I'm in trouble, how do I find a gun-rights lawyer?
I'll give you a few resources I know of (listed below), but the sad truth is this -- most people who ask me this question have no money. Or certainly not enough to play in the big leagues of courts and attorneys. After an arrest, people who need this question answered are frequently shunted off to the public defender's office, a place where the really good lawyers generally do not go to practice law.
Let me blunt here for a minute. If you're not able to put up decent money, you're simply not a player, and you are likely to be trampled by the system, a feeling you might already be familiar with. Most fine lawyers recognize their worth, and count fees starting at ten or twenty grand. For the few top players that do practice criminal-defense law, they'll need a lien on your home (win or lose they still get paid, so you not only go to jail, you lose your house).
Public defenders are frequently green, learning the ropes, getting experience for bigger and better things, working for modest government salaries. Underpaid and overworked, they often have case loads so large they have little choice but to plead cases out (have you confess regardless of circumstance, and plead for an easy sentence), because they cannot possibly go to trial and commit all the time that takes.
To prevail over the system costs you a lot. Most of us don't have that kind of money. Corporations and governments have it, a lucky few individuals do, but that's it these days. The notion of a "fair trial" has been destroyed by the costs attached by power brokers (and plenty of other factors). You've probably noticed this too, if you've found your way to my door with a troubling legal issue on your front burner.
But despite the odds, many people do persevere, using sweat equity, diligence, and determination that doesn't recognize failure. Get to know everyone you meet at the law library nearest you.
You can try the major gun rights groups, but keep this in mind -- every bozo who ever did something wrong with a gun tries to get them to handle their case for free, and so they're understandably reluctant to just jump in. They also have absolutely no way to handle everyone who rings their bell. That said, they do take cases when they are convinced that 1-They have a reasonable chance of winning, 2-The cause is one they are passionate about, not just a routine criminal defense, 3-You are a decent upstanding respectable individual with no excess hidden baggage that will make them look bad later or hurt them in court, 4-They'll probably get good press coverage from the case, 5-They can set valuable precedent for the future or stop some egregious abuse the authorities have been perpetrating, and 6-You appear to be innocent and unjustly charged. Kinda makes sense, don't it? Measure your case by those guidelines and see where you stand.
TIP: Before you need it, call and hire a firearms-savvy lawyer, for an hour, and say, "It's just to pick your brains about gun laws." They love it, you pay fairly, and you get every question you have answered, at least to some degree (lawyers think they know it all, but in contrast they never agree, so you absolutely must rely on your own judgment). You also get to judge how good the person is, before you ever need a lawyer for anything. Looking for a lawyer when you need one bad is the wrong time to go shopping. Many will take brief phone calls after such a "head" session, for free, because now they know you. You can even invite them out shooting, or to some event of mutual interest, to develop a relationship. And then you can fairly say you "have" a lawyer.
Contacts for Second Amendment attorneys and related resources:
Second Amendment Attorneys and Foundations (excellent)
Pro-gun-rights attorneys, by state (includes descriptions)
Lawyers available on call:
American Self-Defense Institute 800-700-2585
Pre-Paid Legal Services 800-654-7757
Lawyers can often be found through your local gun club. Local gun clubs can be found by phone through shooting ranges, retail stores, trainers, self-defense schools and civil rights organizations. State gun clubs are listed in our National Directory. Joining up sometimes helps you when you need resources.They yellow pages have so many lawyers listed it's a bewildering choice. A copyright, personal injury or real estate lawyer is not what you need -- criminal defense and Second Amendment attorneys are their own rare breed.
In the Phoenix metro area (my home turf):
The following attorneys in Arizona have indicated to me that they are interested in taking firearms related cases. I am in no way endorsing any of them, just passing on their names to you. I also listed the names of several private investigators, which might be useful on your defense team. Please let me know what sort of results you get, and good luck.
Michael R. Bredimus
Law Office of Michael R. Bredimus, P.C.
7551 South Willow Drive, Suite 102
Tempe, Arizona 85283-5032
Borrelli Law Office
Victor and Hall
Baker and Baker
Joy Leslie Little
Little and Little, PC
Robert J. Zohlmann
Zohlmann Arivaca Law
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Kevin OÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢Grady PLLC