Fulton County – Aggravated Assault by Strangulation

We see it happening more and more often in Fulton County: Battery-Family Violence charges being upgraded to Aggravated Assault-Strangulation. This means that the person originally arrested for a misdemeanor, can now be facing not only the misdemeanor of Battery-Family Violence, but also the serious felony offense of Aggravated Assault by Strangulation.

Why was my Battery Family Violence case transferred to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office?

Officers initially make the arrest decision, but prosecutors have the ability to draft up indictments to present to a grand jury based on the facts within the officer’s original report. If there is any mention that the person placed their hands on the victim’s neck, it is possible and probable that the case will be upgraded to a felony offense of Aggravated Assault-Strangulation. Given the fact that it is a felony, the case will be sent to be prosecuted in felony court also known as Fulton County Superior Court, by attorneys who prosecute more serious cases.

What is Aggravated Assault Strangulation?

Georgia law states that a person commits the offense of Aggravated Assault by Strangulation when he or she assaults with any object, device, or instrument, which when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation. There are defenses in these cases as Georgia no longer defines what Strangulation means. The Georgia statute used to say that “Strangulation” is defined as impeding the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck of such person or by obstructing the nose and mouth of such person. Without that definition on the books anymore, it is very fact specific on whether or not the State can actually prove strangulation. In most cases, where there has been no loss of conscious, it will be difficult for the State to prove actual strangulation. Therefore, when the facts state that someone’s hands were placed on another’s neck, then arguably the person has committed a misdemeanor battery instead of the serious felony offense of Aggravated Assault by Strangulation.

What does it mean for my Fulton County criminal case if I am now facing Aggravated Assault by Strangulation?

Having the case upgraded to Aggravated Assault-Strangulation can lead to much harsher sentence if you are found guilty.  The crime itself carries 1-20 years in prison, which can be stacked with the other crimes originally charged and can result in a lengthy prison sentence. If you are charged with Aggravated Assault by Strangulation in Fulton County, you will be prosecuted by the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in Fulton County Superior Court and the stakes are certainly higher. Given the harsher penalties associated with violent felonies, it is imperative to seek a Georgia criminal defense attorney early on who can evaluate the case and immediately begin building the defense. Being proactive by speaking to a lawyer immediately after an arrest is the best way to ensure a strong defense when your case goes to court. Call us today for a FREE CONSULTATION about your Aggravated Assault by Strangulation case at 404-581-0999

Driving with a Suspended License in Fulton County

By: Attorney Alex Henson

In Georgia, driving with a suspended license can result in an arrest and conviction for a misdemeanor. If you are found guilty of driving on a suspended license you will face no less than two days in jail and a fine of $500 to $1000. You could also be placed on probation. Pleading guilty to driving on a suspended license will also result in a new suspension of your Georgia driver license for six months. You can avoid a new suspension by pleading nolo contendre (no contest), but this option is only available once every five years.

A second or third conviction of driving on a suspended license in a five-year period will result in no less than 10 days jail and a fine of $1000 to $2,500. You can also face additional penalties such as probation. A fourth conviction in a five-year period will be considered a felony and is punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison as wells as fines and probation. If you are arrested or cited for driving with a suspended license having a lawyer fight your case can result in a better outcome. Call us at (404)  581-0999 for a free consultation.

Racing on Highways – DeKalb County Lawyer

Street racing is considered a major traffic violation in Georgia. Since 2020, there have been a significant increase in Street Racing and Laying Drag tickets and arrests in DeKalb County, and the Atlanta Area. In response, police in DeKalb County have implemented a substantial effort to reduce street racing and laying drag on highways. This blog will explain in detail the law on Racing in Georgia.

Racing on Highways or Streets, defined by O.C.G.A. § 40-6-186, means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain, outdistance, or prevent another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles, or to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes. Georgia law prohibits any vehicle on a highway or street to engage in any race, or speed competition. It is considered a misdemeanor criminal offense. Officers in Georgia can either issue a citation or make an arrest for Racing. After citation or arrest, there will be an arraignment hearing where you will be asked to enter a guilty or not guilty plea. During the course of the criminal case, there may be plea negotiations, a bench trial, or a jury trial.

