Hiring a Spokane Criminal Lawyer

Spokane Criminal Lawyers Don't Want You To Know This Stuff!

We're Going to Show You Some Tricks to Watch Out For, and Give You the Skills to Find the Best Spokane Criminal Lawyer for Your Case!

What You'll Get If You Read This...

  • Red Flags - Scare Tactics - Rip Offs
  • What Can an Attorney Really Do?
  • How to Compare Spokane Criminal Lawyers
  • The Unspoken Skills That You Really Want
  • Legal Fees Fair or Are You a Sucker?
  • Special Offer That Will Bring You Results

From Deanna Crull, Spokane Criminal Lawyer
-Spokane Washington

Dear Friend,

Let's face it. Your stressed enough, but you need to find a Spokane Criminal Lawyer that can or will actually help you. You're worried about legal costs, and you don't really know what to ask.

If you've never had to work with a Spokane attorney before, how could you even know how to compare - Really Compare - the local criminal lawyers?

Well this guide will help you greatly. It could make all the difference in the world to you and your case. Why would I write such a thing? Because, I created a Spokane Criminal Defense Law Firm, Action Legal Group, that was actually designed for clients. We don't have to play games or hide the ball. We believe in transparency. You should know what you're getting right up front.


P.S. Please add us to the list of Spokane Criminal Lawyers that you'll interview.

Spotting Red Flags - Lawyer Tricks - and Ripoffs

Most Spokane criminal lawyers are actually good honest people. But, there are always those few bad apples that ruin it for the rest of us. If you've never worked with a criminal attorney before, you probably wouldn't be able to spot these issues before it was too late.

  • Red Flag #1: You Call a Lawyer & They Start Talking About Their Fees Before They Hear Your Story

    If the first words out of a Spokane criminal lawyers mouth is telling you his fees – run away. You want a criminal lawyer that will listen to your story and your concerns, before ever quoting you a fee.

    Why? If they are just going to depend on the police reports you might be in trouble, because the reports rarely represent the whole story, and they can be very one-sided. Important evidence that could help you may not be contained in the report.

    So if you’re not being listened to what does that mean. They don’t care? They’ve decided a course of action without sharing it with you? You’re just a means to a juicy fee?

  • Red Flag #2: Promises, Guarantees & "Don't Worry About It"

    There are no guarantees in legal work, especially when its very early in the case. If you’re getting promises and the ole “don’t worry about it”, run away. Think abut it? How could they have enough information at this point? It would be rare, and its foolish.

  • Red Flag #3: Extremely High Fees

    My personal observation has been that the extreme ends of the spectrum do not represent real value. Now, is there a chance that an extreme fee could be supported? Yes, but I’d do plenty of shopping first, and figure out why the extreme fee is proper. Ask pointed questions of why they’re price is so much higher than the others you’ve gotten. If they get uppity – too bad – it’s your life and your money. If the attorney is truly worth that fee, they will gladly explain it to you.

  • Red Flag #4: Extremely Low Fees

    This is very similar to my opinion above. If your facing an extremely low fee, what does that say about the service you are going to get? What corners will be cut? Do they lack experience or confidence? Is this a high-volume firm that depends on pushing clients through fast?

  • Red Flag #5: No or Few Online Reviews

    It’s best to find some reliable evidence that your Spokane criminal lawyer is doing good work. Are they returning calls and performing to expectations? It’s best to make decisions that are not entirely based on emotions and likeability. You just have too much at stake. Double check your gut feelings with other people’s experiences with this attorney.

  • Scare Tactic - Making You Believe That Your Are Facing Maximum Jail Time

    This is a real pet peeve of ours. I hear all the time how a client calls an attorney, and the attorney leaves them thinking that they are facing huge amounts of jail time. If it’s the truth that’s one thing, but they shouldn’t leave you with that until you’ve had a fairly in depth consultation.

    I see this more as a tactic to get you in an urgent and emotional state where you will make decisions quickly. It’s a horrible way to sell your services. I’d rather build trust.

  • Bait & Switch - Make You Think You're Hiring a More Senior Criminal Lawyer, But Giving You A Junior Lawyer

    This is a trick of the higher volume firms. Ask specifically who your criminal attorney will be. Ask if they use interns and other associates to cover hearings. If they say yes, find out how often. You might meet with an attorney that is great, but get shuffled off to someone that is not so great. Be careful.

  • Tip: How Many Areas Of Law Does Your Attorney Practice In?

    Is your Spokane Criminal Lawyer really a criminal lawyer? If they spend 10% on criminal law, 10% on family law, 10% on personal injury, 10% on immigration law, and so on…. You’ll need to be careful. It’s just too hard to be good at everything. Our opinion, is that an attorney should only practice in one to three areas. Ideally, only one or two to maintain a high degree of competency. More areas require more time to keep up to date, and also will impact the office’s capacity differently. So just be aware. Try to find a Spokane Lawyer that spends at least 50% of their time practicing criminal law.

What Can a Spokane Criminal Lawyer Really Do for Me?

