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This page contains answers to commonly-asked questions about hiring a lawyer in general. Additionally, we offer answers to questions that you may have about the various services that we offer at Crutchfield & Wilson.
We understand that you if you are faced with a legal situation, you likely will have many questions which cannot be addressed in this forum and may require a more thorough, individual evaluation by an attorney to answer. Keeping this in mind, the information contained herein should not be utilized as legal advice, nor are the answers meant to represent any sort of a guarantee.
You should always have your specific issue reviewed by competent counsel prior to reaching any decisions regarding how to proceed with your personal legal situation. Remember, you are always welcome to schedule a free, no obligation telephone or office consultation to more completely address the concerns of your particular issue.
Table of Contents
• How do I choose an attorney?
• How do I contact you?
• Where is your office located?
• What is attorney-client privilege?
• Can Crutchfield & Wilson handle cases outside of Brevard County?
• Can Crutchfield & Wilson help me with my traffic citation?
• Does Crutchfield & Wilson handle appeals?
• What if my case doesn't fit any of your outlined specialties?
• Can a lawyer guarantee a verdict or outcome?
• How long will my case take to resolve?
• How much will my case cost?
How do I choose an attorney?
The hiring of a lawyer is a very important and personal decision and should not be made based upon advertising alone. You should look for an attorney that is knowledgeable and experienced in your area of need. Since it is also important to hire an attorney with whom you feel comfortable, you should be offered an opportunity to personally speak with the actual attorney whom you may wish to hire.
How do I contact you?
You can contact one of our lawyers 24-hours a day 7-days a week at (321) 639-5900. During business hours, we will put your call through to one of our attorneys immediately or as soon as he or she is available. Additionally, we have a "live person" answering service to take your emergency telephone call and patch your call through to a lawyer after hours and on weekends. If you prefer, you can email us at info@CrutchfieldLaw.com. or complete our response request form located under the "Contact Us" page of this website. We will respond to you within a couple of hours of receiving your email or response request form submission if received during business hours (or on the following business day if sent after hours). Rest assured that your information is important to us and we will respond quickly and appropriately. And remember, we never charge you for such a consultation.
Where is your office located?
We are conveniently located to all of Brevard County at 5575 South U.S. Highway 1, Rockledge, FL 32955, just 5 minutes north of the Pineda Causeway on U.S. Route 1. See Map.
What is attorney-client privilege?
The Attorney – Client privilege is an evidentiary rule that protects both attorneys and their clients from being compelled to disclose confidential communications between them made for the purpose of furnishing or obtaining legal advice or assistance. The privilege is designed to foster frank, open, and uninhibited discourse between attorney and client so that the client's legal needs are competently addressed by a fully prepared attorney who is cognizant of all the relevant information the client can provide. The attorney-client privilege may be raised during any type of legal proceeding, civil, criminal, or administrative, and at any time during those proceedings, pre-trial, during trial, or post-trial.
In the law of evidence, it is a client's privilege to refuse to disclose, and to prevent any other person from disclosing, confidential communications between the client and his or her attorney. Such privilege protects communications between attorney and client that are made for the purpose of furnishing or obtaining professional legal advice or assistance. That privilege that permits an attorney to refuse to testify as to communications from the client. It belongs to the client, not the attorney, and hence only the client may waive it. In federal courts, state law is applied with respect to such privilege.
It is important to note that this privilege will generally include a consultation with an attorney even if you do not actually hire that attorney.
Can Crutchfield & Wilson handle cases outside of Brevard County?
Yes. We frequently handle cases in Volusia, Seminole, Orange, Osceola and Indian River counties. As members of the Florida Bar (and of the Georgia Bar in Mr. Crutchfield’s case), we are privileged to represent clients in any county throughout the states of both Florida and Georgia. However, please contact our office to discuss the specifics of your case if it is outside of Brevard County so that one of our attorneys can help you evaluate the cost effectiveness of hiring our firm versus exploring the option of hiring counsel local to areas outside of Brevard County. If hiring counsel located outside of Brevard County appears to be your best option, we are often able to assist you by recommending counsel who practice locally in that particular County.