What is the punishment of Racing in Georgia?

Since it is a misdemeanor offense, the maximum penalty is 12 months in jail for this charge.  In addition to Racing, the officer may also cite you with Speeding and Reckless driving, which each can carry another 12 month sentence consecutive. In addition to probation or jail, and high fines, there will be insurance premium increases, and a mandatory license suspension. If you are convicted of Racing in Georgia, the license suspension is a minimum 120 days. A limited permit is an option that can be explored.

However, the driver’s license suspension could be much longer depending on any previous tickets on your motor vehicle report. This is because Racing is a contributing offense towards Habitual Violator status. For example, if in the past five years you were convicted of Suspended Registration, DUI, and Racing, it would be a five-year habitual violator suspension. A skilled defense lawyer will evaluate your motor vehicle report to help advise you on license consequences as well as negotiate favorable resolutions where license suspension, points, and jail are always avoided where possible. Lastly, bench and jury trials are also an option in Racing and other traffic cases in DeKalb County.

If you or a loved one has been cited or arrested for Racing in Atlanta, give us a call for a FREE CONSULTATION at 404-581-0999. With increased focus throughout DeKalb County and Atlanta, on these types of charges, it is imperative to have an advocate in court if you are charged with Racing or Laying Drag in Georgia.

Aggravated Assault Strangulation Charges in Georgia

We deal with a number of cases involving a husband and wife or couple charged with aggravated assault after an argument.  Police know that in responding to a call involving domestic violence all they need to do is to ask the correct questions and a minor scuffle turns into a felony charge of aggravated assault by strangulation.  We commonly see officers responding to a domestic dispute ask the woman did he put his hands around your neck?  In some cases, out of anger, the response is “yes!”  Is it enough to put your hands around someone’s neck to justify a felony?  The answer is actually no.


Let’s start with the law in Georgia.


Georgia code Section 16-5-21 (a) (3) provides that “[a] person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he … assaults … [w]ith any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation[.]” Strangulation is defined as “impeding the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck of such person or by obstructing the nose and mouth of such person.” OCGA § 16-5-19.


As such in order to be convicted on the charge of aggravated assault – strangulation – the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person identified as the victim had a disruption in normal breathing or circulation of blood to their brain.


In one of the seminal cases in Georgia (Sutton), the victim testified Sutton put his hands around her neck, that she could not breathe, and that the pressure caused her to pass out, as well as to clench her teeth so tightly that it broke one of the teeth on her denture plate. The jury was able to view the photographs of the victim’s neck which showed injury. Thus, there is some competent evidence to satisfy the strangulation element of the aggravated assault charge.


The officer testified that the victim reported that she had begun to lose consciousness, but had not actually lost consciousness as a result of Sutton’s acts. To the extent that there was conflicting testimony as to whether the victim actually passed out, that was for the jury to resolve.

The Judge will charge the jury as follows:


Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, a person commits the offense of aggravated assault when that person assaults another person with any object, device, or instrument that, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation.


“Strangulation” means impeding the normal breathing or circulation of blood of another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck of such person or by obstructing the nose and mouth of such person.


To constitute such an assault, actual injury to the alleged victim need not be shown. It is only necessary that the evidence show beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant (attempted to cause a violent injury to the alleged victim) (intentionally committed an act that placed the alleged victim in reasonable fear of immediately receiving a violent injury).

The State must also prove as a material element of aggravated assault, as alleged in this case, that the assault was made with an object, device, or instrument that, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in strangulation;


What if a victim of aggravated assault takes the stand and tells the jury (1) this didn’t happen – he never choked me, or (2) She doesn’t remember the incident.


It does not matter if the victim told the officer on the scene the defendant choked her.  When a statement in court at trial contradicts a previously given statement the previous statement is called a prior inconsistent statement and the statement to the officer on the night of the incident is admissible as substantive evidence.


Chambers v. State, 351 Ga. App. 771, 833 S.E.2d 155 (2019), is illustrative of a recanting victim or a victim that says she can no longer recall what happened.  In Chambers, the defendant contended the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the victim’s prior inconsistent statements to law-enforcement officers. Specifically, he argues victim’s statements claiming he attacked her, which were recorded by the police officer’s body camera, constituted inadmissible hearsay not subject to any exception. The court disagreed.


