Sam Shapiro Law Office
Criminal Defense In Bloomington, Indiana

Need Help Choosing An Attorney?

Choosing the Right Lawyer for You can be the Most Important Decision in your Case.

Avoid decisions made solely on advertisements. Every lawyer is a trial god if you believe the ads. Use ads to acquaint yourself with the lawyer, not to make decisions.
Avoid falling for promises to achieve a particular result with your case. Each case is different and although some consistency can be suggested, no competent lawyer can promise you a jury trial win or a favorable plea bargain.
Avoid inexperience. You are not there to have someone learn on your case.
Avoid lawyers who profess NOT TO BE courtroom lawyers. All this means is that you are probably going to take a plea bargain. Even if you do not have any intention of going to trial, it is often the lawyers who have been to trial and won who achieve better results for you in your case because they are often-times offered better plea bargains.
Avoid lawyers who are not criminal defense lawyers.

Ask people who are familiar with the criminal justice system. Many times you will know someone in the community who has knowledge of lawyers. Typically judges, prosecutors, and police, are not allowed to refer you to specific lawyers but upon sufficient inquiry, you can talk to people who know people and get the name of experienced criminal defense attorneys.

Click here for a shopping list when hiring an attorney National College For DUI Defense Attorney's List for Indiana.

Considerations Before Choosing Sam Shapiro Law Office:

1. Do you have the financial resources to afford private counsel? Depending on your case there can be significant lawyer fees that apply. No lawyer wants to get in a case and then not be able to complete his service for lack of financial ability. Make sure you have a clear understanding of costs in advance so you can budget for your case.

2. Should you ask the court for a public defender because of financial restraints?

3. Are you prepared for direct talk about your case without a lot of sugarcoating? It is very important that a realistic discussion of the CRIMINAL RISKS you face occur including potential consequences such as jail, a criminal record, probation or other consequences take place so that you understand the importance of your decisions on the case.

4. Phyllis Emerick will handle all the non-essential hearings such as the Pre-trial conference. Sam Shapiro will handle all case preparation, analysis, negotiations, depositions and trials. Are you comfortable with this arrangement?

Questions and Answers Before You Decide Whether to Sam Shapiro Law Office

Q. Is Sam Shapiro Law Office the 'right' law firm for my case?

A. Maybe, maybe not. The following factors should be considered:

1. Sam Shapiro has been an attorney for more than 35 years, with more than 30 of those years devoted strictly to criminal defense cases.

2. He has tried many jury trials, including, but not limited to: Murder, Attempted Murder, Rape, Battery of all types, Child Molesting, Resisting Law Enforcement, DUI, Driving While Suspended

3. It is safe to say that this is defense attorney criminal law experience.

Sam Shapiro is direct, he speaks his mind and tells you exactly what his assessment is of your case without much sugar coating. It is important that you understand the reality of your case and its RISKS. Mr. Shapiro's duty is to provide you with an objective analysis of your case so that your decision making is informed, logical, and realistic. You are paying for his knowledge, experience, and reputation. Sam has handled post-conviction relief cases, and argued criminal cases before the Indiana Appeals Court and the Indiana Supreme Court on appeal.

This is YOUR CASE. You are in control. If the case is not dismissed, then you do not HAVE to take a plea bargain. You also do not HAVE to go to trial. Ultimately, you will decide what is best for you, whether it is trial or plea bargain. Sometimes trial is the only answer since the case is strong and the prosecutor is being unreasonable. Othertimes the case is not as strong and a negotiation eliminates the RISK of jail or other harsh consequences.

To assist with trials, if necessary, Sam has business relationships with expert witnesses like forensic toxicologists, forensic pathologists, child psychologists, jury selection experts, forensic dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and sentencing experts. If these witnesses are necessary in your case, you must pay for their services. Sam will not hire experts without your input and permission.

Q. If Sam Shapiro Law Office tell sme to talk to other lawyers whose fees are less than theirs, does this mean that they do not want to represent me or handle my case?