Well, that just depends on your case, but here are the general things that a Spokane Criminal Lawyer can do with you case:

  • Get It Dismissed (it's more rare, but it does happen). Ask me the two ways that it can happen!
  • Negotiate to Lesser Charges (called an amendment of charges).
    • This is what happens to the vast majority of case. Most are negotiated settlements. Does your lawyer actually know how to negotiate well? How do you know?
  • Take the State to Trial! Make them prove each and every fact. But, don't take going to trial lightly. It's a big deal. I don't care who your lawyers is or what they claim. Anytime, you stand in front of a jury it is risky business. Real criminal law trials are not like they appear on TV.

I'm going to tell you another secret! Almost all criminal lawyers fancy themselves as kick butt trial attorneys. But most are not, unless they had some specialized training. Law schools typically do not train lawyers to do trials. Don't your lawyer practice at your expense.

Many attorneys do not understand how to really put a winning trial on. I'll probably get hate mail for saying this, but a logical case is generally a losing case. "Trial lawyers that depend on logic lose most of the time." (Our opinion and observations).

Also jurors hate it when defense layers sit back and just poke holes in police statements, and then argue "there's a hole so its reasonable doubt." There may be reasonable doubt, and the attorney may be right technically, but it generally takes more than that to get juries to move in your favor.

Just understand that your Spokane criminal lawyer may be a good enough choice to settle your case, but do they have the "chops" to put on a winning trial? If you have a case that may need to go to trial, you'd better weigh this carefully.


How to Compare Spokane Criminal Lawyers

Here are the general skills and factors that you will want to use to compare your Spokane Criminal Attorney choices. This is not an exhaustive list mind you, but it will put you on the right track. Our observation is that most people do not have experience in working with Spokane Criminal Lawyers, and they really don't know what matters or where to begin. Well start here:

  • Legal Experience: 5 Years Mimimum to Error on the Side of Caution
  • Case Type Experience: They've Handled 10 - 50 Similar Type Cases in Spokane
  • Solid Negotiation Experience and Training
  • Specialized Legal Training: Beyond Law School and Yearly Required Education Credits
  • Legal Knowledge: About Your Specific Type of Legal Matter
  • Production & Case Management Capacity

There really are no magic set of factors, but these are good general guidelines. Could someone that doesn't meet these be a good choice as a Spokane Criminal Lawyer? You bet! But, the point is to know what you're getting, and to have a system to compare various criminal attorneys. Feel free to add to the list.

*Note: pay special attention to #6 Production and Case Management Capacity. By no means is a criminal lawyer required to have staff, and there is nothing wrong with hiring a small office. However, if that small office is pumping a high volume of clients through and doesn't have any support, or good support, cracks and problems will start to appear. So ask how many clients they have. This factor will help you understand if you are potentially hiring a high-volume firm or a lower-volume firm. Decide what kind of quality matters to you?

The Unspoken Skills That You Really Want Your Spokane Criminal Lawyer to Have

  • Personality and the Ability to Work With Difficult People

    Most Spokane Criminal Cases are settled by negotiations (settlement). So you will want to make sure that your criminal lawyer has a good amount of negotiation experience and hopefully some training.

    However, a trait that is not often considered is your criminal attorneys personality and their ability to work with difficult people. Negotiations can easily blow up when tempers boil over. Legal work, especially criminal defense legal work, is filled with adversarial interactions. There are prosecutors and judges that are very difficult. Its not uncommon to run into a prosecutor that has a poor attitude and loves to display their power. Your Spokane Criminal Lawyer has to be able to manage that without putting your case into a tail spin. This is important, because we have seen personality clashes occur that really impact the client’s results. Just be advised.

    I know people love to have a “shark” or a “bulldog” as a lawyer, but these are TV skills. You want a balanced criminal lawyer. Not a “softy” that gets along with everyone and will not rock the boat. But, someone who goes to war only when its time to go to war. Some that is always thinking strategically on your behalf. Cases are not about the lawyers, or their emotions and egos. Cases are about helping your client get the best result possible. That’s what matters. Now, how many lawyers actually act that way?

  • Resources

    There are two major types of resources for you to consider. First, does the lawyer have the right, or enough, resources to properly produce your results. Here we are talking about case management, support staff, and other systems. I said this earlier, but be aware of the number of cases in “production” versus the system/office supporting that production.

    The next resource that you should be aware of is information systems. Lawyers use legal information (cases, statutes, opinions, trends) to produce your legal result. There are criminal lawyers that just keep this in their heads, and maybe take a run to a law library when they are really stumped. Some just phone a colleague, and depend on that opinion (a bit risky in our opinion). Other invest in systems like Westlaw or LexisNexis.

    This is a bit opinionated, but if your Spokane Criminal Lawyer is claiming that they get good results and provide high quality representation, then they should invest in these systems. Ask?

    Not all systems are the same. For example, we spend a few thousand every month just to make sure that we have the most current and relevant legal information for our clients. After all, this is one of the chief ingredients to getting good results for clients. I also want to make sure that I get automatic and reliable alerts to new legal developments so I can apply it to my clients cases. Don’t you think your Spokane criminal lawyer should have this?