Under OCGA § 24-6-613 (b), extrinsic evidence of a witness’s prior inconsistent statement may be admitted so long as “the witness is first afforded an opportunity to explain or deny the prior inconsistent statement and the opposite party is afforded an opportunity to interrogate the witness on the prior inconsistent statement or the interests of justice otherwise require.” And under OCGA § 24-8-801 (d) (1) (A), [a]n out-of-court statement shall not be hearsay if the declarant testifies at the trial or hearing, is subject to cross-examination concerning the statement, and the statement is admissible as a prior inconsistent statement or a prior consistent statement under Code Section 24-6-613 or is otherwise admissible under this chapter.


These statements are not hearsay, and, thus, they “may be admitted both for impeachment purposes and as substantive evidence.”


In this matter, when asked about Chambers’ attack on her, the victim testified that she did not recall any of the events of the night in question, claiming that her drinking and failure to take medications on the night in question contributed to her lack of recall. Ultimately, she testified that Chambers had not been violent toward her.  The State then called the police officer who initially responded to the scene as a witness and played a video of him questioning victim, which was recorded by his body camera and in which victim stated that Chambers punched and choked her.

Chambers tried to argue her statement to the police should not be admissible because the victim could not recall the details of the night in question, she was not actually subject to cross-examination as the rule requires. The court disagreed.  The court held “[t]he failure of a witness to remember making a statement may provide the foundation for offering extrinsic evidence to prove that the statement was made.” The foundation was laid for admission of the Victim’s prior statements to the responding officer when she gave testimony inconsistent with those statements, was confronted with that fact, and claimed not to recall them. Accordingly, the previous statements to law enforcement on scene that night were admissible and used to convict Chambers.




Criminal Defense Lawyer in Macon-Bibb County

If you have been charged with a crime in Bibb County, then you have come to the right place.  We specialize in criminal defense and stand ready to defend you.  The first question that needs to be answered is where your case will be heard.  In Bibb County, all the various courts are housed within the judicial center located at 601 Mulberry St., Macon, Georgia 31201.  Once you arrive at the judicial center, you will need to find your particular court and courtroom.  If you were arrested or cited within the city limits of Macon, then your case may begin in the Macon-Bibb County Municipal Court.  The municipal court only hears low-level offenses including traffic violations, DUIs, and various other misdemeanors and city ordinance violations.  In municipal court, you can have a bench trial where the judge hears the evidence and makes a ruling, but you cannot have a jury trial wherein your peers would decide your fate.  Therefore, we only resolve a case in municipal court if we can get a better resolution than we otherwise would in state court.  If we cannot get a favorable result in municipal court, then we request a jury trial which requires the case to be transferred to state court.  You can find more info about the municipal court on their website: https://www.maconbibb.us/municipal-court/.

As mentioned above, any state law crime that originates in municipal court can be transferred to Bibb County State Court by requesting a jury trial, but more serious misdemeanors will go straight to state court from the outset.  Once your case is in state court, we continue our negotiations with the Bibb County Solicitor-General’s Office which prosecutes cases in state court.  If we are unable to obtain a resolution you find acceptable, then we maintain our demand for a jury trial and present your case to a six-person jury of your peers from Bibb County.  You can find more info about the solicitor-general and state court on their respective websites: https://www.maconbibb.us/solicitor/ and https://www.maconbibb.us/state-court/.

All felonies will be ultimately be heard in the Bibb County Superior Court, but initial appearances, bond hearings, and preliminary hearings are held in the Bibb County Magistrate Court (and sometimes these appearances are held at the jail with a magistrate judge presiding).  If the magistrate judge finds sufficient evidence to support your charges, then your case proceeds to the Bibb County Superior Court where we begin negotiations with the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.  If we are unable to obtain a resolution you find acceptable, then we maintain our demand for a jury trial and present your case to a twelve-person jury of your peers from Bibb County.  You can find more info about the district attorney, magistrate court, and superior court on their respective websites:  https://macondistrictattorney.org,   https://www.maconbibb.us/civil-court/,   and https://www.maconbibb.us/superior-court/.

