Frequently Asked Questions
Experienced criminal defense attorney Michael J. Price answers questions frequently asked questions from prospective clients regarding his services, how he handles cases, and why having an attorney is vital when fighting criminal charges.
1. Why didn’t I receive a letter in the mail from you about my case?
Simply put, I am a professional who believes that sending letters, and more specifically postcards, invades the privacy of people at a time when they need it most. I rely on my reputation, referrals, and an informative website to obtain clients.
2. Why don’t you have 100 or more Google reviews regarding your services?
Primarily, because I do not barter with my clients for reviews. If an attorney offers to provide a service at a reduced cost, or no cost at all, in exchange for a review, you should politely refuse and never use their services again. Not a single review of my services has ever been the result of pressure or a promise of anything in exchange for the review.
3. Do I need an attorney for my case?
Absolutely. Whether it is our office or another lawyer of your choosing, please seek legal advice regarding any criminal matter. Even class C misdemeanors can carry a lifetime criminal history that may cause other issues down the road. At the very minimum, schedule a consultation and have your case evaluated prior to proceeding on your own.
4. When should I call a lawyer?
Anytime you are contacted by the police or become aware that they want to speak with you or have a warrant for your arrest. Your lawyer can attempt to intervene and obtain accurate information from the police and help to assist in a voluntary surrender at the jail. The warrant will not go away by itself, and a lawyer can help you address it on your terms.
5. What should I look for in an attorney/client agreement for services?
First and foremost, you should be comfortable with the fee being charged for a pre-trial resolution of your case. This is the most important part of your case as it lays the groundwork for the best possible disposition, If one is not available, then a trial will commence.
Secondly, you should look for a trial fee that is substantially more than the fees charged to resolve the case without a trial. Misdemeanors especially can be tried by a jury in 1-to-2 days, and fee that is too high could be meant to discourage you from taking your case to trial.
Finally, you should be concerned about any contract that has a non-disparagement clause (a provision that forces you to have to pay a lawyer if you say anything bad about them online or on any other media). These provisions are probably illegal under the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 and show a lack of faith from the lawyer in their own abilities.
6. What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
The primary difference is that misdemeanors are punishable by county jail time, whereas felonies are punishable by time in the State Penitentiary. The probation periods are usually longer for felony cases than for misdemeanors. Also, having a felony conviction carries collateral consequences, such as loss of voting and gun rights. Felonies generally are far more severe than misdemeanors.
7. Can the police search my car without a warrant?
The general answer is no. While probable cause observed by an officer may give them a right to search your vehicle without a warrant, do not let their representations cause you to consent. Just because they forcefully say something, does not mean it is true. Once you consent to the search, you hurt your chances of being able to challenge the search later.
This article was last updated on Friday, February 2, 2018.