Being charged with any criminal defense, whether DUI, domestic violence, or any other offense, is never planned and likely isn't something you've been stashing money away for. Naturally, it's tempting to search for "cheap criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs," or "cheapest DUI lawyer near me," in hopes of finding someone who is willing to handle your case for a small amount. But the truth is, simply hiring a cheap DUI or criminal defense attorney near you can be a fatal mistake and has the potential to make an already bad situation go from bad to worse.
THE PITFALLS OF HIRING A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY BASED ON PRICE
The reality is, cost shouldn't be a factor in whomever you ultimately decide to hire. I often tell prospective clients, and I firmly believe, when looking for an attorney to handle your criminal or DUI charge, you should meet with as many defense attorneys as it takes until you to find one who you feel comfortable with. Whether you meet with one and click, or meet with a hundred before you find the one that clicks, feeling comfortable and respected, as well as having confidence in the criminal defense attorney's ability is imperative. And the cost has nothing to do with that analysis.
The pitfalls of looking for "cheap criminal or DUI defense attorneys" are many. First off, if you ignore the above advice, you will likely end up having someone whom you don't trust, don't feel respected by, and generally don't click with as your counsel. What's worse is that for most attorneys, the price they are quoting you has a direct correlation to the amount of time they are anticipating putting into the case. Clearly there are exceptions to this rule, for instance, on a number of occasions, I've quoted a price significantly below the amount of work I know I'll put into the case for a variety of reasons. Maybe the case has a particularly novel legal issue that interests me, or maybe I believe the system hasn't been working right for that client, but for the most part, the cost of an attorney directly reflects the time they will put into your case.
Next, if a Colorado criminal defense attorney near you is cheap, there's often a reason why. Do they need the business that badly that they're willing to charge such a small amount to get your case? Are they young and have no experience or don't have a clue how much time they should be spending on the case? Do they have the resources to properly defend you? The answer to many or all of these questions is usually the reason you shouldn't limit yourself to searching for the cheapest DUI lawyer in Colorado Springs, or the cheapest criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs near you.
WHAT YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
The bottom line is that the cost of an attorney's representation ideally shouldn't be a factor in who you end up hiring. You should look at the types of cases they handle, have they handled cases like yours? What were the outcomes? Do they know the judges and DA's involved in your case? (keep in mind that knowing the judge or DA is only important because its helpful to know how a prosecutor handles a case, or how a judge is likely to rule on various issues, don't let any attorney tell you that knowing either the judge or DA will help change the outcome, it simply doesn't work that way. No judge and no DA treat any defense attorney differently because they are friends. If an attorney tells you they're friends with the judge and can get a better deal, turn and run) Have they taken cases like yours to trial? What resources do they have, investigators, experts, etc? What do you get for the cost you're being quoted, does that amount include trial, and when does their representation end? When was their most recent trial and what was the outcome? Attorneys should be able to answer these questions and not dodge them. You also shouldn't expect to hear answers you want to hear, but you should expect to hear the truth. For instance, if an attorney is asked when the last time they went to trial was, if the response is "2 years ago", that isn't a bad thing, but the important thing is that they're being honest with you.
HIRING THE MOST EXPENSIVE ATTORNEY NEAR YOU DOESN'T GUARANTEE RESULTS
Much like hiring the cheapest DUI or criminal defense lawyer isn't what you should be looking for, hiring the most expensive attorney does guarantee your case will end favorably. No attorney, whether cheap or expensive can change the facts. We're not magicians who can simply wave a wand to change the government's evidence. The important thing is trust and experience. Whomever you hire needs to have a great deal of experience so they're giving you informed advice, and just as importantly, you need to trust them enough to know the advice they're giving you is in your best interest. Bottom line. So as you begin the process of looking for a DUI or criminal defense attorney, don't simply go on Google and search for "cheapest DUI lawyer near me" or "cheap criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs." You're making an important decision and it pays to do the research. Look at the reviews attorneys have, they results they get, and meet with as many as it takes for you to feel like you click. The results of your case will be better, and your overall experience will be far more positive.