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Mr. Donath has spent his entire career defending people and standing up for the rights of the accused.

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  • former deputy public defender

    As a former Deputy Public Defender in Riverside County, Mr. Donath has always been on the defense side of the law. 

  • award winning certified criminal law specialist

    Top 100 Trial Attorneys in California 2012-2014, 2008 Trial Attorney of the Year by the Riverside County Public Defender's Office, and dozens of other awards and accolades.

  • a true passion for defending the accused

    Your lawyer should have a passion for defense, not just a passion for money. Reputation, vigor, and determination go a long way in this business.

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How to Prepare for Your Free Legal Consultation

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2018

If you are facing criminal charges, you should retain a criminal defense attorney to represent you in the courtroom. The first step in hiring a lawyer is to attend a free legal consultation at his or her office to discuss the facts of your case, learn about the lawyer’s practice, and decide whether you will hire that firm to represent you.

To get the most out of your free legal consultation, you can take several actions to prepare. Creating a list of questions to ask, gathering relevant documents, and discussing legal fees and strategy at this meeting will enable you to determine what firm to hire.

Create a List of Questions

During your consultation, your lawyer will ask plenty of questions about the facts and circumstances of your case. You may ask your lawyer any questions you have. Since lawyers often charge for time, this consultation is your chance to receive answers for any pressing queries without a fee.

Write down a list of questions to ask your lawyer before your meeting. Bring these questions with you so you do not forget to ask them.

Clients often ask criminal defense lawyers about their legal background and training, case management and assessment, and legal fees.

What questions should you ask the lawyer?

  • How long have you practiced criminal law?
  • Would you recommend a guilty plea, a trial, or an arrangement in my case?
  • How often do your clients go to trial?
  • Do you see any potential problems in my case?
  • What can I expect at my arraignment/disposition/trial/motions hearing?
  • Are you available to represent me?
  • What are your legal fees and how do they work?
  • How do you prefer that I contact you?

Gather Important Paperwork

During your free consultation, the lawyer will ask questions to get to the facts of your case. You must bring copies of relevant paperwork for the lawyer to review. This will save time and allow the lawyer to provide accurate advice regarding your legal strategy.

  • You should bring all written statements.
  • You should bring a signed bail receipt.
  • You should bring traffic tickets or citations.
  • You should bring a notice to appear in court.
  • You should bring any police reports or arrest records.
  • You should bring any relevant court documents or documents containing your court date.
  • You should bring any other documentation related to your case.

Discuss Legal Fees and Strategy

Along with the circumstances of your case, it is important that you come prepared to discuss your legal options and fees.

After presenting the facts of your case and any relevant documentation to the lawyer, launch into a discussion of your legal options. Prior to your meeting, think about options – for example, whether you want a trial or to settle out of court. This will help you determine if the lawyer’s proposed legal strategy is right for you.

Make sure to ask the lawyer questions.

  • What is your proposed strategy?
  • What is your expected outcome?
  • How long do you expect the case to take?
  • What are the settlement, mediation, or arbitration options?
  • What procedures should I expect?

In addition, you should ask your lawyer about how the firm’s legal fees work. Some firms operate on a contingency fee basis. Others charge an hourly or flat rate. Make sure to ask plenty of questions to obtain a clear picture.

  • Do you charge hourly or by a flat rate?
  • What is your hourly rate?
  • Do I have to pay a retainer fee?
  • What does your flat fee include?
  • Are your fees refundable?
  • Are there any expenses I will have to pay outside of your fee?

Contact Graham Donath Law Offices Today

If you are looking for legal counsel for your criminal defense case, contact the lawyers at Graham Donath Law Offices today. Our firm has experience defending clients in practice areas such as assault and battery , drug possession and sale, and sexual assault. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Riverside or Orange County.