Legal Frequently Asked Questions

You have many questions, and the lawyers at the Walker Law Firm, P.L.L.C., have the answers. We offer a free and confidential consultation.

How do I choose a lawyer?

When choosing a lawyer you need to look at the lawyer's history, the lawyer's experience, your particular case, the expertise of that lawyer in that field, the reputation within the community of that lawyer, the respect that that lawyer has within that community both with lawyers and with judges, and the reputation that the lawyer has outside of the community with other lawyers that are removed from the community. You need to know how long that lawyer has been doing what he/she does, how well he/she does it and what is the lawyers track record and how deeply does he/she care about his/her clients, how personal is the service you are going to receive.

You should expect that your lawyer has the knowledge of the law and experience defending the type of charges you are facing as well as experience in the court where the charges were filed, and that he/she is a skilled litigator and negotiator. In addition, you should expect help with alternative scenario planning, evaluation of your options and risk assessment. This means that the lawyer will listen objectively to your situation and that he/she will help you understand the possible scenarios, evaluate the pros and cons of the available legal options, properly assesses the risks involved, and communicates clearly with you as to what will be the best course of action. You should expect that the communication be open and timely, that copies of all records and all the filings produced by the lawyer and the government on your case will be provided promptly, and that your calls get returned in a reasonable time frame. Information about the proceedings and possible outcomes must be provided in a timely manner so that you have time to prepare for the outcomes.

You should expect that communications with your lawyer will be kept confidential and that your lawyer makes you comfortable and not judge you when you give him/her information. These communication and case management practices are engrained in the Walker Law Firm, P.L.L.C.,'s internal processes and procedures, so we are proud to be able to provide the highest level of professional service to our clients in a consistent manner.

How do I hire the right lawyer?

Every lawyer at the Walker Law Firm, P.L.L.C., has a passion for justice, and every day we translate that passion into action for our clients in courts throughout North and South Dakota. We have a core value that underlies every representation. We never let anyone out work us and we never let anyone out think us.

How much is a lawyer going to cost?

How much do we charge? Every case is different, and every client is different. The only way to know what the appropriate fee is, is to talk to you. We will learn what you have been charged with, where you have been charged and we will learn about all the facts and circumstances that surround the crisis that you are in. Facing criminal charges is one of the scariest times in a person's life, and the last thing they want to worry about is can I afford to hire a competent lawyer to defend my case. Call us and we will be able to tell you right from the outset what the price will be if you choose to retain us. Our reputation precedes us, but just because you think we are an elite law firm does not mean that you cannot afford us. We have very competitive fees and are always willing to work with clients regarding the fee.

I have been arrested; do I need a lawyer?

If you are arrested, it is a serious situation. Criminal charges generally will have a significant impact on all areas of an individual's life, profession, family, education, etc. so it is vital that the criminal matter be addressed properly in order to minimize the potential negative consequences.

You need to call a lawyer immediately. The Walker Law Firm, P.L.L.C., is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and you will always speak with a lawyer when you call.

I have been arrested for DUI; what do I do now?

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, you have been charged with a serious offense. Most people do not realize driving under the influence is a crime and a conviction for driving under the influence can follow you for the rest of your life. Our lawyers are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week and the sooner you involve us in the process the more helpful we can be for you. DUI is serious and we take DUI defense seriously.

Do I have to answer law enforcement questioning?

No, the Constitution of the United States, as well as the Federal and State laws, do not require an individual who has been arrested to speak to the authorities, with the exception of providing basic information about one's identity. The decision of whether or not to speak to law enforcement is a very important one and it should be evaluated with your lawyer as soon as possible.

If you are a suspect or think you could become a suspect, you are within your rights to request a lawyer before speaking with any law enforcement officer. By law, everything you say to your lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Anything you say to law enforcement officers can be held against you.

If arrested, what steps can I take on my behalf?

Do not discuss your situation with anyone except your lawyer. Unless your lawyer says otherwise, do not discuss your case with law enforcement. Request to have your lawyer present if you are to be put in a lineup or subjected to testing. Remain calm and courteous. Allow your lawyer to speak for you to ensure that your rights are protected and you are given all the benefits afforded to you under the law.

What happens after a person is arrested?

Generally, a person who has been arrested is brought to the police station or jail where he/she is booked into the jail. This means law enforcement will take personal, historical and biographical information. Law enforcement will use this information to determine if the individual has any warrants or a criminal history in order to evaluate whether or not he/she can be released from custody and whether the payment of a bail/bond is required.

If law enforcement intends to detain an individual, the person will be brought before a judicial official, and at that time, bail/bond will be addressed.

Generally, law enforcement will file a criminal complaint in court and the individual will be required to appear before that court. During the arrest procedure, law enforcement may also seize property, records, and/or materials as evidence.

I have been told that there is a warrant for my arrest. What should I do?

If there is a warrant for your arrest, it is important to review your situation with a qualified criminal lawyer so that a defense strategy can be established for your case.

Can a Warrant be removed?

Yes, a warrant is removed upon the appearance of the individual before the court. The existence of a warrant generally means that a criminal charge is pending before a court and that the court has made a preliminary determination that there is probable cause that the individual committed the criminal offense.

A warrant may also be issued, after a criminal proceeding has been initiated if the individual has not complied with an order of the court; for example, attending a hearing, paying a fine, or properly completing conditions of probation.

In very rare circumstances, an individual may have a warrant removed without his/her appearance before the court, for example, if a warrant was issued because an individual did not comply with the court's order of attending a rehabilitation class, and the lawyer can prove that the individual properly attended the class, then the court may remove the warrant without requiring the individual to appear.

If I plan on pleading guilty, do I still need a lawyer?

The advice of a lawyer is critical to making a proper decision about the disposition of a criminal case, even if you intend to plead guilty.

If I get offered a plea bargain, should I take it?

Any offer or plea bargain should be evaluated carefully with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, to ensure that your rights have been protected and that you understand the short term and long term consequences of the plea.

Should I represent myself in a criminal case?

There is an old saying that has endured for many years and says that: A person who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer. A person generally does not have the knowledge and understanding of the law and the procedures and even if they possess that knowledge, they generally do not have the ability to evaluate their situation objectively due to their personal involvement. It is therefore, never recommended to represent yourself in a criminal case as there is a risk of serious life altering consequences.

Are lawyer's results guaranteed?

No. Every case involves a number of different factors or variables that although they may be influenced and partially controlled by lawyers, they are not completely controlled by them. Results, therefore, cannot be guaranteed, as they also depend on the nature of the case and the factors surrounding it. These may include, the strength of the evidence obtained by law enforcement, the history and tendencies of the jurors and judges, the conduct of the client and witness, etc.

What is the difference between a criminal case and a civil case?

When a crime has been committed, action is taken by a government agency against the person, persons, organization or other entity that violated the law. The first purpose of a criminal prosecution is punishment, which frequently consists of a fine or jail time.

In a civil case, the dispute is between two or more individuals or entities. The first purpose of a civil prosecution is obtaining compensation for the wronged person or entity. Settlement in a civil case is generally an award of a money judgment. A criminal sentence is not imposed in a civil case.

How do I know if I need a lawyer in a personal injury case?

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury because of someone else's fault, it is important to obtain as much information as possible in order to make an educated decision about your legal options. A lawyer can help protect your rights in a case involving personal injury or negligence. You are not obligated to file a claim, but an experienced law firm can offer advice about your options and then you can decide whether or not to pursue legal action.