Whitney and Schowalter Defense Attorneys

Common Questions and Our Approach

So you have to go to court, what should you expect next?

 

Our clients feel like they genuinely have an advocate on their side, whether it is in a regular office meeting, a visit at the jail, on the phone, or in the courtroom.

Ms. Whitney has been practicing criminal defense for over twelve years, which means she has been in a courtroom almost every day for the better part of over a decade. In the courtroom, Ms. Whitney’s passion for helping others combines with her finely attuned professional instinct. From her experience, Ms. Whitney knows the arguments to make and the issues to raise. Clients feel comfortable and confident walking into the courtroom knowing they have an aggressive, knowledgeable attorney on their side.

Many people ask whether hiring a lawyer is necessary when you are charged with a crime

When you are charged with a crime, there are so many uncertainties. Until your case has reached a resolution, you will have peace of mind to know that you have an advocate on your side to help you through the process, and to provide you with professional insight into your situation. Choosing an attorney who is a good fit, and with whom you feel comfortable is one of the most important decisions you will make in this process, because this is such a deeply personal and individual experience.

Ms. Whitney’s clients feel like they genuinely have an advocate on their side, whether it is in the office, on the phone, or in the courtroom. Ms. Whitney has been practicing criminal defense for over twelve years, which means she has been in a courtroom almost every day for the better part of over a decade. In the courtroom, Ms. Whitney’s passion for helping others combines with her finely attuned professional instinct. From her experience, Ms. Whitney knows the arguments to make and the issues to raise. Clients feel comfortable and confident walking into the courtroom knowing they have an aggressive, knowledgeable attorney working for them.

Will my lawyer be easy to talk to?

Communication is important in any relationship, including an attorney/client relationship. Ms. Whitney understands that being charged with a crime is stressful enough. Not being informed or knowing what is happening with your case can add needless stress to the situation, and is simply not acceptable. Ms. Whitney understands that communication is a two-way street, and she is in an infinitely better position to represent her clients’ needs and positions when she knows her clients. The only way to know a client is to talk to them, regularly, whether it is in response to the client’s phone call, to meet as needed in the office, or to provide updates as they come or are necessary.

Will my lawyer listen to what is important to me?

First and foremost, Ms. Whitney listens to her clients. She works with her clients to identify what the client needs, and what is important to the client, and works toward a realistic end. Ms. Whitney carefully considers a client’s individual situation in pursuing a resolution in any case. She knows the law and understands how a particular client’s situation or circumstances fuse with the law.

If avoiding a felony or jail time is the most important thing to a client, Ms. Whitney will pursue the best possible plea agreement. Conversely, if a client wants to go to trial, Ms. Whitney will work tirelessly to be prepared in the case facts and in the law every time she goes to the courtroom.

What about my side of the story?

Ms. Whitney has learned from listening to thousands of clients to never take the charges or the State’s evidence at face value. An integral part of any criminal case is defense investigation. Ms. Whitney routinely contracts with an experienced defense investigator to get an independent assessment of the facts and the evidence, which ultimately helps a client make a more informed decision about how to proceed on a case.

Whether it is best for you to resolve your case with a plea agreement, or with a jury trial, Ms. Whitney will keep you informed every step of the way. Sometimes you just do not know how a case will resolve, and Ms. Whitney’s experience enables her to be flexible and aggressive should the situation require litigation or mitigation.

It might look good on paper, but…

An individual considering a criminal charge should know and carefully consider the significant collateral consequences that might arise from a resolution to a criminal case. Many times the district attorney makes an offer that seems reasonable, making it tempting to resolve the case right then and there, and also avoiding the cost of hiring a lawyer. However, the real cost to you in doing this without proper legal advice might far exceed any benefits.

There may be hidden consequences in a criminal charge to students or individuals wishing to pursue certain careers, or to qualify for government loans or assistance. A criminal charge or conviction may affect individuals with certain licenses, from Commercial Driver’s License to other professional licensing in fields ranging from education to nursing. Certain convictions change an individual’s status, and carry life-changing and possibly irreversible consequences, such as sex offenses or domestic violence offenses.

There is also a direct hidden financial cost to most plea agreements. For example, being on supervised probation carries significant fees. Many plea resolutions will require an individual to get mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse or other evaluations and then to participate in classes — all for which an individual would be financially responsible.

It is always better to being fully informed about all of the consequences of a plea before taking any deal.