Every case is different, and we tailor our fees to the case based on a myriad of factors, including the nature of the charge and the seriousness level of the offense, among others. Our fees are typically flat fees that cover work to defend a case through disposition at the trial level and would not include any appeal. We are upfront and forthright about our fees so that there are no surprises. Please contact us to discuss your case so that we can provide you a fee quote.
Do I need an attorney if I have been accused of crime?
Yes, almost certainly. If you have been accused of a felony offense, then the answer is absolutely. You should retain the best attorney you possibly can. Even if the offense is only a misdemeanor, you still probably should confer with an attorney. Only if the offense is a minor traffic offense might you be as well off without an attorney.
What if I intend to plead guilty? Do I still need an attorney?
Again, almost certainly. Guilt in fact does not necessarily equal legal guilt, and if there is a way to protect your record, you should do so. As soon as possible, you should confer with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate the prosecutor’s evidence, determine whether there is any viable defense, and barring that, one who can negotiate a reasonable disposition of your charges. In the meantime, remember, you are presumed innocent and you are not required to prove anything; instead, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and every element of the offense charged must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
What will happen?
There are many considerations that factor into the particular disposition of your charges, including the nature of the offense charged and whether it is violent and whether anyone was hurt, whether a weapon was involved, the alleged offender’s criminal history, any rehabilitative efforts made by the alleged offender, the seriousness level of the offense, and the availability of any possible defenses. While no lawyer can ethically or practically guarantee you how your case will turn out, we are confident that Hitt Law Firm can provide you the best possible defense to reach the best possible result.
What is the procedure?
If the offense is a felony, the defendant will generally have four hearings: a first appearance hearing, which should be held within 48 hours of the arrest and usually will be conducted by the District Court judge to determine whether reasonable cause supports the charge and what, if any, bond is necessary; an arraignment, which is the first hearing in Circuit Court and involves the entry of an initial plea; a pre-trial hearing, also known as a plea & motion hearing, at which motions may be presented or plea bargains may be entered; and a trial date.
What will it cost?
Attorney’s fees vary from one lawyer to the next. At Hitt Law Firm, the fee is based primarily on the classification and nature of the offense involved, although the offender’s criminal history is sometimes a factor as well. You may call the office and speak with an attorney for a free fee quote. If you would like an office conference, you may schedule an appointment. There is an up-front fee for an office conference, which will be credited against the full fee if you decide to retain us. While cost is a practical concern for anyone, you should remember that you only have one shot at a defense so you should retain the best attorney you can afford. At Hitt Law Firm, the fee is recorded in writing up front so that there is never any question or surprise about what is owed.
What sets Hitt Law Firm apart?
There are some capable criminal defense lawyers in Arkansas. There is one element that sets Hitt Law Firm apart: experience. Curtis Hitt has seen the criminal case from every angle—first as a prosecutor, then as a private attorney for more than ten years running, and even as a special judge. He has been involved with thousands of criminal cases in one capacity or other, and he has a remarkable record of success from both sides of the courtroom. He understands the weighty nature of the charge, the law as it applies to each case, and the dynamics of the justice system and how to make these factors work in your favor for the best possible resolution of your case. He has been inducted to the Top 100 Lawyers for criminal defense. He has successfully defended many, many cases involving misdemeanors such as DWI and Domestic Battery, as well as felonies involving high profile offenses featured in national news, in addition to numerous sexual offenses, drug charges, property crimes, various degrees of homicide, and many more. There is a reason Curtis Hitt is one of the most popular criminal defense attorneys in Northeast Arkansas: he strives to provide a vigorous defense with professional integrity, and over and again he has succeeded on behalf of his clientele.
We charge NO CONSULTATION FEE on personal injury cases, which includes auto accidents, insurance claims, medical malpractice cases and a host of other specific cases that arise out of the negligence, recklessness or intentional wrongdoing of another. We also practice NO RECOVERY/NO FEE, meaning we charge no fee unless and until we reach a recovery on your behalf, and then we charge only a percentage of the recovery. This is called a contingency fee arrangement, which we set forth in writing at the beginning of the case, specifying the percentage of the amount recovered we are to receive as a fee for our services.
