Most attorneys typically focus on a specific area of the law in their practice. Personal attorneys are equipped to deal with a wide range of civil matters but might be at a loss on how to proceed with a client’s criminal matter. Representing a client in a criminal case without the skills to provide an adequate defense will leave your client potentially exposed to stiffer penalties.
A knowledgeable Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer can take on your case as a referral to provide your client with the right representation to fight their charges. There are many ways that a criminal matter can become entangled with a civil case and the experience needed to litigate a criminal case may be beyond the capacity of the client’s attorney.
If you need to refer your client’s criminal case, our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers are ready to help. Call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane today at (609) 257-4019 for a free case review.
When You Should Refer a Criminal Defense Case in Pennsylvania
Civil attorneys handle many different legal issues for their clients depending on the nature of the case. Your client might have criminal implications stemming from their civil matter, however. For instance, you could be representing a client in a personal injury case involving a car accident where your client injured someone while driving drunk. While you can adequately represent your client in the civil matter, you might not know where to begin when building a drunk driving defense.
Lawyers owe their clients a duty to provide the best representation possible while looking out for the best interests of their case. However, it is not always possible to provide our clients with the legal representation they need if a lawyer lacks experience litigating criminal cases. Missteps in a criminal matter can have a profoundly negative impact on your client’s chances of fighting their charges. If you think that your client’s criminal case is beyond your capabilities, a case referral could help. Our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers are open to referrals when you believe you lack the necessary skills to provide your client with the legal representation they are owed.
Referring an Out-of-State Case to a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pennsylvania
In some cases, geography will play the biggest role in your decision to refer a case to a criminal defense lawyer. For instance, if your New Jersey client was arrested and charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, they will need to be represented by a Pennsylvania-barred criminal defense lawyer in court. You will not be able to provide representation for your New Jersey client unless you are licensed to practice in Pennsylvania. If you are an out-of-state attorney with a Pennsylvania criminal case, our firm of experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers is ready to take your case.
Types of Cases to Refer to a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pennsylvania
Clients in a civil lawsuit might find themselves in need of representation for a related criminal matter. Civil and criminal issues often overlap as the act that caused damages in a civil case could also have criminal penalties tied to it. For instance, your client in a wrongful death car accident case might face criminal charges for vehicular homicide, as well. Our office is equipped to handle a vast range of criminal cases that your client could be implicated in:
- Drug charges
- Domestic violence
- Robbery and theft
- Traffic violations
- Juvenile offenses
- Probation violation
- Sex crimes
- White collar crimes
Each type of criminal case presents its own challenges just as civil cases do. Our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers can help with your referral regardless of the crime implicated in your client’s civil matter.
Fee Agreements for Criminal Defense Case Referrals in Pennsylvania
A case referral fee agreement is a business arrangement between lawyers whereby one lawyer refers their client to another lawyer who is better equipped to handle their client’s case in return for an agreed-upon amount. A lawyer might refer a client to another attorney for many reasons but usually, it is because the referring lawyer knows they do not possess the legal skills to adequately represent their client in both their civil and criminal proceedings. While fee agreements are allowed in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct require that a few conditions be met.
Under 204 Pa.C.S. § 1.5, a lawyer may enter into a fee agreement if the client is advised of the participation of all the lawyers involved and has no objections, and the total fee the lawyers agree on is not illegal or clearly excessive for all legal services they rendered to the client. However, attorneys representing a client in a criminal case or family law case in Pennsylvania cannot charge a contingency fee, so the terms of a fee agreement will need to be discussed on a case-by-case basis. Our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers can discuss your case and see if a fee agreement with our firm is the right option for you and your client.
Why Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers are Right for Your Client
Our office is staffed with Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys that have experience litigating many different types of criminal cases. If you find that your client’s civil case involves a criminal matter, you might need to refer your client out for more appropriate legal representation. The nature of civil cases means that criminal charges following the same incident are not as uncommon as one might think. For instance, torts are a type of personal injury cases that included intentional violent acts, like assault and battery, which will likely also incur criminal penalties in addition to civil monetary damages. Or you might need to refer your case to another attorney if you represent a corporate client where the CEO is charged with a white-collar crime.
Litigating criminal cases is also quite different from civil cases. In an average civil case, a complaint is filed, followed by questioning of witnesses and then settlement negotiations and pretrial hearings before trial. In a criminal case, however, the case typically starts with an arrest. Once arrested, your client will be arraigned, and their bail amount set by a judge. Following arraignment, there could be several pretrial evidentiary hearings arguing over vital issues, like the suppression of implicating evidence or requesting outstanding or withheld evidence from the prosecution. And an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney will likely be in a better position to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution that best secures your client’s rights. Our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers can help you determine if the needs of your client’s case outweigh your ability to adequately represent.
Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Help
If you have a client facing criminal charges, our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers can help provide your client with the representation they need. For a free case consultation, call Young, Marr, Mallis & Deane at (609) 257-4019.