A. Not at all. Consider this:

· Not everyone is comfortable with the same attorney, some personalities and styles clash, it is to your benefit to find the attorney that is the best fit for you.

· Some legal cases are easier to handle for one reason or another and, depending on your goal for the case, you might not need as much knowledge or experience as you must pay for with Sam Shapiro Law Office.

· If your goal is to resolve your case quickly, with little regard for consequences, then you certainly don't need Sam Shapiro as your attorneys, in fact, you may not need any attorney at all.

· Typically people hire Sam Shapiro Law Office when their goal is to achieve a 'better' plea bargain or a trial. Sam Shapiro Law Office can make no guarantees or promises other than I will analyze, prepare, and fight the case for either a 'better' plea bargain or a win at trial consistent with your goal.

· It never hurts to get 2 or 3 opinions from different lawyers on how they would handle your case so you can consider other styles, experience, and knowledge.

Q. What is expected of me if I choose to have Sam Shapiro as my criminal defense attorney?

A. Patience... Most of the time, your case cannot be solved in days or weeks. Our ability to deliver your goal is somewhat dependent on others, such as judges and prosecutors. You must wait patiently to resolve your case as we negotiate with these people.

Faith... Presumably, you hired Sam Shapiro Law Office as a reasoned decision; perhaps you were referred, or perhaps, you have been a client before, you read about Sam Shapiro or attended a trial where he was the attorney. Never be afraid to ask questions, but in the end, it will be rare that you think of some great idea that Sam Shapiro has not already considered in some way. It is unproductive to call constantly with questions, save them for an appointment, write them down so you remember. Email your questions or set up a phone conference so the discussion is convenient for all. We do not charge hourly fees so you should not be afraid to ask questions or send emails or set up phone conferences, this is part of the communication process.

Courtesy... Just as you expect courtesy from my office, I expect courtesy from you. I understand how difficult and frustrating some criminal cases can become. Please try to remain calm and treat everyone respectfully. I am here to help my clients get through a most difficult time. I know you are frustrated. The unfairness of some situations can weigh on your psyche and cause you to become short and irritable as we deal with your case. Taking this emotional pressure out on our staff is not a good idea - we are all here to try and assist you and make it better.

Honesty... If you feel you have a significant problem with your case, talk to Sam personally. All matters are held in the strictest of confidence.

Q. I'm concerned about someone else handling my pre-trial and/or Change of Plea hearings, is she an attorney?

A. Yes, Phyllis Emerick, started in the law firm of Sam Shapiro as a law clerk, she received her B.A. and J.D. from Indiana University, and was admitted to the Bar in 1985. Sam has personally trained her in his procedures and expectations when she served as his law clerk.

Sam has the utmost confidence in Phyllis' abilities and she handles 95% of all pre-trial Conferences and Change of Plea hearings.

The Defense Attorney

One of society's greatest traumas is to be charged with a criminal offense. Often-times mere accusations allow the State to focus all of its investigative resources on an individual.

Criminal justice personnel including police, prosecutors, and even judges are adversarial to the accused. Relationships with family and friends can be strained or broken and feelings of embarrassment and humiliation can rob one of self-worth.

A very public finger-pointing occurs in a public place where procedures, terminology, and rules are complicated and foreign. Hanging in the balance is liberty, freedom, property, employment and other items of significance in one's life.

To balance the immense power of the State and to protect the rights and dignity of the defendant is the defense attorney. His experience, his knowledge, his creativity, and his voice is often the only barrier between the accused and immediate condemnation and punishment. He stands with the accused, he stands for the accused, he speaks on behalf of the accused.

He attacks and tests the State's proof, he negotiates and bargains for the accused, and, he defends the rights of the accused at trial. Who is your only friend in the criminal justice system? A criminal defense attorney. We hope that the choice for your voice in court, to protect your rights, and to defend your liberties is the law firm of Sam Shapiro Law Office, Criminal Defense Attorney. I also hope my website has been informative and will assist you in making educated decisions regarding your individual criminal defense situation.

For experienced help in criminal defense, including DUI defense, call Sam Shapiro Law Office at 812-336-8192.

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