  • Client Reviews & Independent Ratings

    Client reviews are important. They tend to corroborate quality claims. If your such a hot shot lawyer, what do your clients say about you? It better match – right? Now, a few bad reviews spread out over time should not cause great alarm. I would be more worried if I saw clumps of bad reviews close in time. For example, the last 3-5 clients had complaints. That may indicate some serious issues.

    However, not all reviews are reliable. I don’t want to accuse anybody of manipulating the system, but we know there are always those few that cheat. The good news is that after reading a bunch of reviews, you can get a feel for whats real and whats manufactured.

    What you really want is for your Spokane Criminal Lawyer to have a good sampling of reviews that are relevant to your subject matter. If the attorney has great reviews for family law, this probably won’t tell you how good they are at criminal law. You also want reviews that are current. If all the reviews are from 2012, it begs the questions why there are no current attorney reviews. At least a few of the reviews should be current.

    Bottom line on reviews: enough reviews to provide a reliable sample, relevant to your issue, and current in time.

    It’s also wise to be aware of how your Spokane criminal lawyer ranks according to various independent resources. Avvo.com is a great place to check ratings. They may not always be accurate, but you can compare the rating to the profile (experiences) and client reviews to see if matches and makes sense.

Legal Fees - Are they Reasonable and Fair, or Are You a Sucker?

What Factors Go Into Determining Legal Fees?

  • Availability
  • Experience & Expertise
  • Skills & Training
  • Complexity & Type of Case
  • Felony or Gross Misdemeanor
  • Estimated Time to Resolve

Some Spokane Criminal Lawyers will use a terrible system of setting legal fees, which we call mood pricing. Mood pricing is not generally supported by any real calculable factors. Thus, we will show you how to compare a range of prices/legal fees to make help you make a decision.

The Best Way to Compare Legal Fees is to Convert Them Into Hourly Units

Today, it is more common to get a project type quote. For example, I'll take your criminal case for $3,500. Some firms will do this, but others will set that as a base and then tack on other charges. Obviously, some criminal lawyers will charge hourly. Just make sure you understand how your being charged, before hiring your criminal lawyer. (Tip: read the contract, especially any payment provisions and make sure you get a copy of the signed contract for your records.)

Let's use an example to show you how to do this. Example: let's say you consult with a Spokane criminal lawyer for an assault case, and they quote you $5,000 to handle the case. Now, that's all well and good, but how much are you paying per hour? You don't know, unless you ask.

Ask the lawyer, "with all their years of experience with cases like this, how many hours do they think they will need to complete your case?" If they don't know that is an issue. If they say it doesn't matter, because they gave you a set price, tell them you'd still like to know how much per hour this comes out to be.

Eventually, they should give you a range of hours. If they say 5 - 10 hours, then you are paying somewhere in between $1,000 an hour to $500 an hour. Is that high? Probably for Spokane, but you'll have to get a few quotes to know that.

You can also do this by just comparing a bunch of project quotes without breaking them down hourly. However, I would caution you to lean toward understanding how you are paying per hour.

Your not looking, hopefully, for the cheapest. I would really recommend against that with such an important matter. You are just checking to make sure that you are being treated fairly and paying reasonable fees that are supported in value.

Hopefully, you end up with a range of quotes. If you've gotten several, you may even see a pattern. If there are prices that are close to each other, then this might be the norm. You might also notice a few prices on the extreme low and high ends. Be careful with those. It's probably safest to throw out the lowest, and make sure to justify the highest, if you are considering it.

The bottom line: make sure that you are not just making an emotional decision, especially since you are probably confused and stressed out. Take some time. Do a bit of easy homework and make a choice supported by who you like, trust, and has offered you reasonable value for what you are really going to get.


Special Offer - What Action Legal Group Will Do To Bring You Results

  • Guaranteed Fixed Flat Fee Retainers - One Price - No Worries
  • Payment Plans if Needed
  • Best Rated Spokane Criminal Lawyers - "Superb" "10 out of 10" by Avvo.com
  • Low Volume Firm - We Limited Ourselves to 10 Clients Each Month - Highest Quality and Attention
  • No High Pressure Tactics - Just Quality Information and Advice
  • Completely FREE Initial Consultation with a Top Rated Spokane Criminal Lawyer
  • Flexible Appointment Times (After Hours or Weekends)
  • Attorneys with 12+ Years of Spokane Ciminal Defense Experience & a Former Spokane Deputy Prosecutor
  • Free Valet Parking

Action Legal Group is a Spokane Criminal Defense Law Firm that was Designed Specifically for Our Clients' Needs. We have two of the most highly rated Spokane Criminal Lawyers. We make doing business with us easy and enjoyable.

By Taking Action Now...

  • You'll Understand Your Actual Situation
  • You'll Know Your Actual Options
  • Guaranteed Fixed Flat Fee Quote
  • Peace-Of-Mind & Clarity of Direction

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Action Legal Group, PLLC