What Happens When I Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Attorney Bill Powers answers the Question:  What Happens When I Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer?


  • What Does It Cost?
  • How Long Will It Take?
  • What’s the Worst Case Scenario?



I often say: Hold Up.  Great Questions.  Let’s start from the beginning and work through this – Bill Powers



When people start looking for an attorney, they normally have a lot of questions.  That is normal.

The Criminal Courts system in North Carolina can be difficult to understand, especially to those whom have had no prior involvement.   Add a certain level of anxiety to the process and, well, that makes for what might appear to be an insurmountable personal issue.

Right Off the Bat, Know This:  We are here to help, not judge.





What might surprise you is we ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS in order to:

  • Describe the Court System, Appearances and How Things Work
  • Explain Options and Review Best-and-Worst-Case-Scenarios
  • Set Forth What Things Cost, How Attorneys Work and What Additional Information is Needed






We do not charge for the initial consultation.  Therefore there is no clock ticking or need to worry about an invoice just for talking to us.

If someone says, “I want your help” that’s we start talking about Legal Fees.

While you may be tempted to ask, right off the bat, “What Does It Cost,” it may make more sense to first figure out, “Do I Need a Lawyer?”

Once you get over that hump, then the financial aspects of retaining an attorney become timely.

As such, the first two things we like to tell people when they call the office for help are:


  1. Everything we talk about is Confidential; and,
  2. We do not charge for consultation.  This call (or consultation) is free.  You won’t be getting a bill from us.



Legal System Sometimes Complicated




SEE:  Powers Included on the 2016 “Top 100” North Carolina Super Lawyers List




In the excitement of trying to explain the charges or what happened, sometimes people miss some basic points.  That is especially true if it involves a complicated factual scenario, multiple charges or a long-standing legal dispute.

Being charged and in some instances arrested for an offense can be pretty traumatic.

Whether it is you or someone you love, a flood of emotions can make things seem all the more difficult to understand or explain.

We like to start with “big picture” items and thereafter work our way to more specific issues.


The first question we want to ask is:  What Type of Case is This?  


That may come as a surprise.  Really?  People forget to tell you what type of case they have?

Absolutely.  Everyday.  And that’s OK.


Legal Questions




One thing we work on as attorneys is listening with an experienced ear.

We want to hear everything you have to say; but, there is a process to how that develops.

There are times we will ask:

  • Where Did this Happen?  What County?  North Carolina?
  • When Did this Happen?
  • Is Someone in Jail?
  • Is There a Court Date Set Yet?
  • Have There Been Court Dates Already?
  • How Many Charges are There?
  • Are There Charges in More Than One County?
  • Is There More Than One Person Charged?
  • Have Police Become Involved?


After the initial phone conference, we often times will want to meet with you in person.  It helps to be able to look someone in the eye, to get to know them and to develop a relationship.

The attention given to finding an attorney is roughly that you would expend in finding a doctor.  It should take time.  It should take some thought.  And more than anything, you should feel comfortable going forward.





Transcript for Hearing Impaired



Modified Transcript of “What Happens when I call a Criminal Defense Lawyer? ” for the Hearing Impaired

What Happens when I call a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

When a person calls our office seeking legal representative or wanting to ask questions, it’s not unusual for them to say, “What does something cost?

How long will this take?

What’s the worst-case scenario or what are the worst-case scenarios?

I oftentimes say, “Hold up. Great questions, but let’s start from the beginning and work through this.”

Now, we can do an initial consultation on the phone where we talk about general things, about a type of an offense or making sure that something, if you’re in jail right then and there, maybe to reserve your rights to remain silent.

Then, we like to sit down with you in person, if at all possible, in the office and go through things.

We like to know the background of a case.

We like to know the background of a client, and it takes time to do that.

Prior to quoting a fee and we will quote a firm free.

We normally do a flat rate especially on criminal cases.

We explain payment options and work that all out with you, but it’s very hard to do that without knowing what we’re looking at.

Are we looking at a driving while impaired case?

Is that different than maybe a speeding citation versus a drug offense versus a murder or manslaughter or felony death type of case?

A lot depends on the type of case, the circumstances of the case, and at times, we consider the person. Is there a bad prior history?

Is someone what’s considered a habitual offender, whether they’ve got numerous misdemeanors or felonies underneath their belt.

Call us.

We offer a free confidential consultation, so when you first call us, there’s not a clock ticking.

We’re not charging you anything.

We want to get information, and then once we have that information, we’ll give you our opinion and we’ll tell you whether we could help you or not.

Please give us a ring.

The telephone number is 704-342-4357.

Talk to you soon.

Bill Powers
2412 Arty Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208


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