YOU’RE UNDER ARREST!
Those might be some of most terrifying words you’ll ever hear. After you’re cuffed, hauled off to jail, and processed, you could wait hours or days—maybe longer—for your case to be resolved. It’s not like you’ve got a criminal defense lawyer on call. While you wait for “the system” to run its course, a million things go through your mind:
And we know that the criminal justice system can be anything but just. An arrest alone, not to mention a conviction, can be devastating to your present and future. The stress that comes with facing criminal charges is something we don’t talk enough about.
The uncertainty and potential consequences that you’re up against are daunting. No one likes to have limitations placed on their freedom, but that’s just the first thing coming during a criminal investigation. Following that, your employment could be in question. And even though the saying is “innocent until proven guilty,” we know that your reputation is about to go through a scandal that rivals TI’s and Tiny’s.
You’re desperate to tell your story, plead your case…If you can get in front of the right judge or if the D.A. takes it easy, you might have a chance. NOPE. Do not think that way.
Here’s the deal: The state was building their case against you long before the arrest came down. So your effort now needs to go into exercising your right to remain silent and finding the best possible criminal defense attorney who will aggressively defend you, your reputation, and your future.
Seriously, the single best action you can take right now is to say nothing. Don’t answer questions. Don’t play let’s make a deal. Don’t negotiate. You are not required or obligated to cooperate with anything. You have the right to remain silent. And THAT is your single best defense…Until we get involved.
What can I expect after I’m arrested?
You can expect that you’ll be treated unfairly. Seriously. The most important thing you can do is keep your cool. Lay low, stay cool, be nice. The government may not show you respect, so know that and keep yourself as calm as possible. In other words, remain silent and respectful. Yes, give your real name and address, but DO NOT talk to ANYONE about what did or didn’t happen in your case.
If you’re the loved one of someone who’s been arrested, they’re going to jail. They’ll be handcuffed, transported by the Atlanta Police Department to the county jail, and eventually be placed in a position to make a phone call. Our jails are pretty crowded, so that call might not come for 6 to 8 hours.
Sometimes your charges are bailable, and sometimes they’re not. Once you’ve been processed, the deputy in charge will let you know what’s up. If your charges are bailable, you’ll be given the chance to make a phone call, and do it in this order: loved one, bondsman, criminal defense attorney. If your charges are not bailable, you’ll appear before a magistrate judge (usually called a first appearance) who will address this bail situation.
Assuming you make bail, you’ll be released from custody as soon as the paperwork is done. Look, the county jail isn’t going to get you in and out like the Chick-fil-A drive thru, so you’re going to have to dig deep and find some patience.
In the meantime, your case is turned over to the District Attorney’s office…and that’s when they get to work. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
What if bail isn’t set or I can’t make bail?
This is where things get sticky. You’ll get another court date in the future (usually within a week) and you’ll be waiting in the jail the whole time. At our office, we call this a preliminary hearing, but sometimes the state calls it a probable cause hearing.
The magistrate judge listens to the evidence and decides if there’s probable cause for the charge to stick. But – and this is a big but – this is NOT a trial, so the “burden of proof” is NOT on the prosecution. They don’t have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty, which means if the judge buys the state’s story, you may be charged with a crime you didn’t commit. YEOW! Again, keep your cool and hire a criminal defense attorney yesterday.
If your charges fall into certain categories, you’ll wait several weeks for a bond hearing, where you’ll appear before a superior court judge to decide if bail should be set.
Tangling with the law is not easy. But we’re in it to win it, and we don’t stop until our clients have the best defense possible.
OK, but aren’t criminal lawyers expensive?
If you’re facing criminal charges, NOT hiring a lawyer will be the most expensive option. The complexity of the law makes it nearly impossible for everyday people to successfully defend themselves. And while a public defender will be appointed to you if you can’t afford an attorney, their caseloads are so high that they don’t usually look at your file until moments before a court appearance.
The sooner you get us involved, the more time, money, and energy you’ll save. Constructing a credible defense is best played as a long game. From the moment you’re arrested, the state gets to work on its case against you. They’ll give you plenty of “opportunities” to “cooperate” with them. Don’t fall for their ruse.
If you don’t have a lawyer, you’re more likely to say or do something that hurts your case, which puts your freedom and your peace of mind at risk.
What seems like an “innocent” question on the government’s part is often carefully crafted to fit their narrative. And they arrested you because they think they had probable cause. What do you think their motive is…to put another win in the District Attorney’s record, or to help you get out of jail free? We all know the answer to that.
So yes, while hiring a lawyer is going to cost “some money,” it will be money well spent if you hire an aggressive criminal defense attorney. How much money? Well, you know the classic lawyer response is “it depends.” If you’re curious about what we’ll invest to defend you and how much you’ll invest in working with us, call or text 770-LAWSUIT to set up your consultation.
we're ready to fight for you
Alright, how do I pick a criminal defense lawyer to work with?
Remember this saying: You can’t do a good deal with a bad partner.
Chances are, you’ve been burned when picking people to work with—that might be what landed you in this situation to begin with. So let’s talk about a few things to look out for when you’re hiring an attorney to defend your rights and your freedom.