What does “personal injury” include?
In general, personal injury law involves claims against another for damages they have caused. More particularly, it involves injuries caused by or involving wrongful death, car wrecks, motorcycle crashes, big-rig collisions, medical malpractice, defective products, and nursing home neglect. Also, victims of intentional torts, such as assault, battery, outrage, interference with business relations, defamation and slander, may be entitled to recover damages from those responsible.
Do I really need a lawyer?
Some lawyers might suggest that every injury victim needs an attorney’s representation. Our lawyers disagree. Nominal injury victims—those who have been treated briefly and released by the hospital with a recommendation to follow up with their general physician and whose doctor has only prescribed pain meds—probably are about as well off without an attorney. However, it costs nothing to confer with an attorney to be sure, so contact us to discuss your claim and whether an attorney might be of benefit to you. We will talk to you over the phone for free and give you our honest opinion. If your injuries involve fractures, surgeries, permanent scarring, or any type of rehabilitative treatment, such as physical therapy or chiropractic services, you almost certainly need an attorney to effectively represent you in demanding the full extent of recovery that justice requires.
But can’t I negotiate my claim myself if an insurance company is involved?
You probably can, but keep in mind the following: insurance adjusters are trained and paid to save their company money, and the less money you get, the more their company keeps. They know that you don’t know the elements of damages recognized by Arkansas law, that you do not know how to evaluate those damages, and that you do not have the ability without a lawyer to walk into a courtroom and demand a just recovery. An experienced attorney may be expected, however, to hold the insurance adjusters accountable for the maximum amount necessary to fully compensate the injury victim for the damages he or she has suffered.
If I get a lawyer, does that necessarily mean I am going to court?
No. At Hitt Law Firm, we have a remarkable record of successfully negotiating our clients’ claims without even filing a lawsuit. Typically, we only file a lawsuit in those rare cases after we have exhausted settlement negotiations and our clients have authorized filing a lawsuit in pursuance of a just recover. Even in those cases, however, Hitt Law Firm has successfully used the litigation process to effect a settlement before court. With that said, if settlement negotiations fail, Hitt Law Firm will be prepared to stand with you through the litigation process and demand justice for you at trial.
What if I don’t have the money to hire a lawyer?
There is no consultation fee at Hitt Law Firm, and we usually work on a contingency fee basis for our personal injury clients, which means there is no fee unless we achieve a recovery for you. If we do settle the case for you on your authority (we never settle a case without our client’s authority; we never make an offer to settle that you don’t authorize; and we never receive an offer that you don’t know about), then our fee is a percentage of the recovery. Our typical fee is a third of the recovery, although the complexity of some types of cases, such as medical malpractice and nursing home neglect, require increased percentages. Also, at Hitt Law Firm, we typically agree to advance costs for our personal injury clients, which is to say that we pay the costs until the case is settled or otherwise disposed, at which time we are reimbursed.
Why Hitt Law Firm?
Hitt Law Firm has been inducted into the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is an exclusive club of attorneys who have achieved verdicts or settlements of a million dollars or more on any one case and is said to include less than 1% of attorneys in the U.S. At Hitt Law Firm, we sympathize with our clients and the damages they have suffered. We return our clients’ calls, we listen to their concerns, and we make a real effort to communicate the nature, scope and duration of our clients’ damages to the insurance companies in demand of a just recovery. We discuss with our clients the good and the bad aspects of their cases, and give them our honest opinion of what is in their best interests. We get our client’s authority before making a demand, and we convey every offer of settlement to our client. We will not settle or file suit without our client’s authority. Also, we explore whether there are liens or subrogation concerns to be satisfied and often settle those on behalf of our clients without additional fees. In short, we treat you with respect and do our best to achieve the best possible recovery in compensation for your damages.