Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is not an everyday ocurrence for most folks. The experience can be pleasant or terrible depending upon your relationship with the attorney. There are many things that the client can do to help in his or her case. Be polite, always show up to appointments on time, pay the agreed fees when due, etc. However, many clients are unaware of the pet peeves that defense attorneys have when it comes to representing a person in a criminal or DUI case. Here are the top 5 ways to drive counsel crazy:
One. Constantly sending emails requesting “updates” on the case. Do not get me wrong, it is perfectly acceptable to request an update periodically, but demanding updates every other day, in the middle of the night, on weekends and after hours can quickly get under the skin of an advocate. If the case has a major development the lawyer will notify the client in a timely manner, you can be sure of this. Do not be a pest.
Two. Having many family members call and get information on the case. This can really become a major aggravation. When three or four brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, all call asking the same questions, or call to get an “update” you can imagine how exremely time consuming and stressful for an attorney who is focusing his time on resolving the case. For a lawyer to return to the office and see messages from multiple family members seeking a return call, this can quickly lead to ire and contempt for the client. The better way to deal with this is appoint one family member as the representative, that person can disseminate the info to everyone else.
Three. Failing to make payments on the fee in a timely manner. A criminal defense lawyer gets paid for the time he puts in on the case, not the results he obtains. We cannot control bad facts and evidence, we are not magicians. If a case has bad facts the lawyer’s job is to find a way to minimze these facts. Work put in on the case should be compensated, pay the attorney on time as agreed and you will have a happy relationship with the lawyer.
Four. Showing up to Court late. Court has a set time, usually 8:30. When the client is late for a hearing or trial it reflects poorly on the case and it wastes the time of jurors, judges, staff and other lawyers. Be on time.
Five. Be on time to office appointments, when you show up an hour late, you will quickly anger the one person who can help you, be courteous, understand that the attorneys time is valuable.