Frequently Asked Questions
Should I talk to the police?
Do not make a statement to officers without a lawyer present. During the course of an investigation, whatever a person says may be misunderstood by officers. A lawyer can clarify issues.
Are the police trying to help me?
If you are the target of an investigation, it is unlikely that officers are trying to help you.
If I choose to give a statement, what should I say?
Tell the truth. Lies harm your credibility. However, discuss your statement with your lawyer prior to meeting with officers. It may be better to remain silent – which is certainly within your rights – than to provide an incriminating statement to law enforcement.
Can officers lie during questioning?
Yes – officers are allowed to lie to a suspect during questioning. Since this is such a stressful time in a person’s life, it is best to have a lawyer by one’s side during interrogation.
If I gave an incriminating statement to law enforcement, could a judge later suppress it?
It is unlikely that a judge would suppress a defendant’s statement to law enforcement. The laws may seem “defendant friendly” but reality is far different. A person claiming that officers threatened him has little credibility – especially when a parade of officers of different races testify otherwise. Again, discuss your statement with your lawyer prior to meeting with officers.
It may be better to remain silent – which is certainly within your rights – than to provide an incriminating statement to law enforcement.
If I am in custody, can I talk to my family about my case on the jail telephones?
Everything you say on the jail telephones is recorded. People are warned by an automated message that their conversations are recorded. Law enforcement listens to the recordings and tries to find incriminating statements.
Can I write letters to my family about my case?
All inmate mail – other than letters to and from a person’s lawyer – is read by jailers. Similar to the jail telephone conversations, law enforcement reads the letters to find incriminating statements.
What type of bond can I expect will be set?
The amount of bond set is a factor of the seriousness of the charge and the strength of the prosecution’s case against a defendant.
Can my bond be lowered?
Yes – but it depends on the type of case and its specific characteristics. The bond set is a factor of the seriousness of the charge and the strength of the prosecution’s case.
Should I schedule my case for a preliminary hearing?
There is no clear answer. A person’s testimony at a preliminary hearing can be used at trial if the witness has died or moved away. Without a hearing, their testimony would not be preserved and available for use later. However, a preliminary hearing can be an effective tool for questioning witnesses. Their answers could be used to later for impeachment at trial.
How long does it take for my case to conclude?
It depends on the type of case you are charged. Simple misdemeanors can be resolved in 1 court appearance. Complex felonies – murders or robberies, for example – require several court appearances over the course of years.
How much is your fee?
It depends on the type of case you have, and where your case is scheduled. We charge flat fees and require half of the fee to be paid upfront. Payment plans are available.