Every year, 100,000 people come into the federal system. State prosecutors bring charges against thousands more. Those people hire lawyers. Some may need a guide to prepare.
In the previous article I shared how a consultant can add value.
Consultants should know the system. That’s for granted. Yet not all consultants have the same level of expertise. Due your due diligence before hiring any advisor.
- How did the consultant train?
- Why should you trust the consultant?
- How much experience does the consultant have?
- How can the consultant bring good results?
- What do others say about working with the consultant?
It’s relatively easy to find answers to those questions. The consultant may provide a thread of information. But as the cliché holds:’
“In the world of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
Serving time in prison doesn’t qualify someone to serve as a consultant.
Many people cite their length of time in prison as validation. Success may be a better validation.
Defendants should consider many factors. The process will influence every aspect of life. It influences career, family, finances, and business. Liberty is at stake, but much more, too. Every decision will has costs. A qualified consultant can help. Valuable information leads to better decisions.
A person may have served time in many prisons. Yet prison time cannot help people resolve complicated issues.
Defendants hire a consultant to serve as a guide. As such, the consultant should provide a clear scope of work. If the consultant doesn’t offer clear deliverables, red flags should surface.
A good consultant should clear the defendant’s thinking. Today’s decisions influence outcomes. Costs come with each decision.
A good consultant will validate why a suggestion has merit. Case studies and verifiable statistics can help. The consultant should have a mental athleticism, arguing either side. The more insight, the more confident a client can decide which course of action to take.
A good consultant is like a coach. The consultant should have experience and resources to draw upon. If the consultant makes guarantees, make sure to ask questions. Does the consultant have the capacity to make guarantees?
Accept guarantees for honesty. Beware of accepting other promises. No one can change the past, and a criminal charge focuses on the past.
Look for a depth and breadth of experience. Do past clients praise the consultant’s work ethic and honesty? Search for validation in the marketplace. Each side of the system may endorse a skilled consultant. Look for peer-reviewed publications. In the end, make sure you’re comfortable. Be aware of experience levels. A criminal charge can be traumatic. It can disrupt life for those who fail to prepare effectively.
Do anything possible to prepare for the best possible outcome. But choose your guide wisely. In the next article, I’ll discuss how to hire a prison consultant.