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If a criminal lawyer chooses not to elaborate on how he feels your case may turn out, what does this mean?

Staten Island, NY |

I heard a lot about one particular criminal lawyer, he charges very reasonably, is on avvo a lot, with super reviews. I consulted with him this morning, but when it came down to him giving , his idea on he thinks or his feeling as to how the case will turn out, he just shuts me down, like i have to talk to the DA or I have to see yours your file. I thought that was what a consultation was for. This kind of scared me. Do you think he feels I have a very difficult case or a case that's will not end in a good disposition?

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Attorney answers 6


Any other response from him would be irresponsible. He only heard your story, which, I assure you, will differ from the DA's story. The best he can do is discuss popssible defenses and similar dispositions.

Any response I provide is meant as a general view on the subject and is no way intended to be specific legal advice to any individual. If you wish specific advice, you should hire and consult with an attorney of your choosing.


Impossible to say. It is not always easy to make a determination after an initial consultation. Sometimes a substantial investigation is necessary. Good luck.

This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


It may depend on what type of case it is and whether you were able to show him the Criminal Court complaint. There is a big difference between how a case for drug possession will turn out (no victim) and a case for assault will turn out (victim). Do not be alarmed if your case has an alleged victim and the lawyer only had your account to go by.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 17 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


In addition to what my colleagues have said, it may also be that lawyers are paid for their legal advice and opinions. As the old saying goes, why would you buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?

I am not your attorney. These comments are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The comments were prepared and offered for general informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide any specific legal or other professional advice of any kind. You should speak with a licensed attorney for definitive legal advice if you have any specific questions.


For many cases, it is simply not possible to assess the case without looking at the file. Also, obtaining a "good disposition" involves two parties - the defense attorney and the DA. Attorneys can tell you what has been offered on similar cases in the past, but cannot guarantee that your case will receive the same offer until they have reviewed the file and talked to the DA. Further, the DA is not authorized to discuss a plea offer with an attorney until that attorney is actually retained on the case and files a Notice of Appearance.


I get asked this question often. Some cases, have pretty predictable outcomes based on the limited possible resolutions and knowledge of the plea bargain guideline practices of the individual DA Offices. It is simple for example to give an opinion that a drinking in public case will have to pay a $25 fine. That is the standard guideline offer and while an ACD or dismissal is possible; there aren't too many alternatives. Other cases, most notably crimes involving assault, domestic violence, weapons, and most felony charges are much less predictable. More facts may be necessary to assess your situation. I always use the analogy of a doctor. You go in for whatever medical problem you have and the doctor refuses to give you a diagnosis without getting back the x-rays, blood test or other test results. Sometimes additional facts are necessary. Look at the alternative, would you rather an attorney dishonestly tell you everything is going to end well without knowing more facts and then find out additional information that changes his mind. I'm pretty sure the first complaint would start: "But you told me..."

I am a former Brooklyn Criminal Court Deputy Bureau Chief with over 17 years experience specializing in handling criminal cases. All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. Also, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication.

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