If you have been charged with a crime in Macon-Bibb County, call us today at 404-581-0999 to ensure you get the best outcome possible.

Georgia DUI Law: Motion to Suppress

A motion to suppress seeks to exclude illegally obtained evidence based upon a constitutional violation.[1] The purpose of a motion to suppress is to determine, before trial, whether particular evidence will be admissible at trial. If the judge finds the evidence is not admissible, the prosecuting attorney may determine they cannot go forward on the case and dismiss it entirely. If the judge rules the evidence is admissible, the defendant may be more inclined to enter a guilty plea knowing the objected to evidence will be admitted.

A motion to suppress must:

  • Be made in writing
  • Raise a constitutional ground or basis
  • Allege sufficient facts to place the prosecution on notice of the claim of unlawfulness
  • Be filed no later than 10 days after arraignment (unless judge allows for extension in writing)

A failure to comply with these requirements could result in a waiver of your motion and ability to resolve these issues before a trial.

Once a motion to suppress has been filed, the burden of proving the lawfulness of the legal issues raised is placed on the State. A defendant is general entitled to an evidentiary hearing unless the parties agree to the facts. If so, the judge may rule on the motion without a hearing as a matter of law. The hearing must occur outside the presence of a jury.

For example, in the context of a DUI case, a defendant should file a motion to suppress the results of a chemical test (ex. breath or blood) if there was insufficient probable cause to arrest. The prosecutor would have to call the arresting officer to court and prove to a judge there was probable cause to arrest. Not only could a judge rule in your favor, but a defendant also receives the benefit of officer testimony made under oath. Therefore, if the officer later testifies at trial to something inconsistent with what that officer said at the motion to suppress, the officer’s prior inconsistent statement could be used to impeach that officer (showing they are not credible). 

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[1] A motion to suppress does not apply to (1) attacks on the validity of charging documents (accusations or indictments); (2) chain of custody issues; or (3) to testimony. 

Self-Defense Laws in Georgia

Self defense is often used and necessary in some situations, especially when you feel your life or safety is being threatened. In Georgia, people are allowed to use self defense when they are confronted with a reasonable perceived threat that is perceived to be lethal or dangerous in nature. In those situations, people are entitled within Georgia law to use deadly force to stop the perceived threat instead of retreating or backing down. This is the same kind of deadly force an Atlanta or Dekalb County police officer may use in a threatening situation when the officer feels as though his life is in danger or the threat is perceived to be lethal. In those situations, people may continue to use deadly force until the threat is quashed or diminished. 

O.C.G.A. §16-3-21 is the Georgia statute that outlines the law that allows people to protect themselves or a third party against an imminent use of unlawful force in a reasonably believed threatening situation. The statute also states the face that a person is not justified in using deadly force if he/she is the initial primary provoker of the situation, is attempting to commit or flee after the commission of a felony, and if he/she was the aggressor. 

If you or a loved one is dealing with a situation where they or you used deadly force in a way to protect themselves or others against a threat, call the Law Office of Scott Smith today for a free consultation to assist you with every step and help you with the process. 

Georgia Law: Nolo Contendere Plea

Georgia law allows individuals to enter this special type of plea once every five years. This article serves to explore the meaning of this plea, its effect, who can use it, and when to use it.   

Nolo Contendere Defined

Nolo contendere literally means, “no contest.” By entering this plea, although you acknowledge there may be enough evidence to convict you of the alleged crime, you are technically not admitting guilt. It is important to note the nolo contendere plea (also called “nolo”) acts as a conviction. Additionally, a nolo plea will not reduce punishment ordered by the sentencing judge, you will have the same punishment as if you had plead guilty.

The Benefit of a Nolo Plea

If a nolo plea acts as a conviction, then what separates it from a guilty plea? A nolo plea to certain traffic offenses prevents the conviction from being reported to DDS. As a result, no points will be assessed to your license. But, whether your insurance company raises your insurance rates is uncertain as every insurance company has different terms and conditions.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Holders and Nolo Pleas

Unfortunately, a nolo plea does not prevent a commercial driver’s license from being suspended or disqualified. CDL holders are held to a higher standard than the general public because commercial vehicles pose a greater risk to the public (they are much larger and more difficult to operate) than non-commercial vehicles. As a result, a nolo plea has no value to a CDL holder; the CDL holder should contact an experienced attorney to get the case dismissed or reduced to a non-reportable offense.  

