  It cannot be expunged or sealed and it will stay on your record forever.

Will having a criminal conviction on my record affect my job?

It could.  One of the reasons to fight your case is to avoid a conviction that would result in losing your ability to work.  Commercial truck drivers, for example, cannot have a DWI conviction on their record.  A domestic violence conviction can result in a person losing the right to own or possess firearms.  

This means they could not serve in the military or as a police officer.  We will talk about how the crimes of which you are accused could affect your employment.

Why can't you guarantee me a certain result?

Courtroom criminal cases are not cars or luggage.  They do not come with warranties.  There is no way that any criminal defense lawyer can guarantee an outcome - they can only guarantee the quality of their own work and the integrity they give to their clients.