Entries by Burges McCowan

What is the Scope of Representation?

When hiring an attorney, a client should be very clear on what exactly the attorney is going to do for the client.  The Scope of Representation explains the details of the service the attorney is providing for his or her fee.  The Scope of Representation should be in writing and clear.  In a criminal case, […]

What is a Retainer?

A Retainer is the money a client provides the attorney at the beginning of the case.  This money is held in trust by the attorney.  The attorney tracks all the time he or she spends working on the client’s case and then bills the client.  The money held in trust as a retainer is used […]

What is a Flat Fee?

Most criminal defense attorneys in Arizona charge a Flat Fee. This means the client pays one fee instead of paying for each hour the attorney spends on the case.  The benefit of this method is the client knows how much the case will cost at the beginning and does not have to worry about an […]

What are Expenses in a criminal case?

Expenses are the costs in a case that the client is responsible for paying.  These costs are in addition to the fee paid to the attorney. Expenses vary from case to case but an experienced attorney should be able to give you a good estimate of the expenses you may face for your type of case. […]

Is a Flat Fee Refundable?

A Flat Fee is generally not refundable.  You are paying for the attorney to handle your case, not for the amount of time the attorney spends on your case.  Also, Arizona State Bar rules prohibit an attorney from promising a particular result.  Therefore, there cannot be any sort of money-back guarantee. However, if you or […]

Who is the Primary Attorney?

The primary attorney is the lawyer who actually does the majority of work on the case.  Some firms will prominently display one attorney on their advertisements as the face of the firm. But when it comes time to actually do the work on the case, you are handed off to a less experienced attorney. Firms […]

What is the Judge’s role in the criminal process?

In the beginning of the case, the judge is neutral and serves to make sure the case is progressing in a timely fashion.  The judge does not decide if the case should be dismissed.  The judge does not know the details of the case, aside from what the attorneys tell the judge. The judge does […]

What is the Grand Jury?

The Grand Jury is a group of citizens that meet to listen to the prosecutor present cases and request they be charged against the accused. The Grand Jury meets in secret and the accused is not present.* Usually the prosecutor calls just one witness, a police officer that worked on the case.  The officer will […]

What is Probable Cause?

The phrase “Probable Cause” comes from the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. To have Probable Cause, there needs to be sufficient evidence for a prudent person to believe that a crime was committed and the accused probably committed the crime. What that means is the government needs to have enough evidence for the average […]