Choosing the Right Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney

When facing criminal charges, it is essential to have the representation of a skilled and dedicated Connecticut criminal defenselawyer. Aligning yourself with an unexperienced lawyer could have disastrous, perhaps irreversible, consequences. At Tomeo Sills, LLC, we pride ourselves in bringing 45 years of combined experience to each case we handle. Below are some questions that you should ask a lawyer before retaining his or her services.

Here Are Some Questions You Should Ask Your Potential Lawyer.

What is the best or worst case scenario for my case’s outcome?

Obviously in any criminal case, the best case scenario is that the charges will be dismissed for any reason. The worst case scenario is obviously that you’ll be convicted of the charges that you’re facing and could potentially face a maximum sentence, which often involves a period of incarceration.

Generally, there is a middle ground and an outcome will be somewhere in between. If the charges don’t get dismissed, generally we are able to come to some sort of plea agreement with the state prosecutor that would allow a client to maybe not have a felony record or maybe not go to jail when it comes to plea negotiations.

Are you familiar with the prosecutor or judge?

Although we have a set of laws, those laws are all enforced by and prosecuted by human beings, so it’s very important that you ask your attorney about the prosecutors in the court where you’ll be or the judges in the court where you’ll be appearing. You should ask the lawyer what his or her experience is in dealing with those people and matters similar to yours. Some prosecutors and judges have their reservations about certain types of charges or certain types of crimes, so you want to know that before you hire the attorney to represent you.

What kind of paperwork do I need?

Generally, prior to the person even coming into our office, we will ask them to provide any paperwork they were provided with by the police officer when they were arrested. Oftentimes, after we meet with the client and get their story, background, medical history, criminal history, we will advise the client to provide us with additional paperwork. We’ll always send that in writing to the client so there is some documentation of it, but basically the attorney should be telling the client what kind of paperwork he or she needs to best represent them.

How long will my case last?

How long the person’s case may last will be important for a number of reasons. Simply going to court involves time. Missing a day of work to attend court would be significant, so the person is going to want to know how many court dates are anticipated and how long the attorney anticipates the case going on. Most people want to put these cases behind them and move forward with their lives.

How much will this cost?

A person should get a sense of what type of fees the attorney expects, legal fees, what the structure of those fees would be, whether or not it’s on a flat fee basis for criminal cases, which is generally what our firm does. We would charge one flat fee to handle the case and another fee should the matter go to trial. The person should always be aware of what the fee structure is that the attorney is charging, and also what expenses or fees the person may be responsible for on top of the attorney’s fees.

It’s important that you and the attorney are on the same page regarding this so there are no surprises and so that you can make a reasonable decision whether or not financially you could hire the attorney. It doesn’t do the attorney nor the client any good to get halfway into the case and then the client isn’t able to pay for things. An attorney who is handling the case should never be constrained by their client’s financial situation. We do have a public defender service that could help people that don’t have the financial means to hire an attorney.

How much are your fees?

Attorney’s fees vary on a case by case basis. Our firm generally charges flat fees to handle criminal cases. Those fees are generally split up into two components: a pretrial fee and a trial fee.

The pre-trial fee is often significantly less than the trial fee because the amount of time it takes to try a case in Connecticut by far outweighs the amount of pretrial time that the attorney needs to put into the case. The fees for pretrial vary depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of the charges you’re facing, and your prior record. Basically, our fees are an assumption of the legal work we would have to put into the case and the fees are sort of outlined accordingly.

What is your experience and past record?

It’s very important to hire an attorney that is experienced, especially in cases similar to yours. You want to know from the attorney what percentage of criminal cases he or she handles and also whether or not he or she has prior experience handling the specific charges that you’re facing. Other good things to ask potential lawyers is about their educational background and how often they go to court on cases like yours.

What sort of activities should I refrain from?

When we are handling their case, probably the most difficult thing for us to deal with would be if the person got arrested again for similar conduct or for anything at all. You should fully understand the conditions of your release. Sometimes you’re not allowed to drive a vehicle or you’re required to go to counseling classes. You should absolutely be on notice as to the things you can and can’t do while your case is pending. Also, especially in cases that are domestic in nature, oftentimes the person charged is prohibited from having contact with the alleged victim in the case, so they should certainly be aware of those restrictions as well.

Have you handled similar cases? What was the outcome?

It’s probably one of the most important questions that you could ask an attorney because generally, in the legal world, we deal a lot with precedent and how similar cases should be treated in a similar manner. After you give the attorney your set of facts and charges, you should be able to get a sense from that attorney on how he or she expects your case to play out based on prior experience with similar cases and his or her overall knowledge of the law and how those cases are generally treated.

How often do I need to be in contact?

You need to get a sense of how much you will need to participate in the process or what the attorney will require of you or require you to do. In most cases, we tell our clients that we do virtually all of the work for them, it’s included in our fees that we charge them. It’s generally very little that we ask our clients to do. If we ask them to do anything, it’s only because we feel it would substantially assist their defense. But it is also important to get a sense of the time commitment as far as attending court, what the attorney expects of you outside of court a far as witness preparation, and client meetings.

Accused? Hire Tomeo Sills, LLC to Represent You.

We at Tomeo Sills, LLC are confident in our abilities to defend you from the charges you face, no matter how complex. As our client, you can expect that your case will be treated as our top priority. When you entrust your case to our firm, you can feel at ease in knowing that it is in good hands.

Wish to retain our high-caliber legal services? Give us a call today.