Defendants facing misdemeanor criminal charges in Virginia are tried in the District Court. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that they have an absolute right to appeal their case to the Circuit Court. This can be a very important right, yet some lawyers never mention anything about an appeal.
Guaranteed Representation™ means that the attorney’s fee for representation includes an appeal to the higher level trial court. When the attorney includes this appeal at no additional charge, it provides a very strong incentive to get the right result the first time. We do not want to return and try a case again without getting paid, but it’s worth it when it means the difference between a guilty finding and a reduction, or jail time versus freedom.
Lawyers who do not provide Guaranteed Representation™ can charge their client another fee (often a higher amount) to take the case up on appeal. In other words, if the client is unhappy and wants to appeal, the lawyer can earn more money. It isn’t hard to see which lawyer will be motivated to get the best possible result in trial.