How To Select A Criminal Defense Lawyer?
April 16, 2018
Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.
Now, if you or someone you love has been arrested, let’s be real, that’s a disaster. It’s highly stressful. No one wants to get that phone call that their brother, mother, sister, father, uncle, aunt, son, daughter, whoever is in jail. At the same time, the person making that call, good grief, that’s a lot of stress. Well, the first thing you should immediately do is contact the lawyer. And when you contact a lawyer who is going to represent you or someone you love, you really only need to ask one question to determine if they are qualified to handle the case because let’s face it. In a modern world of social media and constant advertising and people always trying to stick a long hand into a short pocket to take our money, you can find tons of lawyers but you want someone who knows what they are doing. This is why you only need to know one question, and this is what it is. Are you certified by the Florida Bar as a specialist in criminal law? That’s it. You are either going to hear “Yes, I am”, or you are going to hear the long story of why board certification does not matter.
Board certification does matter. It’s the highest level of experience and qualifications that a lawyer can possibly have according to the Florida bar. It’s not the same as a Facebook like or a social media 5-star, it’s the official people who run the Florida Bar. It’s their 5-star review. So, if you are making that call or receiving that call, you definitely want a lawyer present for first appearance because a determination of bond is going to be made. And that is usually the first time that a lawyer has a chance to actually look at the paperwork, the arrest report and probable cause statement.
These things are critical because they are going to affect the amount of the bond and the conditions of bond. For example, in a domestic violence case, many people end up with no contact orders and kicked out of their homes simply because the proper procedures were not followed to hire an attorney and have that attorney present at first appearance, usually not at the jail but with the judge because then, sitting next to the judge off-camera, they can go ahead and make an argument for the lowest possible bond as well as the least restrictive conditions to get you out of there as quickly as possible or to get your loved one home as fast as is practical.