How much will it cost to defend my case?
This is the question that is burning in everyone’s mind from the moment they schedule the first appointment with us. This isn’t a question we can answer for you until we learn more about you and your case. There is no set fee schedule that we work from. Just like each of our clients is unique, each case has a unique set of facts. Before we can talk about money, we need to talk about you and your family.
To be clear, defending against false allegations of child abuse or neglect will probably be one of the most financially challenging events in your life. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort on our part to effectively defend a child abuse case in Michigan. You’re going up against Michigan Children’s Protective Services and they have very deep pockets. Some of the things we consider when structuring our fees are:
In many child protective cases, we need to hire expert witnesses to debunk the opinions espoused by the Children’s Protective Services workers. If we have a trial, the Children’s Protective Services worker is likely to bring expert witnesses. If you want to shed light on the flaws in their case, it is often wise to bring your own, better expert witnesses to trial. Like any other professionals, doctors and psychologists charge for their time and we must factor this into our calculations.
It is not uncommon for our clients to start off by telling us how the Michigan Children’s Protective Services worker didn’t gather all of the facts or is presenting half of the story. In these cases, it is important for us to quickly preserve the truth before memories fade or people move away. Our firm has a licensed investigator on staff and works with a number of other private investigators around the state.
When we’re preparing for a jurisdiction jury trial, we frequently use focus groups of ordinary citizens to test our arguments and ideas before presenting them to a jury. We only have one shot at a jury trial, so we need to go into it with our best arguments.
Why not hire the cheap guy?
If you call around, you’ll probably find someone willing to start your case for $2,500 or less. The economy is tough and many lawyers who used to do civil, business, or other work have started handling CPS and criminal cases because they look like “easy money.” The unfortunate reality is that many of these attorneys don’t have an understanding of the tremendous amount of work that is required to effectively defend a child abuse case in Michigan. It is not uncommon for a client to hire us after another attorney has made a mess of the case or has realized that he’s in over his head. You have one opportunity to defend this case and keep your family together. Whether it’s us or someone else, you owe it to yourself to hire the best Child Abuse Defense Attorney that you can afford.
If you come meet with us and ultimately can’t afford to hire us, we’ll do our best to give you direction on how to maximize your resources.
What to do next?
Call Josh Blanchard or Keeley Heath at 616-425-5556. We will have a brief telephone conversation to determine what sort of issues we’re dealing with and what kind of time-frame you’re working with. Then we’ll schedule an office consult — usually within hours — where we’ll be able to discuss your case in great detail. We do charge a small fee for the office consult and we’ll give you the details when you call.
To schedule an office consultation to discuss your Michigan Child Abuse case, call 616-425-5556.