Choosing the Right Lawyer
When you have been charged with a criminal offence, selecting the right criminal lawyer is the one of the most important and difficult decisions you will have to make. A criminal conviction can have serious and far reaching consequences on your future and, as a result, choosing a competent and experienced lawyer can be the single most important factor in determining the ultimate outcome of your criminal charges. That being said, picking the right lawyer is more complicated then asking their hourly rate or how s/he may dress. In fact, choosing someone that you are comfortable with and can communicate with are equally, if not more, important than any other factor you consider in making your decision.
To mount the best possible defence on your behalf and ensure the most favourable results, it is crucial that you are able to communicate anything and everything to your lawyer - So finding the right fit is essential to your search!
To decide which lawyer is best suited to your needs it is important to first understand a criminal defence lawyer's role. Contrary to popular belief, a criminal defence lawyer should not simply be someone you hire to tell instruct you what to do. To the contrary, a Lawyer's function is to implement the decisions you make with respect to your case and, in doing so, ensure you are fully informed of the law when making those decisions.
Although you hire a lawyer for his or her legal expertise, their job is not to make decisions on your behalf but rather his/her role will be to ensure you are able to make informed decisions with respect to all aspects of your case. To be informed, you must not simply understand the decision you are being asked to make but also the risk and benefits of each of those decisions and how it will impact your case as a whole.
At the Law Offices of Daniel Michael, we believe that a lawyer's job is to not only help you understand the case against you but we strongly believe that informed decisions cannot be made until you also understand the law and legal principles that underlie that decision.
To be clear, this does not mean that your lawyer should not explore every avenue of attack in preparing your defence but simply that your lawyer should involve you in the decision-making. In doing so, your lawyer should advise you of the risks and benefits of every decision you are asked to make and provide you with his or her expert legal opinion and leave the ultimate decision to you.
You should never be in a situation where someone else has taken over the decision making process entirely and you are made to feel that you have no choice but to accept those decisions.
For example, you should never feel pressured to plea guilty solely on the advice from your lawyer (or anyone for that matter) without first understanding all the evidence against you and the options available to you. This is a misunderstanding of a defence lawyer’s role in the Criminal Justice System. The truth of the matter is your lawyer is employed by you to guide you through the Criminal Process and advocate on your behalf. The person charged is the only one who will face the consequences for the decisions they make and, as such, they must make the ultimate decision on how their charges are dealt with. Even in situations where your Lawyer gives you advice on how to proceed and you decide the contrary, your lawyer should still pursue all legal arguments in accordance with your decision with the same passion and vigor as if s/he had chosen to follow his or her advice- the choice is always yours!
As a client at the Law Offices of Daniel Michael, our goal is to ensure that our clients are fully apprised of the status of their case and actively involved in all aspects of it. Our firm’s policy centres around the idea that an informed client is not only in the position they should be but also a happy and satisfied one.
Should you choose to retain our firm, you will be regularly updated and consulted throughout various stages of the proceeding and no decision will be taken without your direct involvement. Daniel Michael believes that effective legal representation requires frequent communication with his clients and, for this reason, he is always available and returns phone calls promptly. More importantly, Mr. Michael strongly believes that answering your questions should be done in a way you can understand and not simply by repeating complicated legal terms. Simply put, our goal is to make the law accessible to everyone.
At the law offices of Daniel Michael, the initial consultation to discuss your charges is always FREE.
During this consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with a lawyer in a discrete setting to discuss the details of your case and answer any concerns you may have about the Criminal Justice System generally.
This no obligation one-hour consult, will give you an opportunity to not only determine if our office is best suited to represent you but also have some of your basic questions and concerns addressed. In addition, subject to the information available regarding your charges, Mr. Michael will also provide you a free no obligation quote should you decide to retain our services.
At our office, we appreciate the challenges associated with balancing your daily life and the stress associated with being charged with a criminal offence. As a result, we offer flexible office hours that include weekend and evening appointments.
To get the most out of your free consultation, your should bring the following items (if available):
- Your Next Court date;
- Copy of Your Bail (also known as Recognizance of Bail), Undertaking with Conditions provided by Police (Form 11.1) or Promise to Appear
- Disclosure (if provided);
- Any documents provided to you by the police, Crown Attorney or Court; and
- Any other document or information that will assist Mr. Michael to understand the charges against you.
When you leave our offices, our goal is that you leave with a better grasp of the Criminal Justice System and are able to modify your expectations accordingly. In doing so, we hope this free consultation will at least relieve some of the anxiety that comes with coming conflict with the law, regardless if you ultimately decide to retain our services.
To request a Free Consultation please click here