The first step in meeting Oscar is to set up an "initial consultation". A consultation will consist of an in-person meeting with Oscar at his office. Person to person meetings are preferred but if that is not physically possible, then a consultation may be done by phone. A typical consultation lasts between thirty minutes to one hour. It is likely you will have many questions and concerns about your legal problem. In this consultation, Oscar will closely listen to you and attempt to answer your questions about your legal problem. It is the goal of Oscar that at the conclusion of the consultation, you are educated on the legal process, understand how your situation impacts your life and how it may be handled to minimize the impact to your life, family and future.
If, after the initial consultation, you decide to hire Oscar as your attorney to represent you with your legal problem, then it is his goal to give you the best possible representation. You will be presented with many options and decisions throughout your case. It is Oscar's responsibility to advise you on what options are best for your particular situation. You will decide how your case is resolved. Oscar will give you all the information necessary for you to decide on which option or direction your case should go. Your case may be a case that goes to trial to a jury or to a judge. It may be a case that has a plea bargain negotiated with the prosecutor. It may be a case that is handled through pre-trial legal motions. It may be a case that is handled through a civil compromise.
Oscar's goal is to give you complete and thorough information about your case in order to help you make a decision that you are comfortable with. As part of giving you the best representation, it may be necessary to employ various experts to assist in this process. The most frequently used expert is a private investigator. An investigator can be used to interview witnesses, to locate witnesses not mentioned in police reports, to gather personal background information about you, and to assist in general trial preparations. Other experts that may be used during the course of representation are medical experts, firearm experts, fingerprint experts, mitigation experts, or a forensic scientist. The ultimate purpose for the use of an expert is to provide information that helps your defense.
There are two fee arrangements an attorney can make with you to cover legal fees in your defense. The first is an hourly fee arrangement and the second is a flat fee arrangement. It is very important that whatever agreement you choose, that it be documented through an actual written fee agreement.
In addition to attorney time expense, there may be other costs that a client will be responsible for. This may include such expenses as copies of police reports, 911 tapes/cds, postage costs, and expert fees, such as the use of a private defense investigator.
Each case is different. The cost of your defense can vary significantly, depending on the severity and complexity of the charges against you. At the initial consultation, Oscar will have a better idea as to what the estimated cost will be to defend you.