FAQ’s –  Frequently Asked Questions

Then reject it.  You have the absolute right to go to trial and no attorney at the Law Office of Thomas E. Weaver will do anything to impede your right to go to trial.  Having said that, many defendants wish to avoid the risks of losing at trial, which can frequently result in a lengthier sentence,  and would prefer the relative certainty of the plea bargain.  Your attorney will provide guidance to you in making this important decision.

It means just that.  You will be advised at the beginning of the case what the flat fee is.  You should expect to pay that fee and no more.  The amount of the fee is based primarily upon the complexity of the case.

Many lawyers charge one fee for the pre-trial workup of the case, and an additional fee for trial.  This often puts defendants in a bind, trying to decide whether to go to trial and pay additional fees or to accept the plea bargain because it is cheaper.

At the Law Office of Thomas E. Weaver, we want you to decide whether to accept the plea bargain or go to trial based upon your assessment, after consultation with the lawyer, of which option is in your best interest and not based upon the costs.

Mr. Weaver has argued over 350 appeals, including 16 in the Washington Supreme Court.  He will obtain a copy of the trial transcript and read it critically for any errors that may have affected the outcome.  He will timely file a Brief of Appellant to the Court of Appeals are make sure all documents are properly submitted.  All in an effort to reverse the conviction.

Your attorney will review all of the relevant discovery with you, fully investigate the case, negotiate with the prosecutor the best plea bargain available, and discuss the pros and cons of accepting the plea bargain.  The decision of whether to accept the plea bargain or go to trial is entirely yours.  In the event you choose to go to trial, your attorney will do everything in his power to achieve the best result possible from the jury.  In the event you are convicted, either as a result of pleading guilty or going to trial, Mr. Weaver will argue to reduce your sentence to the lowest legal sentence.

The jury is told they may only consider evidence that has been admitted into court.  They are the deciders of the facts.  The judge is the arbiter of the law.  Evidence is information that is provided to the jury under oath in an open courtroom.  Evidence can also be physical evidence (photographs, weapons, etc.) that is authenticated under oath in an open courtroom.  If the jury has an abiding belief in the admitted evidence, then they are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Hearsay” is any out-of-court statement offered to prove its truth.  If an alleged victim comes to court and testifies under oath about an event that he or she claims happened, it is no longer hearsay, but becomes evidence.  Evidence need not be corroborated in order to convict.

The flat fee includes all attorney fees regardless of whether the case turns out to be more or less complex than originally believed.  It does not include out-of-pocket expenses, such as subpoena, investigator, expert witness, or extraordinary travel fees.

At trial, the decider (usually a jury) is asked to determine if you are guilty of the crime.  The jury is instructed that in order to convict, they must be satisfied based upon the evidence that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

On appeal, the decider is the Court of Appeals.  They are concerned, not with whether you committed the crime, but whether you received a fair trial.  If the Court determines your trial was “fair,” then it presumes the jury correctly decided your guilt.

The exact scope of the flat fee will be spelled out for you in writing at the time the fee is paid.  But generally, if you retain the Law Office of Thomas E. Weaver for a trial case, the fee includes all necessary legal work until the case is dismissed or sentencing, whichever comes first.  If you retain the Law Office of Thomas E. Weaver for an appeal, it includes all work necessary until the Court of Appeals issues its written decision.

There are many things that could render a trial unfair.  The most common include that the judge admitted evidence that should not have been admitted, the judge failed to admit evidence that should have been admitted, the judge did not properly instruct the jury on the law, the prosecutor committed misconduct by asking an improper question or making an inflammatory comment, and that the defense attorney was ineffective.