Drivers Under 18 and 21 Years Old

Drivers under the age of 18 are unable to use a nolo plea. The law seeks to hold young drivers accountable for traffic violations to deter them from future offenses. Those under 18 should also consider hiring a lawyer to get their case dismissed or reduced to a non-reportable offense. Drivers under the age of 21 can use a nolo plea, but it rarely helps. For the following offenses provided under O.C.G.A. § 40-5-57, a nolo plea will not avoid a license suspension for drivers under the age of 21:

  • Reckless Driving;
  • Aggressive Driving;
  • Escaping or Fleeing Using a Motor Vehicle;
  • Racing;
  • Improper Passing on Hill or Curve;
  • Unlawful Passing of a School Bus;
  • Hit and Run / Leaving the Scene of an Accident; and
  • Exceeding the Speed Limit by 24 mph or greater

When to Use a Nolo Plea

For those drivers above the age of 21, a nolo plea can be very useful in many different circumstances. Nolo pleas are generally useful in driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license, and hit and run cases. That being said, it is still generally good practice to consult an attorney to determine whether you should use a nolo plea or try to get the case dismissed or reduced to a non-reporting offense, thereby saving your nolo plea (remember, you can use it only once every 5 years).

You do not want to use a nolo plea for minor traffic offenses where the case could be dismissed or reduced to a non-reporting offense. Examples include but are not limited to: failure to yield, speeding (over 14mph the limit but not super speeder), improper turn, following too closely, failure to maintain lane. A lot of times, prosecutors will dismiss the case if you successfully complete a driving course or something similar. You also do not want to use a nolo plea where other alternative sentencing options are available, such as: pre-trial diversion, conditional discharge pleas, or some type of informal agreement to dismiss. These are common in marijuana possession cases, minor in possession cases, and shoplifting cases if you have no prior criminal history. Lastly, you should not use a nolo plea on a traffic charge that would not show up on a Motor Vehicle Report because it would not be reported to DDS. Examples include but are not limited to: too fast for conditions, basic rules violations, speeding (14 mph or less above speed limit), expired registration, and parking tickets.

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If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence, contact the law firm of W. Scott Smith at 404.581.0999 today for a free case evaluation. You’ll find a local Atlanta DUI attorney ready to aggressively fight on your behalf. You can also find out more detailed information about Atlanta laws here.

Georgia Law: Minor in Possession of Alcohol – Charges and Penalties

Georgia law prevents anyone under the age of 21 from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages. Violating these Minor in Possession (MIP) laws can lead to significant consequences, subject to only a few specific exceptions.

The Offense

O.C.G.A. § 3-3-23 prohibits minors from purchasing, attempting to purchase, or knowingly possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages. The law also makes it a crime for minors to use a fake identification in order to purchase alcohol. If convicted, you could be sentenced to:

(First Offense)

  1. $300 fine (maximum)
  2. Up to 6 months in jail
  3. 6 month driver’s license suspension (no limited permit available)

(Second or Further Offense)

  1. $1,000 (maximum)
  2. Up to one year in jail
  3. 1 year driver’s license suspension

A sentencing judge could also order you to complete certain educational programs pertaining to alcohol and drug use. If a person under 21 is convicted of using a fake ID to purchase alcoholic beverages, you will be required to complete a defensive driving course and pay a $210 reinstatement fee in order to reinstate your license.

If found guilty of MIP while driving a motor vehicle, your license will be suspended for 120 days. You will have to submit proof of completion of a Risk Reduction Program along with a $35 fee in order to reinstate your license. However, a plea of nolo contendere will prevent the conviction from being reported to DDS. You are eligible to use a nolo contendere plea once every five years.

It is also important to note the consequences of a DUI conviction if under the age of 21.

