Each attorney in our office maintains a caseload, at any given time, of approximately 50 to 75 cases. Those cases are in all statuses from pre-arrest through appeal, and that is in marked contrast to most public defenders who maintain a caseload of anywhere from 200 to as many as 500 cases at any given time.
Do You Charge An Hourly Fee Or A Flat Fee?
With virtually all of our criminal cases we use a flat fee structure because criminal, unlike civil, is very predictable in terms of how many court appearances will be required in order to get clients the best result possible, or their ideal desired result. Sometimes if the case is a bit unusual it might be an hourly billing but that only happens rarely. Most clients prefer the flat fee structure because they will know up front exactly how much it is going to cost from the moment we begin work all the way through to the conclusion of the case.
What Are Some Additional Legal Expenses That Could Come Up In My Criminal Defense Case?
Depending on the type of case, various types of experts or professionals may be needed in order to get you the best possible outcome. For example, sometimes in sex offender cases, we may utilize the services of a polygraph examiner and that service can range from $1,000 to $2,000. In a DUI case, we can hire an expert in field sobriety evaluations to take a look at the incident report and video, and that can run between $500 and $1,500. In other types of cases, we may need a private investigator, court reporter, medical doctor, or some other kind of specialist. Hiring an expert is not very common in a criminal case, but it can be a game changer, sometimes dramatically increasing your chance for a successful outcome.
How Do You Remain Up To Date With Changing Laws And Procedures?
We make it a policy to stay up to date on all changing laws and procedures, and the state of Georgia also requires us to take 12 hours of continuing education each year. The attorneys at our firm generally get at least double that amount of continuing education training time on an annual basis. We attend every conference our schedules allow us to attend that pertain to our practice areas or that could potentially increase our ability to serve our clients. Additionally, each attorney is a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the National Trial Lawyers, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, and the National College for DUI Defense. Each of those groups has a listserv where attorneys talk about current issues, current laws, and ways to defend cases, which is a wonderful group effort that allows us all to stay extremely current on changing laws, trial strategies, and other important information. And each of these organizations offers continuing education and specialized training, and I receive training from each in DUI defense, criminal defense, and appellate work.
How Often Do You Appear At The Courthouse Where My Case May Be Heard?
We appear at most of the courthouses in our practice area at least once a week and usually more often than that. We also participate in other events such as bar association meetings and any other opportunities that may allow us to get important face time with local judges and prosecutors.
Additional Information On Criminal Cases In Georgia
A lot of people ask if we know a particular judge or prosecutor for a case. Regarding relationships, there is an unofficial sliding scale in relation to the seriousness of the charge. Essentially, the more serious the charge, the less important the relationship is with the judge and prosecutor. Conversely, the less serious the charge, the more important the relationship between the judge and the prosecutor becomes. What that basically means is that if the charge is something very serious such as murder, rape, or child molestation, it does not matter how well you know somebody or how long you have been friends with the judge and/or the prosecutor, they are going to go by the book. They have a little flexibility in the case, but they absolutely cannot provide any favors whatsoever.
But if the charge is not that serious, such as a traffic offense or minor fight, the prosecutor and the judge have much more discretion, and the attorney can use that relationship to work a better deal for you as the client. Recently, an old friend contacted me because his brother needed an attorney on a small matter in a city about an hour outside of where we practice. While I could have handled it personally, I sent an attorney who is a go-to guy in that area and because of this, he was able to get a much better deal than I could have on that particular matter. For those kinds of issues, it is kind of who you know versus what you know.
For more information on Annual Criminal Defense Caseload, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (678) 726-5400 today.