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How to Hire an Attorney-Five Common Tricks Attorneys use to get Your Money Part 2

Trick #1: Promises

This is a biggie. The Florida Bar, the organization that regulates the conduct of attorneys, strongly prohibits an attorney from making a promise to a potential client to get their business. The purpose of this prohibition is to prevent an attorney from lulling you into a false hope of a specific outcome that the attorney truly has little control over.

I will use a hypothetical to better demonstrate what kind of promise to be wary of. Let us say that you were drinking at a bar over the weekend and you got into a scuffle with another patron at the bar over whether light or dark beer is better. Unfortunately for you, the bouncer threw you out and you were subsequently arrested for a battery. You bonded and are now in search of a good defense attorney that can help you through the first criminal charge you have ever received. You talk to Mr. Smith, Esq., a local attorney that is known to get great results. While talking with Mr. Smith, he says "there are no witnesses to this and it is just the victim's word against yours. It'll be $2000 and I'll get this case dropped before it is even filed by the State."

Mr. Smith, Esq. has promised an outcome in exchange for you money. This is not allowed by the Florida Bar, and many other state bars. At this point in your case, Mr. Smith has zero control over whether or not the case against you is filed or dropped. This decision lies solely within the discretion of the State Attorney's Office. While his analysis of the case regarding thelikelihood of the charges being dropped may be sound and proper, he cannot guarantee or promise that he can get this result when trying to get your business.

Promises extend beyond the filing of criminal charges. A promise of a certain settlement in a civil case or plea bargain in a criminal; a promise by an attorney that she can get you custody of your children; or a promise of a certain result in a probate proceeding. These are all examples of statements an attorney may make in order to convince you that you should hire him or her.

This is not to say an attorney cannot make promises. An attorney can make promises as to what actions he will take. A lawyer may promise to "leave no stone unturned" or "do everything within his power to ensure the best representation" or "fight every possible aspect of a case". These promises are ok. They are promises of what the attorney will do for you not promises of what the attorney will get for you.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DUI
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