Keep in mind that depending upon the specifics of your particular case, many times we are able to file a motion to change venue or petition for the transfer of jurisdiction of a case from other courts to Brevard County, Florida.
Can Crutchfield & Wilson help me with my traffic citation?
Yes, we handle all types of traffic citations. In fact, depending upon the circumstances, we are usually able to resolve the majority of traffic citations and obtain a favorable outcome without you ever needing to appear in court.
Does Crutchfield & Wilson handle appeals?
Yes, if after analysis of a case it appears that it legally qualifies for an appeal and filing an appeal would be timely. The appeal must be filed within certain time constraints from the date of the Court’s written Order or Judgment which is the subject of the proposed appeal, usually thirty (30) days. Therefore, it is important to contact an attorney quickly to protect your rights.
In general, whether in criminal, civil or dependency (DCF) cases, filing an appeal is appropriate when the lower Court failed to follow the law in its Ruling, and not simply because the Court’s Ruling is unfavorable to you. If after review we agree to accept your appellate case, you should be aware of the following: that our firm is familiar with the appellate process; that we will diligently perform the legal research pertinent to the facts of your particular case that is required; and that we will present your case to the appellate court in such a manner so as to show that our position is proper based upon the facts of the case and the law.
An appeal may not be required in some civil cases, and you may be able to obtain relief from a Judgment, Decree or Order under a theory of mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, fraud, etc. under Rule 1.540 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure by filing an appropriate Motion to the Court. You must file such a Motion under this Rule within one (1) year after the Judgment, Decree or Order is entered or taken. Clearly, your case would need to be carefully evaluated in order to explore all of the legal avenues available to you in obtaining your specific goals.
In Criminal Court, appeals are governed by Rule 9.140 of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, which (in part) states that a defendant may appeal:
(A) a final judgment adjudicating guilt;
(B) a final order withholding adjudication after a finding of guilt;
(C) an order granting probation or community control, or both, whether or not guilt has been adjudicated;
(D) orders entered after final judgment or finding of guilt, including orders revoking or modifying probation or community control, or both, or orders denying relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a), 3.850, or 3.853;
(E) an unlawful or illegal sentence;
(F) a sentence, if the appeal is required or permitted by general law; or
(G) as otherwise provided by general law.
What if my case doesn't fit any of your outlined specialties?
If you have a legal issue, please feel free to contact us even if you do not see your area of need addressed on this web site. If we cannot provide direct assistance, we can likely refer you to someone who can.
Can a lawyer guarantee a verdict or outcome?
Absolutely not. As you are aware, there are very few definite outcomes in life - and that goes for our legal system as well. No ethical attorney can guarantee a verdict or outcome in any case. At Crutchfield & Wilson, what we can guarantee you is that we will give your case the personal attention it deserves, the expertise it requires, and provide you with zealous legal representation. Additionally, at the time of your initial free consultation, we will provide you with a legal opinion on the outcome you can most likely expect and explain how we would proceed in an effort to obtain the most favorable result possible in your case.
How long will my case take to resolve?
That depends. A simple traffic citation or truly uncontested divorce can usually be resolved in less than a month. Conversely, a complicated divorce or bodily injury case can often take many months to resolve. Most criminal matters fall somewhere in between. There are numerous factors involved in estimating the length of time it will take to resolve a case, and this question can only be accurately answered after learning the specifics of your situation.
How much will my case cost?
The cost for legal representation varies relative to the type and complexity of your case. Bodily injury (also known as personal injury) cases are based upon a contingency fee agreement at Crutchfield & Wilson, wherein your legal fees and costs are paid from any monetary recovery obtained for you. As such, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. Criminal matters are typically based upon a "flat fee" agreement, wherein you will be quoted a specific fee for handling the case. The amount of the fee quoted is related to the severity of the crime of which you are accused, your prior record and other factors. Family Law matters involving custody, child support and/or alimony are evaluated as to the complexity of the case. You will then be quoted a retainer fee based upon the attorney’s hourly rate and his or her good faith estimate of the amount of time that will likely be involved in resolving the case. In some cases, it is appropriate to request that the Court order your spouse or former spouse to reimburse you for your legal fees and costs.
Should you choose to take advantage of our free consultation, we will gladly provide you with a fee quote for your particular case.