5 Helpful Questions to Ask Your Criminal Defense Attorney


Like any major decision, hiring an attorney can prove difficult. There are numerous factors to consider when looking for legal help, and your initial consultation may seem daunting. Below are a few questions that can help you choose the best attorney for your individual case.

What are your attorney fees and costs, and how are they billed?

Apart from attorney fees, there can be various costs that accumulate during your case. These can come in the form of court costs, fines, restitution, and even fees for expert witnesses. Be sure to thoroughly read the fee agreement presented to you at your initial consultation to see what costs the client will be responsible for and what is included in a flat fee. At Hartwig Law, we usually charge a flat fee for criminal cases, which means one amount is remitted to cover all hearings and motions leading up to a trial. However, should your case proceed to trial, we will discuss with you the additional costs for trial preparation, attendance, and any expert and process server fees that may incur.

How many years have you been practicing?

Years of experience that an attorney has can translate to better relationships with judges, court staff, and other attorneys, which can all affect the outcome of your case.Additionally, relevant experience is an important base to cover and ideally you will want an attorney who has experience in the area that you are inquiring about.Attorney Hartwig has over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, is death penalty certified, and has tried many cases resulting in not guilty verdicts.To see more of our noteworthy cases and results obtained for our clients, visit our noteworthy cases page of our website.

What is the likely outcome of my case?

Any experienced attorney will want to evaluate your individual case before jumping to conclusions regarding possible outcomes. Every case is different, and can have varying outcomes depending on the judge, prosecutor, and defense attorney involved. Be wary of attorneys who make guarantees regarding the outcome of your case. Attorney Hartwig will always be upfront about the pros and cons of your case and will advise the best route to take when faced with criminal charges, plea deals, and the possibility of going to trial.

Is there anything I should do while my case is pending or before my next hearing?

While there tends to be a lot of downtime between hearings, there are some things you may be able to do that could look favorably for you. If you have any type of drug or alcohol related charge, going through counseling or rehabilitation may help get you a reduced sentence. Feel free to contact us or visit our blog for information regarding the various court programs in the Mahoning County. Additionally, restitution often factors into cases, so preparing for that in advance can be beneficial. Attorney Hartwig will be able to advise you on what you should and should not be doing while your case is pending.

What are the different possible sentences that I can get?

Each level of felony and misdemeanor offenses has its own sentencing range within which a judge can impose a length of jail time or an amount in fines. There are instances, however, where a judge may impose a type of probationary sanction in the place of jail time. Clients often want different types of results from their cases (from avoiding jail time, fines, or points on their license), so it is important to discuss the different forms of sentences with your defense attorney.

At Hartwig Law, we pride ourselves on being trustworthy, reliable, and experienced. If you or someone you know needs legal assistance in Ohio or Pennsylvania, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (330) 718-9499!

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