By Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
For the next five days, I’ll be counting down the top 5 mistakes people make in hiring criminal defense attorneys regardless of whether the case is a DWI, Marijuana, other drugs, theft, assault, felonies, or any other type of case.
#5: Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Based Solely on Price:
I’m not going to lie — the cost of a criminal defense attorney may very well be a good indicator of how good that lawyer really is. Sometimes the best guy around is the priciest and the guy who charges the least may be that way for a reason. There are plenty of other things to consider about judging a lawyer.
The more the lawyer’s time is in demand, the more it’s worth, and the higher the fee. The less they are in demand, the less they charge. That is the theory, anyway. The bad assumption in that argument, though, is that the lawyer is in demand (or not in demand) because they are good (or bad) at what they do.
Consider this — a lawyer with a slammed schedule is slammed because they’re just better at marketing than other lawyers in the community. Or a lawyer who charges a lesser fee has a smaller office and over-head doesn’t dictate their fees. These things punch big holes in the theory above and there are countless other things which dictate what a certain lawyer may charge.
Should the fee be an important factor in hiring a criminal defense lawyer? Absolutely. Abraham Lincoln said it best about legal fees, “…In this way the client knows he has a lawyer, and a lawyer knows that he has a client.”
My point is that money shouldn’t be the only factor! Ask tough questions. Are you comfortable with the answers? Do they make sense?
Your gut and intuition are often the best tools in assessing lawyers and sometimes price can be misleading.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For specific legal advice consult an attorney.