Hiring a Defense Lawyer
When facing a serious legal problem like a criminal charge in Portland or western Oregon, you may be tempted to try to save money, particularly if you think the police caught you dead-to-rights and the prosecutor’s case looks airtight. Why pay for an experienced attorney just to help you sign a plea agreement, right?
I take on more than your case. I take on your cause.
Prosecutors and judges know which defense attorneys they can trust. Your lawyer will need more than book training. At the criminal defense law offices of Steven J. Sherlag, P.C., I offer experience, skill and a reputation for integrity and commitment.
Understanding Why Top Qualities In Lawyers Are Not Cheap
The fact is, the lawyer you retain will make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. Here are some reasons why:
- The investigation: When police detectives begin their investigation of a crime, there are very specific constitutional rules they must follow. By the time they make the arrest, they may have already violated more than one of your rights. When the prosecutor threatens you with a long prison sentence unless you confess, you are probably not aware that the evidence against you may not be admissible in court. An experienced lawyer will review everything, from the police probable cause for starting the investigation, to illegal search and seizure, to how the evidence was handled throughout the investigation.
- The arrest: While in custody, you don’t give up your rights. You are innocent until proven guilty. Police and prosecutors hope you don’t remember that. They are seeking a conviction and hope that you say or do something to aid their case. Having an experienced lawyer at your side as soon as possible will reduce the likelihood that you incriminate yourself.
- Pretrial hearings: After your arrest and formal charges, your case will move through a series of legal proceedings, including arraignment and bail. You may be tempted to just throw yourself at the mercy of the court. An experienced attorney will explain why it is important to plead not-guilty, so you don’t give up your rights before the full trial. Your lawyer will then have the opportunity to fight to have illegal evidence against you disallowed by the judge.
- Plea agreements: During the several weeks following your arrest, your lawyer will be building the strongest case possible to have your charges dismissed or reduced. If the evidence against you is strong, an experienced attorney with knowledge of the legal process will often be able to negotiate an agreement to help you get the charges reduced, or the lowest possible penalty. In many cases, an experienced lawyer can help you keep a felony off your record by pleading to a reduced misdemeanor charge.
- Trial: Many criminal defense lawyers have very little or no experience in an actual court of law. That is because most criminal cases do not go to trial. In most cases, the charges are dismissed or reduced significantly in a plea arrangement. If your case does proceed to court, you will need a lawyer who has significant experience in trial, fighting to suppress illegal evidence, presenting the strongest case possible in front of a judge and jury, and cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses. Trial is not the time to learn that your criminal defense lawyer has never stepped foot inside a courtroom.
Before you make your decision about hiring a lawyer, ask yourself one question: Is saving a little money on an experienced attorney worth the cost of your freedom?
I Care What Happens To My Clients. Call Me.
Integrity. Commitment. Knowledge. Experience. Call my office in Portland to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Hablamos español. Мы Говорим по-Русски. Interpreters are also available as needed.