Just got a call requesting representation from someone who is a rather (in)famous felon, at least in certain firearms-related circles.
After an extremely long-winded conversation, and after much talking on his part, I finally get enough info to pull up his case history, and I determine I can't help him as he's already been well and truly hosed. Yes, there were likely quite a few nasty machinations that led to the charges including some interesting reinterpretation of some regs that truly nailed him, but he's well beyond where that can be effectively challenged, except perhaps maybe if you buy his story for an ineffective assistance of counsel argument and it may very well be too late for that. In any case, I don't do ineffective assistance of counsel cases.
I noted I could not assist him as his case was quite far-gone, and most especially I could not assist him on his offered terms of payment only if everything happened to work out in his favor.
Here's a few quick tips that may save you a lot of grief:
First Quick Tip: Pleading guilty to a federal felony based on the advice of a public defender, and losing your appeal, and serving your time, and then only after that deciding to contact a new lawyer to fight your case really doesn't give you a lot of leeway. In fact, you have pretty much no leeway at that point.
Second Quick Tip: Lawyers do not work for free -- Surprise!
In fact, on hopeless cases where you've already screwed, blued, and tattooed yourself, we're actually going to have to charge you quite a lot considering the impossibility of the task you've asked us to do. No, we're not going to work on the basis that you might have some money coming in later if everything works out, especially when the chance of everything working out is between slim and none with slim having been seen leaving town. There is no contingency-fee based arrangement for criminal-related matters, and for good reason.
Third Quick Tip: Do not, I repeat, do NOT be in possession of unregistered NFA-type item(s) and then definitely do not do stuff to draw attention from the authorities, it will not go well for you.