What to Do If You Can't Afford a Murder Lawyer Through Trial

Posted By Bill Nimmo || 26-May-2015

If you are charged with murder or some equally serious crime and your family cannot afford to hire a high quality lawyer for trial, consider hiring a high quality criminal defense lawyer through the preliminary hearing. Typically in a murder case, the preliminary hearing can be continued out several months, so that the defendant can process the usually massive amounts of police reports and interviews that exist.

You are probably asking yourself why you would hire a lawyer only through the preliminary hearing stage. I will try to answer that. First of all a really good experienced murder lawyer will be able to understand exactly where this case is going to end up once he/she has reviewed all of the materials. This is an invaluable service because not all lawyers seem to “get it” as clearly as a serious murder lawyer. I have personally tried 20 murder cases to verdict and have settled many, many more. My results are very good. I started out as a violent crime prosecutor and have made the various aspects of violent events my area of expertise. I understand all that is necessary to know about fingerprints, blood and fluid evidence, DNA, lighting, eyewitness frailty, trace evidence, hair comparisons, autopsy evidence, firearm and ballistics, handwriting, shoeprints, blood spatter, and any number of other fields of expertise that enter into a complicated homicide case. This expertise is essential for anyone charged with a murder.

A high quality violent crime lawyer will be able to see areas of weakness and develop those issues to maximize their positive impact to the defendant. In many cases of murder it is difficult to tell who did it, and a good murder attorney will prepare to show that weakness to the prosecutor at the time of the prelim or in negotiations beforehand. If there is an affirmative defense, such as accident or self defense, or even a reduction from murder to heat of passion manslaughter, a good defense attorney will be able to use the preliminary hearing to bring that possibility out to the Court and to the DA. This is important because sometimes the DAs don’t see the weakness in their case until a good lawyer points it out to them through cross examination or other presentation of evidence. So even though the prelims are treated lightly by the prosecution and even by defense lawyers, it is a great opportunity to broadcast the weakness in the case to everyone who reads the prelim transcript. So after the preliminary hearing when the defendant gets assigned an appointed attorney again, they will have the opportunity of having the case laid out for them in black and white. You never know, when you have an appointed lawyer if you are getting someone good, someone with enough time to work the case, or someone creative enough to understand how to subtly win the case.

I do this frequently and it works out well for my clients. They simply cannot afford the amount that it would cost to do a conscientious job through a trial. So I give them the next best thing; a properly set up case that the DA recognizes their issues and softens them for settlement, and a roadmap for the new court appointed attorney to follow. In addition, if there are good issues in the prelim they have the benefit of my experienced cross examination skills to expose the issue. I develop a relationship with the client that they know they can trust my word. And if tell them to take an ungodly amount of years they know that my advice is correct. If I see substantial weakness in the case I can impart that knowledge to them so they can use it with their new court appointed trial lawyer.

I would imagine that across California, there are very good criminal defense murder lawyers who can do exactly what I am talking about. I use myself as an example but there are plenty of good lawyers all over the state. You just need to check them out to see if they are the real McCoy or the Great Pretender.