When you are facing criminal charges, you may think that any lawyer can help you. However, experienced legal professionals know that the criminal lawyer you choose can determine whether you will be acquitted, have your case dismissed, or even go to prison.
When your freedom is hanging in the balance, you need a competent and experienced attorney to defend you. The attorney should take a personal interest in your case, investigate and come up with strong legal defense aimed at reducing or getting the charges dismissed.
Below are some things you should consider when choosing a criminal defense lawyer.
1. Specialization of the lawyer
Depending on the crime that you are accused of, you may be better off with a lawyer specialized in a particular area of law than one who has not specialized. For example, if you are facing a murder charge, you might want a lawyer has handled many murder charges and has secured acquittals, dismissals or reduction of charges.
2. Often goes on trials
You should hire an attorney who regularly goes to trial. Trial attorneys are respected in the courthouse and because of the respect they have earned, they can get their clients the best deals and results. Trials involve intense work within a short time and the attorneys who handle them are confident of their skills. You can rest assured that you will get the best representation by hiring an attorney who often attends trials.
3. Look for a skilled lawyer
Hire a skilled attorney to protect your rights and secure justice. You should be comfortable with the criminal lawyer that you choose since you may have to divulge personal and sensitive information about yourself, finances, family, or friends.
4. Certified Specialist in Criminal law
The best way to find a top notch attorney is to search your state’s Bar websites. Look for an attorney who has received excellent reviews by the Supreme Court and whom other attorneys also recommend. For criminal cases, the best attorney to hire is one who has passed the grueling Criminal Specialist examination and has taken a number of advanced courses to keep on top of their profession.
5. Experience of the lawyer
Experience can determine whether you will win or lose a case. Look for an attorney who has practiced for a number of years and successfully represented clients who faced similar charges in the past. An experienced lawyer can use the judgment passed in past similar cases and know the direction to steer your legal defense to ensure you get the most favorable judgment.
6. Hire a big city attorney
If you live in a suburban area, you may think that hiring a local attorney is the best decision. However, this is not the case. When possible, you should hire an attorney from a big city. Most of the top notch attorneys are in the big cities where there are various types of crime. These attorneys are experienced in different cases and can provide a formidable defense that will see you acquitted.
7. Fees and charges
Find out the fees the attorney will charge to represent you in your case. Depending on the lawyer that you choose, you may have an option of paying back the total fees after conclusion of the case, paying in installments or paying upfront. Some lawyers offer free consultation while others charge by the hour.
You should know how the attorney will be communicating to you as the case progresses. Will he be meeting you face to face or will he call? Have the communication channel agreed upon before you hire an attorney.
9. Approach to the case
The attorney should be genuinely interested in your case and in helping you get acquitted. When you visit the attorney in his office, find out whether he is interested in your case. The lawyer should be candid and ask questions about the circumstances that led to your arrest, where and how the arrest was made, among others.
10. Ask for referrals
The best way to know what to expect from an attorney is to talk to people he has worked with in the past. Good attorneys usually get clients from referrals. Your friends and family members can recommend attorneys that they trust or whom they have worked with in the past.
11. Has a professional website
Hire an attorney with a professional website. Attorneys that are only listed on the Yellow Pages or local business directory but have no websites may simply be ignorant of where the world is moving. How do you expect such attorneys to offer you the best defense?
Getting a good criminal lawyer may determine whether you will face a prison sentence or if your charges will be dismissed. When your freedom is at stake, do not gamble by hiring an inexperienced attorney. Contact us immediately and let us help you secure your freedom.