These are the toughest economic times in this country in a long time. Now
this may not be an interesting subject for you to read but you need to
understand it because it affects you directly. Families are having a much
harder time accessing enough money to hire good lawyers. You have probably
seen in the news all the big companies who are going under because of
the collapse of our economy. When General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford are
on the verge of going under you know this country is in trouble. And it
is not just in the automobile industry, it is everywhere! People in this
country are losing their jobs left and right.
To summarize how it happened, it began with the collapse of real estate.
For many years regular folks have bought houses. As the real estate values
increased the value of their homes increased. People who bought a house
for $75,000 or maybe $100,000 years ago suddenly had a house that expanded
up to where it was worth $300,000, or even more. Lenders would lend these
people money based on the increased value of their homes and the amount
they owed rose steeply. Those with not great credit could get loans from
lenders just based on their equity (the value of the house over what is owed.)
All these lenders then sold their loans to companies on Wall Street who
packaged them up as “securities” and sold them to investors.
Then the values of real estate started to drop. And the values kept dropping
and dropping and dropping. In California values had grown way high and
the drop was steep. Regular people who had loans on their equity suddenly
owed more than their house was worth. The Wall Street companies who had
sold these mortgages as securities began to collapse. The stock market
shot down to where the impact was worse than the great depression of 1929.
Companies started going under. People lost their jobs and could no longer
afford their mortgages. And here we are.
Your family, which used to be able to afford to get a loan on their house
to help pay for your defense could no longer do it. Lenders haven’t
loosened up yet and the equities in the houses are still low. Even on
the smaller cases, families are having a harder time because they need
the money and they think that they might as well let the public defender
handle the case. The public defender caseloads are growing higher and
higher and their staffs are not growing to accommodate the increased caseloads.
If you are charged with a serious crime you really need to hire a good
lawyer. Now you need to make you choice more carefully because you can’t
afford to make a mistake. Many times we see people hire some lawyer, their
family pays a lot of money, and they end up realizing that the lawyer
is just not that good. It used to be that the family could afford to bypass
that mistake and hire another lawyer. Now chances are they can just afford
hiring a lawyer one time. You don’t want to end up realizing your
life and freedom are on the line and you have to get rid of your bad lawyer
and go back to the overworked public defender or panel attorney.
Make sure you and your family hire an
experienced criminal attorney or a firm who is reputable and capable of providing you the best defense.
Look at their credentials, their results, and interview them carefully
so you can hear for yourself, if they know what they are doing. In fact
you should interview more than one lawyer so you can see the difference
for yourself. You can tell by listening carefully to them if they know
what they are doing. Don’t be fooled by someone who promises a lot
because they may not be able to deliver. And you don’t want to be
on trial’s doorstep when you find out your lawyer is not worth a damn!
Also see if the attorney or the firm has a serious financing plan. If you
are going to finance a larger amount the family is going to have to back
it up with a good long term job, their retirement account, or their property.
They will have to put a significant amount down but that is better than
having to pay the entire fee up front. They will also have to pay interest
on the payments. In a smaller case the family will have to have a good
long term job, decent credit, and agree to be responsible for the payments
plus interest, through a debit or credit card.
More carefully, this is a huge decision and it could literally mean the
difference in many many years in prison. With the firearm enhancements,
gang enhancements, and strikes you could end up spending so much time
in prison that you will be very old if you ever get out. Remember, however,
giving up is not an option!!