Tips to Choosing a Good Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Case
Are you looking to hire a criminal defense attorney?. If yes, there’s a good chance you’re in some kind of trouble. Perhaps you’ve been suspected of committing a crime or you’re already facing criminal charges. Heck, even when your closest friend has been arrested on some criminal charges, such as murder, it’s advisable to have a defense attorney on speed dial.
Regardless of the situation, hiring a criminal attorney can mean the difference between several years behind bars and freedom. However, not just any attorney is going to help you win your case. You need the best criminal defense attorney on your side; otherwise, your case could be a toss of the coin.
Understand the Nature of Your Criminal Case
You’re hiring a criminal defense attorney to defend you because you’re facing a criminal charge. What you need to know is that criminal attorneys specialize in specific types of criminal cases.
Make a Shortlist of Lawyers You’d Potentially Hire
You aren’t going to find the best criminal defense attorney by making a random pick or settling for the first lawyer you come across. You need to make a shortlist of about 5 lawyers. Then, scrutinize their credentials and case record, and narrow down to the best
Check Licensure Status
Across the United States, active lawyers must have a state-specific license.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
How Do I Find An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you find yourself facing a criminal charge, you need representation by the very best. A criminal charge could potentially have a serious impact on your freedom, livelihood, and future. Given the high stakes when fighting a criminal charge, you cannot take chances on an inexperienced or overwhelmed criminal defense lawyer.
COMPILE A LIST OF POTENTIAL ATTORNEYS
Your criminal defense attorney search should involve first compiling a strong list of potential options. Consider starting with word of mouth recommendations. If you have any friends who have used a criminal defense lawyer or attorney friends in your area, they may be able to refer you to someone they had a positive experienced with before. Do not end with accepting the referral, however, as you will want to vet the potential attorney on your own.
INTERVIEW YOUR POTENTIAL LAWYERS
Once you have narrowed down your list of potential criminal defense attorneys, you will want to phone them and schedule an initial interview. Some criminal defense lawyers are too busy to sit down with you in person, but most can consult with you over the phone. During your consultation with your potential lawyer, ask about their background and experience. Ask how familiar they are with the specific charges you are facing. You can then ask some questions about your particular case and how your potential lawyer might defend against the charges you face.
You will also want to ask the attorney about their legal fees and billing practices. While it may be tempting to go with the lawyer who charges the least, doing so could end up costing you more in the long run if that lawyer does not offer the experience you need. Find out how your case will be handled and whether other attorneys or paralegals may be involved in your defense. Armed with all of this information, select the lawyer with whom you have the most confidence.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Most people don’t have to worry about getting arrested. In the rare event that you have been charged with a crime or arrested, you’ll need a criminal defense attorney to help you out. A good criminal defense attorney will explain your rights during the criminal process from start to finish. Having this knowledge can help make the difference between a dismissal, plea bargain, or a jail sentence.
WHY YOU NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Being charged or arrested for a crime is a serious matter. If you are facing criminal charges, you are at the risk of severe penalties and consequences, such as having a criminal record and jail time, among other things. While some legal matters can be handled alone, having a qualified criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case.
CIVIL VS. CRIMINAL COURT CASES
The United States court system is divided into two different sectors: criminal and civil justice systems.
PICKING THE BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
There are over one million active attorneys in the United States. So, how do you go about picking the best criminal defense attorney when there are so many to choose from? Below you’ll find a list of six tips to help you pick the best attorney for you.
FIND THE BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR YOUR NEEDS
Choosing a lawyer isn’t always about picking the best criminal defense lawyer. While you want to find a good lawyer, you also need to find someone who is the best for you and your needs.
How to Pick the Right Criminal Defense Attorney
Choosing your criminal defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. When you are charged with a crime, you need to make sure you have the right legal representation as soon as possible. But in addition to hiring a lawyer quickly, you need to make sure you do your due diligence and ensure you’re picking the right professional to handle your legal matters.
Finding the right attorney can be an extremely tough process. There are so many characteristics to look out for (and so many to stay far away from), but this decision is one that should be handled with the utmost care. Hiring an ill-equipped defense attorney will undoubtedly sink your case and cause you to waste valuable time and money
Look For Relevant Experience
It is important for citizens to make sure they hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience with the crimes they have been charged with. Every lawyer has spent time in school studying the law front to back, but not every one of these lawyers may have experience handling the criminal charges you are facing. Today’s law procedures are so complex that there is a growing number of lawyers who specialize in one area, such as DWI or marijuana possession. Make sure you have a criminal defense attorney who has experience working on cases that are either the same as yours or very, very similar.
Make Sure They Have a History of Success, Too
In addition to making sure you have a defense lawyer who is familiar with your charges, you also need to make sure your potential lawyer has a history of successfully fighting charges that are similar to yours.
The whole point of hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is to try to reach the best outcome possible. With that being said, there is no point in hiring an attorney who has never won a case that is similar to yours. If you’ve been charged with a felony DWI and the lawyer you’re interviewing has no experience beating DWI cases or having them dismissed/reduced, you need to look elsewhere. When interviewing your lawyers, don’t be afraid to ask them about their history with handling charges like yours. Quality attorneys will not hesitate to educate a potential client on their past case results and client testimonials.
How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When facing criminal accusations, you need a criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of the charges you face as much as possible. Choosing a criminal defense attorney, however, can seem a daunting proposition under the best of circumstances; and, let’s face it, facing criminal charges is not the best of circumstances.
Do a Basic Search Based on Geography
Legal marketing websites like Avvo offer lists of attorneys who practice criminal defense law in your city and state, and feature reviews of those attorneys. The direction of most (but not all) criminal cases is heavily influenced by who prosecutes it and who is assigned as the judge to preside over it. Using the tools on these sites to narrow down your search to well-reviewed local criminal defense attorneys is a good first step, because it helps to ensure that you will hire an attorney who has familiarity with the key players in your case, and with the rhythms and personalities that will shape how it proceeds.
Check Experience with Specific Types of Law
Now look to see if the attorneys your search turned up have experience with the specific area of criminal law you need. You want a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the law and court procedures applicable to your specific case. You wouldn’t hire an eye doctor to do your knee surgery, and for the same reason you should only trust your criminal defense to an attorney who has represented lots of clients charged with similar offenses in the same court where your case is pending.
Take a Look at the Lawyer’s Outcomes
A lawyer cannot promise you any particular result in your criminal case. Stay far away from any lawyer who tells you otherwise.
Interview the Lawyers
Many lawyers will offer a free initial consultation on your case. Take them up on it. It’s an opportunity for the lawyer to get to know you and to hear about the charges you face. It’s also a chance for you to get to know more about the lawyer and to decide if it’s a good “fit.” During your interview