The Importance of Hiring a Local Lawyer

Each and every community is different and unique. The longer you live within the community, the more likely you are to get to know the people within the community, you get to know the best places to eat, you know the places where you should not go after midnight, and you find the safest places to take a walk.

The statutes of the State of Florida are the same throughout the State, we all have to abide by the same laws. But within each legal community, the way those same laws are applied are different. Each judge has his or her own way of conducting court, trials, and hearings. Each State Attorney’s Office has their own individual policies and procedures for how they handle cases. Did you know that there is a list of local rules that attorneys who practice within each circuit must know and abide by?

Ask yourself this: would you call a friend who lives in Orlando, works in Orlando, and relaxes in Orlando, to give you a recommendation on the best place to have dinner in DeLand? Or would you ask that same person where to find the quietest part of Daytona Beach to take your family? This logic applies to hiring a local attorney. Would you ask a lawyer who works in Orlando, lives in Orlando, and has only practiced in Orlando to appear for you on a criminal case in Daytona Beach, Florida?

There is certainly no favoritism shown to local attorneys over those who travel from a different jurisdiction. But a local lawyer has experience with their local State Attorney’s offices, or previously worked for that State Attorney. A local lawyer has most likely handled numerous cases with the same Judge who is presiding over your case. Most importantly, a local lawyer has a reputation within that legal community that he or she must uphold.

I am a 4th generation Floridian and attended undergraduate and law school in Florida. I began my legal career in 2006 in Volusia County, Florida when I became a prosecutor in DeLand, and continued to work in that position until 2011. While working at the State Attorney’s Office, I handled cases that varied from Domestic Violence, Driving Under the Influence, Battery, Sex Crimes, and Homicide. I had the opportunity handle cases in front of many judges in Volusia County. I started Thompson Law, P.A. in March of 2013, and have been defending criminal cases in Volusia County for over seven (7) years. Thompson Law, P.A. started out with a single office located in the heart of Historic DeLand, Florida, and expanded in 2019 to open a second office in Daytona Beach, Florida, to serve my clients on the East Side of Volusia County.

When deciding to hire an attorney, ask the attorney these questions:

  • How many times have you handled cases in front of this Judge?
  • How many cases have you tried in front of this Judge?
  • Where did you work previous to going into private practice?
  • Did you have a chance to work for the State Attorney’s Office who is currently prosecuting me?

As an attorney who has spent my entire career practicing in Volusia County, I get approached by attorneys who have offices in other cities who want to ask me what they can expect from this judge, or who to speak to at the State Attorney’s Office. I consider it an honor when another attorney seeks my advice, and I am happy to oblige. But what I consider most important is that I give that advice directly to my client to assist them with their defense.

Another factor you will need to consider is price. The price of defending a Domestic Battery case in Orlando is often times greatly different than what it costs to defend the same charge in Volusia County. Also remember, time is money. So if you hire a lawyer whose only office is in Orlando Florida, you will likely be paying that lawyer to travel on I-4 every month to attend court on your behalf.

To schedule a free consultation with Attorney Matt Thompson, call him directly at (386) 280-4977 or toll free at (386) 280-4977. Attorney Thompson will schedule a free consultation with you in his office History Downtown DeLand, or Daytona Beach, Florida.

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