Any ethical, honest attorney will tell you no outcome can be guaranteed. Ultimately, juries and/or judges decide the outcome of criminal cases. However, after an initial consultation, we should be able to tell you whether your case is strong or weak. With a sound knowledge of the law and of how to move a case through the system, a good attorney significantly increases the odds of a more favorable outcome for the client and works relentlessly to achieve that result.
The best attorneys are ones who know the law, work hard, and care about your case and your circumstances beyond the money they earn. Beware of attorneys who try to promise you an outcome in order to get you to hire them. A good attorney answers phone calls and talks personally to clients, instead of always referring them to an underling or secretary. And, while most cases can be resolved short of trial, you need an attorney who knows how to try a case when necessary.
With criminal cases, attorney fees vary depending on the nature of the charges. With personal injury cases, you generally don’t need to pay anything up front for attorney services. An attorney receives a percentage of what he obtains for the client; if he doesn’t win anything for the client, then the client doesn’t pay the attorney anything. A good attorney will discuss openly and honestly what he or she will charge and the bases for those charges.
When handled the right way, most cases can be settled favorably to the client without a trial. However, it is important not to settle a case unless and until the settlement is fair to the client, given the facts and circumstances of the case. Sometimes, a trial is necessary to obtain a fair result for the client.