When should I hire an attorney?

Criminal cases:
Anytime that you think that you are being suspected of a crime, you should contact an attorney. You should not speak to law enforcement until you have contacted an attorney. Frequently you will hear that you look guilty if you talk to an attorney before you talk to law enforcement. You should not be worried about how things look, you should be worried about how your case turns out. We will assist you in determining whether you want an attorney present when you speak to law enforcement and whether it is appropriate to cooperate with law enforcement at all. Michigan Department of Health & Human Services – Child Protection Services (MDHHS): Frequently you do not know in advance that Protective Services is going to come and talk to you. You do not want to admit to wrongdoing as it relates to your children without consulting with an attorney. You do not have to answer their questions although frequently the MDHHS workers will attempt to bully you into an interview. You should contact an attorney immediately.

Family Law:
If you are contemplating a divorce, it is helpful to meet with an attorney to determine what your rights are and to develop a strategy for dealing with your ex. Even if you and your spouse are in agreement with regard to the division of your debts and assets and/or custody and parenting time, it is smart to consult with an attorney. I will assist you in identifying issues that you may not have considered. I will also explain what your rights are and what it is that you may be giving up by simply agreeing to “each keeps their own” or “each supports the child when the child is with that parent.” My job is to help you make an informed decision.

How much does an attorney cost?

Typically, in our office, we charge a flat fee or a flat fee along with a Trial fee in criminal cases. In family court cases we require a retainer and bill by the hour. Susan Dehncke’s current hourly rate is $260.00.

How can I keep my cost down?

In many cases, there are things that you can do to assist in controlling your legal fees. If you come to our office organized and with a list of questions, that will make the time in my office more efficient. There may be documents I request or information I ask you to gather. Providing that information in an organized fashion, as soon as possible, will assist in controlling costs.

How do I find out information about my loved one’s case?

Our attorneys cannot provide information that is not public record without the client’s consent. It is very unhelpful to have multiple family members contacting our office to ask questions. If our client is in jail, one family member should be designated as the contact. If the client is not in jail, that is the only person who should be contacting our office.