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Alex
Alex, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 61
Experience:  Experienced, former Assistant State's Attorney and Assistant Attorney General licensed in IL and NY
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MY SON IS GOING TO TRIAL FOR HABITUAL OFFENDER CHARGE, DUE

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MY SON IS GOING TO TRIAL FOR HABITUAL OFFENDER CHARGE, DUE TO DRIVING WITHOUT HIS LICENSE. HE IS GETTING IT NOW BEFORE TRIAL, BUT SHOULD WE GET AN ATTORNEY TO AVOID GETTING IT TAKEN AGAIN?
Hello. Yes, I do recommend that you get an attorney for him given that there is an upcoming trial. A good attorney can also try to negotiate with the State to perhaps reduce or even consider dropping the charges. Also if there is a trial he will be in a better position to defend your son's interests here. Counsel will be in a better position to ensure that his new license is not revoked given the habitual charge.   Therefore, I urge you to seek a local reputable attorney to appear on his behalf. If he cannot afford one perhaps the court has a system in place where attorneys from the local bar appear for the day and agree to represent folks on the spot for a reasonable price. In some States these attorneys are typically called the bar attorney. Finally, your son can always appear and speak with the State and see what they will do for him and whether or not they might consider
dropping the charges. Also, if this is his first time appearing in court on this case, he can always seek a continuance for retaining his own attorney if the State will not offer a deal.   However, I do not recommend going in alone, in case the State wants to proceed and the judge too. Well, I hope this helps you both out a bit. If you found my answer helpful kindly hit the accept button too. Best of luck to your son in his upcoming case. Regards, XXXXX XXXXX
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

THANK YOU... JUST WONDERING IF IT BETTER TO RETAIN AN ATTORNEY THAT CHARGES BY THE HOUR OR BY THE CASE.

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH, VERY HELPFUL.

Hello again. I think that in these sorts of cases an attorney can charge someone hourly or via a flat fee arrangement. I would want to know an estimate of costs if possible. I also would expect that the attorney you seek representation from should advise you in advance of his hourly fee and should do this in writing if you retain him or her. Alternatively, they can quote you a flat fee for handling the case to a dismissal, supervision or some other type of amicable agreement with the State, perhaps with one or two appearances and no trial. This would normally cost less then a full blown trial. Also, if they are doing a flat fee I would again want this agreement to be in writing. This avoids any suprises for you and for your son. Many attorneys experienced in these sorts of cases typically charge a flat rate fee because they already know how long the case will take to resolve. Typically, unless it is a serious felony, these sorts of cases will probably require not more then two appearances if that. Also, the local bar attorneys typically work something out with the client and try to use some portion of the bond money already paid before any trial for their fee. The courts also have to approve this payment and typically it is very reasonable because of this and because it helps the cases get resolved right away because an attorney is present for the new client. Anyway, my short answer is - ask him/her what they will charge you and if hourly, how long does he think it will take too. I usually do not charge clients for phone calls or driving time to and from court but some attorneys differ. You can also ask him if you can simply pay for actual time in court and perhaps they will offer a flat fee agreement. This might get you a discount and also the assurance of having an attorney for his first court date. By asking in advance you should be more comfortable and have a better idea about the costs to you and to your son. Hope this helps you both out again. Regards, XXXXX XXXXX