The Right Attorney Will Not Promise Unrealistic Results
Interviewer: The average person doesn’t have to choose an attorney very often, so when they do, they’re totally unfamiliar with how should they do it. What kind of guidance can you give? What should people look for? What should act as red flags or warning signs to people?
Kevin: You should always make sure you feel comfortable with the attorney. Some attorneys are good salesmen, so they’re going to tell you a lot of things that you may want to hear but they can’t necessarily deliver.
A person should always be wary of a lawyer who makes promises other than the promise that he will provide the best services that he can possibly give to that client. What I mean by that is, if an attorney says, “Oh, I promise you I’m going to get this case dismissed,” then the client should run the other way, because it’s impossible for an attorney to make that promise.
There may be certain instances where the charge should have never been brought, because there was no real evidence to support the compliant. In that instance, the attorney can feel comfortable saying, “Well, I think I can almost guarantee that this case is going to be discharged or dismissed.”
That situation is highly unusual. Again, I think that you just never want to trust an attorney that makes absolute promises.
The Criminal Justice System Does Not Dispense “Favors”
The other thing is, there are attorneys who will say, “Oh, I know the judge” or “I know the prosecutor” and that judge or prosecutor will do me a favor.
In New Jersey, judges and prosecutors will not only lose their jobs for doing a defense attorney a so-called favor by getting rid of the DWI, these attorneys will also be brought before the ethics board and potentially lose their ability to practice law.
It’s foolish to think that an attorney can make that promise based on some past relationship and actually deliver. In fact, I’ve seen a number of attorneys make these promises and then I’ve seen that promise not come true. The clients then came to me for an appeal of a guilty finding.