Will My Union Benefits, LegalShield or PrePaid Legal Services Cover My Costs to Hire a Criminal or DUI Lawyer?
San Diego Defenders gets calls on a regular basis. Do you take Legal Shield or Pre-Paid Legal Services cases? How about my employee benefits or the union benefits I pay for monthly? Yes, we will honor most of those contract as explained below. Jon Pettis and myself, Daniel Smith, are the lawyers of San Diego Defenders that represent people accused of criminal cases, like drugs and theft along with the many DUI charges given to folks even though they did not get ticket, like DUI checkpoints, traffic stops and the just crossing the border. Many of those accused, arrested or otherwise charged with a crime are covered by LegalShield of PrePaid Legal Services. There are limitations, to these benefit plans whether they are through a Union or another Employee benefits program.
The LegalShield Plan Benefits state specifically that member will be provided “Trial Defense” of up to 60 hours and PrePaid Legal Services has similar language. However, if you read the fine print, it states that “The criminal action mush arise out of the performance of covered persons’s employment responsibilities.” With that being said, when was the last time your employment responsibilities required you to drink and drive or forget to pay for makeup and the register and be accused of shoplifting?
Union benefits, LegalShield and Pre-Paid Legal services rely on exceptions, just like any other insurance company, to reduce the money they have to pay out. So the answer is usually that the different benefit plans do not pay for your lawyer. They may offer a discount, but then you are limited to lawyers that may not have expertise of experience which could cost you your job and worse yet, your freedom!
If you read on there is usually a line in the contract that says, in the case of LegalShield, “25% off additional legal services” if your legal services “extend beyond plan coverage. San Diego Defenders will honor the promise of a discount, but instead of charging you hourly – and who knows how many hours a criminal case takes to resolve – San Diego Defenders will quote you a flat fee for the entire process, even if a trial were involved! And we offer affordable payment plans. I often say we are not the most expensive and we are not the cheapest, but you will get the best lawyer for you case in any of the courts. San Diego Central Division, East County, South County, North County and United States District Court.
San Diego Defenders recognize that most people would rather their case is resolved without a trial, however, if the prosecutor knows that your lawyer never fights a case all the way through trial, the prosecution may never agree to a fair resolution of your case.