Choosing the right attorney to represent you after being charged with a criminal offense is no easy feat. There are plenty of attorneys competing for your business, but who is truly willing to go the distance and get the best results? Here are five ways to tell that a criminal defense attorney is right for you.

1. They answer your calls.

When you contact an attorney, they should be able to get back to you promptly and schedule a consultation. If they don’t respond to you in a timely fashion, their current caseload may too large to properly dedicate adequate time to your case.

2. They have the experience.

Have they represented people in cases similar to yours? What were the results? Experience will determine how well a criminal defense attorney can navigate your case, so make this one of the very first questions you ask.

3. They have an encouraging reputation.

First, do a little desktop research and see if there are reviews online that can tell you more about what it’s like to work with this attorney. From there, ask if they have any references or former clients willing to speak to you about their experience with that attorney.

4. They can easily demonstrate their knowledge.

Can you understand what the attorney says to you? It’s important that an attorney is able to clearly explain details and strategies to a client. It’s also a good sign if they can spot a course of action right off the bat when you explain your charges.

5. They have resources and a plan.

Most attorneys work with office staff, paralegals, investigators, or others. Inquire about what resources that attorney has that will help them complete case work. Also ask if there are other team members you can speak to when that attorney is unavailable.

A criminal defense attorney should have experience, compassion, and a wealth of knowledge. Never settle for lawyers who are unresponsive, dismissive, or don’t seem interested in what you have to say.