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What are the odds someone could get a lawyer for $50 just to help prepare a defense (but not appear in court on my behalf)?

Des Moines, IA |
Filed under: Criminal defense

What I'm looking for is someone to help me write motions, voire dire questions, interrogatories, plan my defense (mostly look at what I currently have planned out and offer suggestions and corrections), and maybe available for hire if I lose (for appeals). The case is very simple and I have an idea of what I want to say and do in court, but I want it to look proffesional and have a higher chance of success. Is it possible to find this somewhere or am I better off going it alone?

Would it be possible to just purchase templates even?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Best answer

    Maybe that would buy a short session with a beginner, but criminal defense is one area where quality does often correspond to price paid.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


  2. What you are describing, even for a simple case could take 10, 15, 20 hours.

    So what you are asking is can you get a lawyer who will work for $2.50 to $5 an hour.

    Answer- probably not.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this matter.


  3. Not likely

    $50 will pay for about a 25 minute session and I know of no quality lawyer that can do all those multiple tasks in such a short time.


  4. Most attorneys would be resistant to this type of set up, and for good reason. If things did not go as you planned, it would be very easy for you to sue the attorney for not telling how to fill in the forms correctly, or say the right thing at the right time, etc. Think of it this way: If you need to have your spleen removed, you are not going expect a doctor to sell you a scalpel or two, some anesthetic, and give you few how-to suggestions for $50. Same concept. I would be suspect of an attorney, or doctor, who would agree to this.

    By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.


  5. If finances are an issue, you may want to consider applying for court-appointed counsel.


  6. The odds are very slim.

    You can reach our offices directly at (515) 288-6041. The comments listed here are of a general nature and should not be understood to create a formal attorney-client relationship -- that is, I am not, and I cannot give you legal advice here. I am licensed in Iowa and to become your attorney, I need to understand the particular facts and circumstances of your legal question.


  7. I weigh in because I was lucky enough to attend the University of Iowa for law school and received a great education. While I appreciate your desire to save money, I think what you are doing is, to be polite, unwise. If you could find an attorney willing to go along with the business arrangement you suggest, I would urge you not to hire him/her simply because he/she agreed to do it. A criminal trial, even for a very minor charge, is no tea party. If you do not have the funds to hire counsel, seek out the services of the public defender. If you have the resources, hire the best attorney you can afford, hopefully someone who knows the court you are in and has a good reputation in the community. Iowa is a great state, and has an outstanding trial bar. I wish you luck, but you will need more than that to get through this.

    The response I have provided is general in nature, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. My practice is based in Rhode Island, and the law and practice in other states or jurisdictions may be different.

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