free initial consultation
FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION: Attorneys who offer a free initial consultation display the Free Initial Consultation icon above their recent case information. Free initial consultations are subject to availability, and only available to people who are seeking to hire an attorney to represent themselves or someone else.
what is a free initial consultation?
A "free initial consultation" is a conversation between an attorney and a person seeking to hire an attorney for the express purpose of determining whether the attorney can and will represent the client, and whether the client can and will hire the attorney. To that end, the conversation will include questions about the charges against you, and particulars such as details about your arrest and other facts leading up to those charges. You will likely want to know if the attorney has handled similar cases, and what his or her 500-foot view is of your case and defense. Remember, an initial consultation isn't meant to map out the entire legal strategy of your case; there is much information, evidence and witness testimony to analyze before a strategy can be created. During the initial consultation, you want to make one decision - hire or not hire.
where do initial consultations take place?
Where and how an initial consultation will take place depends on the attorney. Some attorneys will consult with you on the telephone, while others will require you to physically meet with them in their office. Some firms keep hard and fast rules about where and how the initial consultation can be handled, while others are flexible. In some cases, even though it would be normal for the law firm to accommodate you with an initial consultation on the telephone, the particulars of the case will require otherwise.
When you contact a law firm to ask for an initial consultation, be sure to also ask where and how it will take place.
who is involved in the initial consultation?
Only two people need to be involved in the initial consultation: the attorney and the person seeking to hire the attorney. In some situations, the person seeking to hire an attorney is acting on behalf of another person (such as a child, spouse or other significant person) because the person who has been charged with a drunk driving offense cannot meet with the attorney. That's okay, third parties can hire an attorney on your behalf.
Even if someone else hires your attorney, don't feel that the person paying the bill has to be in subsequent meetings with you; that is not the case. Attorney-client conversations are confidential. If your financially-responsible third-party person wants to be in the meeting, it is entirely up to you. If you don't want that person in the meeting, you can always explain the situation to the attorney or his/her paralegal, and ask that fees be discussed separately.