Being cuffed, driven to the station, booked and hauled off to county jail for an overnight stay is a traumatic experience. No amount of television or books can prepare you for the smells, sounds and the abrupt loss of privacy. Suddenly you are surrounded by people you don’t know. It is a terrifying experience.
The only way to exacerbate this nightmare is if you attorney is apathetic or unengaged with you. It is everyone’s fear that in their most vulnerable moment their champion and defender is a washed up lawyer uninterested in their story. Your attorney has an ethical obligation to communicate to you every important development in the case. This means that any plea deals, new evidence and substantive defenses must be communicated to you by your lawyer. Your lawyer also must respond to your requests for updates.
You want an attorney that will both aggressively represent you and provide you with consistent communication. This is a life altering event, and it is understandable that you are anxious regarding any updates or developments. Attorney’s that dismiss your concerns and fears are failing in their ethical and professional obligations to you.
Another aspect that many people take for granted is being treated with respect. When you’re in jail, you can lose all respect. However, your attorney should treat you with respect. Your attorney should give the same professional level of service that they would give to anyone. Your circumstances do not dictate how your attorney may treat you.
Criminal defense attorneys are one of the few jobs enshrined in the Constitution. You deserve an attorney that honors that legal, ethical and moral obligation. A criminal charge and arrest is a terrifying experience. Don’t just settle for an attorney. Retain one that will aggressively represent your rights. Don’t put your liberty in the hands of someone who doesn’t care or can’t be bothered. The attorney that fights for you should represent you with as much energy as you or your family would.