Defenses and Exceptions

The law does not apply to the sale, purchase, or possession of alcoholic beverages when the consumption is for religious ceremony, medical purposes pursuant to a physician’s orders, or with the consent of a parent or guardian when the possession takes place in the home and the parent or guardian is present.

The law also permits people under 21 years of age to dispense, serve, sell, or handle alcoholic beverages as a part of their employment in any licensed establishment. The law allows people under 21 to be employed in any establishment in which alcoholic beverages are distilled or manufactured. The law also allows people under 21 to take orders for and having possession of alcoholic beverages as a part of employment in a licensed establishment.

If this is your first offense for MIP and have no prior criminal history relating to drugs or alcohol, the prosecutor may offer to dismiss your case if you successfully complete a “pre-trial diversion program.” If you successfully complete certain conditions (usually a fine, community service, educational courses, drug and alcohol screens) within a certain period of time, the prosecutor will agree to not prosecute the case, resulting in the case being dismissed. If you do not successfully complete the diversion program, your case will be placed back on the trial calendar. Your case could also be resolved through a “conditional discharge” which works the same as pre-trial diversion, except you have to first enter a guilty plea, so that if you do not successfully complete the terms, your guilty plea will take effect and remain on your record permanently.

If the case cannot be resolved through diversion (formal or informal), conditional discharge, or some other plea negotiation, then you may go to trial on the case and raise doubt as to whether you were in possession or whether you consumed alcohol while being under the age of 21. 

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If you or someone you know has been arrested for driving under the influence, contact the law firm of W. Scott Smith at 404.581.0999 today for a free case evaluation. You’ll find a local Atlanta DUI attorney ready to aggressively fight on your behalf. You can also find out more detailed information about Atlanta laws here.

What do you do if you are arrested for child molestation in Fulton County?

If you or a loved one is arrested for child molestation in Fulton County, it is important that you act immediately to protect yourself. Do not wait until your court date to get an attorney and to preserve evidence.

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office has a dedicated division called the Crimes Against Women and Children Unit. They will vigorously prosecute you if you are charged with child molestation. 

Do not think that just because you are innocent that the charges will be dismissed. Child molestation charges are aggressively prosecuted in Fulton County and the police believe children who make the accusations.

Make sure your attorney has had jury trials in child molestation cases and has won these cases. Do not let an attorney handle your case who does not specifically handle child molestation cases.

The law may say you are presumed innocent but in child molestation cases, you have to prove your innocence.

Here is what you should do if arrested for child molestation in Fulton County.

  1. Hire an attorney – Make sure that attorney actually handles and tries child molestation cases. Most criminal defense attorneys do not handle child molestation cases. Make sure the attorney you talk to does regularly handles child molestation cases in Georgia.
  2. Avoid making any statements – Do not walk into the police department and profess your innocence. The police will not believe you. Do not think you can show up at your first court date and tell the prosecutor and judge that you are innocent and expect the charges to be dropped. If you are arrested for child molestation, you have to start preparing for your jury trial. Do not make any statements to anyone except your lawyer.
  3. Start gathering important evidence
    1. Gather and preserve any physical evidence in your possession that might relate to the child making the accusation. This includes clothing, photos, video or any other tangible object.
    1. Gather and preserve any documents that might relate to this accusation including emails, texts, social media, phone records, GPS records, computer records or any other document that might show where you were when this incident allegedly occurred.
    1. Witnesses – Immediately make a list of any person who you think might have information about this child molestation accusation. Do not discuss the case with this person but pass this list of potential witnesses to your attorney and let your attorney contact them.

Here is what you should never do if arrested for child molestation in Fulton County.

  1. Never talk to the alleged victim or the family.
  2. Never have any contact with the alleged victim through a 3rd party or through social media.
  3. Never talk to law enforcement without an attorney present.
  4. Never talk to a child welfare agency or any other governmental agency without an attorney present.

If you are arrested for child molestation or any sex offense in Fulton County, please call our office 24/7 at 404-581-0999 or send us an email at mike@peachstatelawyer.com. We will sit down with you and fully discuss your case and what to expect in court. There is no charge for the initial consultation. You will only retain us if you feel we are the best law firm to represent you. It is your case and your life so you need to hire the lawyer that you feel gives you the best chance to win.