Being charged with a crime is often the most stressful time in a person’s life. Not only do people accused of crimes find themselves worried about their life, liberty and reputation but suddenly everything is disrupted, and you don’t know where to turn. Being charged with a crime leaves you with questions, concerns and trepidation about who to hire and how to navigate the legal system. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Roth Davies, LLC have answers and are willing to stand up for your rights from the moment you step foot in the office. When your life is in turmoil due to a criminal accusation, we want to help.

If you have been charged with a crime you need to be selective and diligent about the qualifications of your counsel. Selecting the right criminal defense attorney is often the most important decision you will make. When looking for a criminal lawyer you want to have complex issues explained to you in a simple manner, you need real world experience and knowledge to help guide you make correct decisions, and you need someone who can communicate with you effectively. It is crucial for the defendant to understand and be involved with the decision making in the case, the strategy and the “nuts and bolts,” work that the criminal defense lawyer puts in to get you the best possible outcome. See below some commonly asked questions with answers written by a Johnson County Criminal Lawyer.


Knowledge: Make sure your prospective lawyer has the requisite knowledge in the area of the law that is relevant to your case. Don’t sit down with a divorce lawyer if you picked up a DUI case. Most lawyers focus their area of practice to a specific area of the law. Do your research, sit down with a lawyer and ask tough questions about the area of law you need help with. Most knowledgeable lawyers can answer your basic questions in an initial consultation.

Experience: Your prospective lawyer should have experience. You don’t want to be someone’s first case in a complicated area of the law. Ask about your lawyer’s experience, ask if they’ve taken cases to trial. Ask who the “primary actors” are in the Court in which you are in trouble and how they approach cases like yours. Listen to the criminal defense lawyer and evaluate their level of experience before you hire. Also, just because someone tells you that they have been "practicing law for 20 years" doesn't mean they have experience. If a prospective lawyer ever answers a questions about experience with, I've been a lawyer for some number of years, that's probably a read flag. When you ask about a lawyer's experience, they should be able to tell you about a similar case they have had in the court that you are in trouble in and how that played out.

Specialization: If you find yourself in trouble in a small town in western Kansas, you are going to be pretty limited on hiring a local attorney. Lawyers in a small town often have to be a "jack of all trades." One day they are a divorce lawyer, the next day an estate planning lawyer, the week after a misdemeanor lawyer. When you're in a city the size of Overland Park, there are enough people that need a lawyer's services that a lawyer can focus their services to one particular type of law. When you are able to devote your entire practice to one area of law you are naturally going to know that area of the law well and your clients are going to benefit from that specialized knowledge. When you're in trouble, look for a lawyer that only does criminal defense cases, now isn't the time to get a jack of all trades. At Roth Davies, we have many different types of attorneys, each who specialize in one particular area.

Reputation: When you are looking for a lawyer you need to evaluate that lawyer’s reputation. This can be a difficult task. The best place to start is by looking online. Look at review and ranking sites. Always value actual reviews over any specific number or “star” rankings that an attorney might have. You’re looking for reviews of people that actually used the lawyer you are thinking of hiring. Look for words like, respected, understanding, knowledgeable, available, and prepared. You want other lawyers and prior clients to respect both your lawyer as an advocate and as a person. Also, just sit down with the prospective lawyer in their office. If they starting talking about how they are going to get you out of trouble based on a personal relationship, that should be a huge read flag. You're lawyer's reputation is their most valuable asset, other lawyers need to know they care and are willing to work or they will get rolled over on, almost certainly to their client's detriment.

Communication: Make sure your lawyer is talking on your level. No one likes to be talked down to so make sure your lawyer is treating you with respect, but also make sure they are conveying information to you in a way that you understand. Remember, a large part of a lawyer’s job is simply communicating with clients and the court. If your lawyer can't communicate to you in a way you understand, how in the world do you expect them to communicate with a jury ? Being a good communicator is a vital part of being a good trial lawyer.

Location: When you have a criminal case, it is very important to hire a lawyer that practices in the court in which you have your case. If you have a case in Overland Park Municipal Court ask the lawyer you are interviewing, “Do you go to Overland Park Municipal Court often?” It is entirely appropriate for a person accused of a crime to ask a lawyer, “Who is the prosecutor or judge in this court?” and “How do they handle these types of cases?” Part of lawyer’s job is to know the law and the facts, but also how different judges or prosecutors handle their cases and dockets. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer isn't enough, you need that experience to be relevant in the court that you are in trouble in. If you are facing charges in Johnson county, look no further than the Roth Davies Johnson County criminal lawyers.

Temperament: It is important to have a meeting of the minds with your lawyer on how your case will be addressed but it is also vital that you and your lawyer have the ability to communicate and be understanding of the difficult dynamic of the lawyer/client working relationship. Having a compassionate lawyer who takes the time to explain difficult and complex problems is vital. It doesn’t matter how smart your lawyer is if they can’t help you understand a complicated problem whilst maintaining a professional and understanding demeanor.


1. Understand the Basics: You need to have a basic knowledge of how the criminal justice system works and both you and your lawyer’s role in that system. Knowing how the process works will put your mind at ease and give you a sense of awareness and security as you navigate the system. Your criminal defense lawyer should be your ultimate guide through a criminal case, but it is also important to educate yourself. Take a look at our Step-by- Step guide to a criminal case. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at our law firm have broken down each phase of a criminal case and answered common questions that a person charged with a crime might have.

Step by Step Guide to a Criminal Case 

The criminal defense attorneys at Roth Davies, LLC break down a criminal defense case into a 16 part, easy to understand guide. Each of these specific sections dive deep into the process and give real world examples and cases for you to get a good understanding of what stands ahead of you. Read this guide and watch the videos, it will help you ask meaningful questions when you are interviewing a prospective criminal defense lawyer.

2. Get more specific: After you have laid the groundwork and get the basics take a deeper dive into the specific crime in which it is alleged that you have committed. It’s good to have specific knowledge of the inner workings of the crime in which you are facing. This will give you a good springboard to ask intelligent and specific questions to your lawyer. Look at a full breakdown of many common crimes by clicking on the “Information on Specific Crimes” link below. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at our law firm have compiled information concerning many commonly charged crimes in Johnson County, Kansas.

Information on Specific Crimes 

3. Dig for answers: Very rarely is there a criminal case that does not involve research. There will always be some question as to how the law applies to a specific set of facts. Part of your criminal defense lawyer’s job is to do the necessary research to analyze possible defenses that may be available in your case, as well as, get guidance as to what evidence will be presented or may be suppressed in any criminal case. Undertaking research is your lawyer’s job and never falls on the client. However, it is always appropriate for a client to ask about these issues and how the products of a lawyer’s research might impact their case. Most criminal defense lawyers are happy to explain the research they have done on a case and how it impacts both the client’s case and their decision making. The criminal defense attorneys at Roth Davies do this often and have painstakingly compiled research on specific cases that have helped answer specific client questions that come up regarding criminal cases. Take a look at the Commonly Asked Questions to answer some specific questions.

Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions.