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Legal Advice

I do some work in a law office. I see things. I'm not a lawyer, but let me give you some legal advice anyway.

Don't be a wise-ass. You think you can pull something criminal and get away with it? Maybe. Maybe not.

If not, here's a couple of things you can look forward to: The FBI coming to your house at 5:00 a.m. and banging on your door, waking up not just you but also (if you have them) your wife and kids. The federales will ask you a few questions, or, more likely, they will just put the hand-cuffs on you and take you away. Won't you be proud? Your wife and kids and maybe even your neighbors seeing that?

We will pass over the part about booking and being arraigned and the tearful calls your wife has to make as she desperately searches for a lawyer to represent you at your arraignment. A lawyer? We don't have lawyer. Whoever thought we would need a lawyer?

I'm not going to waste time on your legal problems. What happens with that depends too much on what you allegedly did. You watch the shows on T.V. You know all about that stuff, I'm sure.

So let me just finish up with the part about how many tens of thousands of dollars it's going to cost you to get a decent criminal lawyer. You'll need to produce the money up front, of course. These guys are used to dealing with, well, criminals who, as a group, are not notorious for making good on their legal bills after the fireworks are over. That means you have, oh, maybe a couple of days to hit up your relatives, or to sell something, or to take a loan against the house, or what-all.

Unless you want a public defender, of course.

I have enormous respect for the public defenders. For the most part they are committed people who will do their best for you, but the government really doesn't care if you are properly represented and so it doesn't give the public defenders much money and it certainly overworks them terribly.

Believe me, if you have the ability to come up with the money to get your own lawyer, you will do it. Being trapped in the criminal justice system will terrify you, and you will do whatever you have to do to try to save yourself from it.

No charge for the advice. As I say, I'm not a lawyer. I'm just a guy who winces a lot whenever he sees people doing incredibly stupid things to themselves.


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