Interviewer: What are some qualities that you should be looking for in an attorney when it comes to drug charges?
Lauren Scardella: Experience is always something that you should be looking for in a criminal defense attorney for any kind of case. Interview the attorney, ask them about their knowledge of the law, ask them if they’ve ever represented anybody on a case that’s like yours. An experienced attorney will likely have represented people on a wide variety of different kinds of drug charges. They should be convinced that the attorney is going to look out for them and is really on their side and is going to give their case a full and fair evaluation and really work hard even if the ultimate resolution is that they end up pleading guilty.
It is Advisable To Retain an Attorney That the Client Feels Comfortable With
The biggest mistake that people make is that they call and they ask simply, “How much does it cost for you to represent me?” That’s just a wrong question, and price alone is not a helpful answer because somebody may give you the lowest price but if you’re bargain shopping for a lawyer, you may not get the best quality, just like with anything else. You’re probably going to find a lower quality product at a big box discount retailer than you are at a high end luxury department store. You’re going to pay a lot more at the high end store but whatever you buy is probably going to last much longer than a similar product from the discount retailer.
The Cheapest Available Attorney May Not be the Best Option In A Drug Case
So, you don’t want to simply be thinking about price. Price is a big factor because not everybody has the same resources. But, you want to have somebody who you feel comfortable with and who’s an experienced, good criminal defense attorney because without that, you’re just throwing your money away, even if it’s only a little bit of money because you hired the cheapest lawyer around. What’s the point of that?
An Attorney Gets Paid for the Time and Effort That they Put In to Defending a Particular Case
Interviewer: Are people paying for the time that an attorney puts in?
Lauren Scardella: Yes. Some people get confused and think that they’re paying for a result although I’m always very emphatic about the fact that they’re not paying for a result. They’re paying for a service and our service is our time with the client, with the file, with the prosecutor, doing our due diligence. Even with doing all of that, we can’t guarantee a specific outcome. No one can, and an attorney that promises you a specific result is lying. We can make educated guesses based upon our experience, but we can’t ethically or morally guarantee an outcome.
The way we look at it is, would you rather pay somebody to just hold your hand while you plead guilty or do you want to pay somebody a little bit more money to look under every rock for a defense? If they don’t find something, there’s really nothing that can be done but you know that if you plead guilty that you’re really doing it because the state really can prove their case, and you have the peace of mind of knowing that your lawyer really worked hard on your case.