Hiring a criminal defense attorney for legal representation for yourself, a family member, or a friend for a criminal arrest or criminal allegation sometimes is very difficult, especially when extradition occurs. Although a Defendant can challenge the extradition at a hearing, by and large the only issue when someone is extradited from Michigan is whether or not the Defendant is the same person who is named on the out of state warrant. Innocence of the Defendant, even when his or her innocence is overwhelming, will not prevent extradition from occurring.
One of the hardest parts when someone is extradited to Michigan and needs a criminal lawyer is that it is often an unexpected expense which usually comes at the worst possible time. An experienced criminal lawyer is a necessity in as much as the person who is extradited to Michigan is already at a disadvantage with the Court as it relates to bond and potential issues concerning flight to avoid prosecution. Under the best of circumstances, money is available to retain the criminal defense lawyer for the agreed upon amount and the issue of ability to pay is not an issue.
When retaining a Michigan lawyer from out of state, the most common methods of payment are: credit card payments, money transfers between bank accounts, wiring money, and mailing checks or money orders. Checks or money orders are usually sent overnight mail due to the need for a lawyer to take action immediately. A written fee agreement can be sent through email or regular mail after an understanding as to the terms of representation are reached over the telephone. Of course, in some instances family members and/or friends of the Defendant travel from out of state to Michigan in order to show support and to find a criminal lawyer. If contact is made with Hilf & Hilf, PLC, an appointment can be scheduled to meet at our law offices at a mutually convenient time so that your questions and concerns are promptly addressed, and immediate steps can start in the defense of your loved one by an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
There is no attorney fee amount in Michigan for any criminal offense that is fixed by the Michigan State Bar Association. The attorney fee charged by criminal lawyers varies between lawyers, and usually the amount to retain the lawyer contemplates the complexity of the matter, the time commitment involved, the inability of the lawyer to handle other matters due to the time commitment, and the reputation and experience of who you hire. That being said, there are several payment options which may make experienced criminal defense legal representation more affordable than you think:
1) Payment plans are sometimes available, however the attorney will always need enough of a down payment to enter an appearance and appear on the case;
2) Credit card payments are sometimes a solution;
3) In some instances, an individual may be able to obtain a loan from a bank, financial institution, or from their church or religious organization to provide payment;
4) In many cases a help comes from a family member or friend who is willing to step forward to help. Many persons let their pride come in the way of asking a parent, uncle, aunt, grandparent, child, or other relative for help – to not ask for help is likely to be the worst and most damaging possible decision;
5) Often an agreement is reached with the employer of a Defendant to pay attorney fees, and deduct the cost from the Defendant’s paycheck over time;
6) A tax refund is used on occasion to hire a lawyer;
7) In some instances a Defendant’s bond can be assigned to his or her lawyer at the conclusion of the case as payment. When the bond is in the Defendant’s name, however, the Court will deduct amounts for any fines, costs, supervision fees, and/or restitution any return any remaining balance. The remaining balance may be very little, depending upon the circumstances. Also, there may be a premium charged when payment is made by assigning the bond because the attorney bears a risk that the Defendant will fail to appear or otherwise engage in conduct that revokes the posted bond;
8) Although a criminal lawyer is not ethically allowed to enter into a contingency fee agreement in Michigan (no fee unless a specific result is obtained), there are instances when a person has a unrelated pending lawsuit settlement which he or she will receive in the near future. In some instances an agreement is reached between a person and a criminal defense attorney to put an attorney lien on a portion of the anticipated settlement to cover the retainer fee of the criminal defense attorney. In some criminal cases, the attorney fee can be paid through the proceeds of the settlement of a related forfeiture case.
For criminal charges an indigent Defendant can ask for a Court appointed lawyer, which is not always his or her best choice. The quality of the Court appointed attorney is based upon the luck, or unluck of the draw – and people who get in trouble or are accused of committing a crime and extradited sometimes are just plain unlucky. It is not unheard of for the Court appointed attorney in some cases to be overworked, underpaid, unappreciated, indifferent to the consequences, and apathetic about his or her client. Furthermore, in some cases the Court will not appoint a lawyer based upon the financial ability of the Defendant.
In any circumstance in which a criminal accusation is made that involves either extradition from Michigan or extradition to Michigan, you should always take the time to discuss the situation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to see if a retainer agreement can be reached. The failure to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney may turn out to be your greatest regret – do not risk being legally represented by someone who does not care about you, your loved one(s), and your future. Take the time to contact Daniel Hilf, at Hilf & Hilf, PLC, today.