You’ve developed some pretty savvy people-reading skills by this point, so tune in to your gut sense. You remember that time you heard a whisper that something was wrong but moved forward anyway and shit went sideways? Let yourself hear the whisper, whether it’s saying yes or no.
Trust your gut when you’re interviewing criminal defense lawyers. Oh, and something to think about: You may not think you can trust your gut because someone you trusted sold you out. It’s our commitment to you to be safe, reliable, and trustworthy. We’ve seen the difference it makes in people’s lives to have someone believe in them, so we strive not only to litigate fiercely but also so show people that they matter and we care.
Pay attention to whether you feel seen and heard. If the lawyer doesn’t leave room for you to talk or finds their allocution more compelling than your experience, ask yourself if they’ll be the right partner for you. When you tangled with the cops, we implored you to exercise your right to remain silent. Talking to your lawyer should feel natural and easy.
Does the conversation flow easily between you and your lawyer? We believe communication creates connection, so we do what we can to keep the lines open. When you work with us, you’ll have our personal cell phone numbers so that you’ve got a lifeline when you need it.
Make sure your lawyer is comfortable in a courtroom. Though there’s a chance that your case will settle out of court, there is also a chance that we’ll need to go to trial. Find out if your lawyer has defended charges like yours and how many times they’ve been to court. That experience is invaluable in negotiating with the state, so you’ll only benefit if you hire a criminal defense lawyer who has experience in front of a jury.
Does your lawyer excel in a courtroom? Skills like strategy, case preparation, investigation, and defense are at the forefront of our minds when we work with our clients. We’re considering not only how the government might view your case but also how a jury would so that you get the best outcome possible.
Huh. So what is your record? Like, can a good lawyer get me out of anything?
While we are proud of our results, we don’t work miracles. If the evidence is stacked against you, we’ll do everything we can to ensure the consequences are appropriate. In other words, we believe the punishment shouldn’t be more severe than the crime. The state might have other ideas, which is why we advocate on your behalf so zealously.
We’ve been the defense lawyers for cases where clients faced 30 years and got 3; we’ve defended cases where we promised 10 years would be the minimum and our client was released in 30 days; and we’ve been in front of a judge who said “this is the worst fraud case I’ve ever seen,” where our client faced 20 years and walked away with two.
We’ve won plenty, and we’ve learned some lessons along the way. While we can’t guarantee a specific outcome, we stand by our track record of getting results for our clients. Our goal is to show you that we have your back, so no matter what happens you feel like we did right by you.
Speaking of doing right by me, how do you protect me?
You’ve probably got a million concerns and few places to share them. It’s hard to carry the fear, stress, and worry that come with facing fines, jail, or prison time. You don’t have to hold on to that burden alone. We know that your mental, emotional, and physical health hang in the balance as you endure the due process of law. And we know you’re “enduring.” We’re here to shoulder the load with you so that the weight of your case doesn’t crush you.
Whatever you share with us is protected by attorney-client privilege. Whatever you tell us, we can’t share unless you waive your right to privilege. We are serious about keeping your story confidential.
We’re also serious about not giving the government any wiggle room, so we are ready and able to challenge evidence. If we see something wrong, we’ll say something. The state may have come by their evidence in an improper way. The evidence may have been handled incorrectly. Witness testimony may contradict itself over time. Whatever the details may be, we’ll say “NO” when something isn’t right. [Realistically, our sentences will be longer than one word, but you get the idea, right?]
We’re looking out for you and your future, so we want to help you to make the best possible choices in the given circumstances. While you may think a plea bargain or settlement sounds great, it could have long-term ramifications that end up being harmful to you. Alternatively, you may be itching to go to trial so a jury of your peers will see it your way and return a favorable verdict, but that might be the worst idea in your case. So in order to help you make the decision that’s right for you and your circumstances, we’ll arm you with the real pros and cons of all your options.
And one last thing—the state is represented by an attorney. Their lawyer has extensive training and experience prosecuting criminal charges. They’re experts at navigating the system. Going up against them without representation or without intense, relentless criminal defense lawyers like us would be like walking into a hungry lion’s cage at the zoo and expecting to cuddle rather than be eaten. It’s not gonna go well for you.
Yeah, I get it.
I need a criminal defense lawyer.
How do we get started?
The first step is to call or text 770-LAWSUIT to schedule a free consultation. During that time, you’ll get to tell us your story and we’ll show you how we can help. We’ll talk about fees, payment plans, and what you can expect when you work with us. You’ll hear all of the options we see in your case, and you’ll have the information you need to decide if we’re the right lawyers for you.
Check it: I hired someone, but it’s not working out. What can I do?
Ugh. We hate to hear that you’re not comfortable with your criminal defense lawyer. Whether you feel like your lawyer isn’t fighting for you or not responding to your communication, it can be frustrating and disappointing to experience broken trust. While it may seem like you can’t do anything about it, you do have options. A few reasons why attorney-client relationships don’t work out include:
Ultimately, if you’re feeling like the attorney-client relationship is broken beyond repair, you may choose to fire your lawyer. Protect your interests first, though. Get a consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney—more than one if you must—to find someone who will represent you with respect, dignity, and compassion.
We offer in-office or Zoom consultations, whatever works better for you. Call/text 770-LAWSUIT to find out what our attorneys do when you’re facing criminal charges and an uncertain future.