Individuals or organizations entangled in lawsuits due to criminal misconduct are in a serious bind. They are at the risk of several penalties and consequences, like heavy fines, jail time, having a criminal record, and loss of relationships. While you can handle some legal matters yourself, a criminal arrest of any nature requires you to seek the legal advice of a professional criminal defense lawyer who can defend your rights and ensure the best possible results for your case.
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer for yourself or someone you love, can seem to be very, challenging as every attorney or criminal defense firm claims ‘extensive experience’ and ‘aggressive representation.’ How do you choose?
Consider following factors that may help you sort through the options:
Approach a criminal defense lawyer
Though phone books or online directories may help, they are time-consuming, and time is something that you do not have. The names and/or websites of lawyers and law firms on Google search results for your particular state and specific criminal category, are generally credible enough to help you. A personal referral, whether it is a family member, friend or business associate, is typically your best bet. However, check for their online presence, reputation, and credibility as well and have a telephonic conversation first. Ask questions to know about their credentials and level of experience and determine the service charges before you sign anything.
Location of the lawyer
A local attorney is typically the ideal choice for a criminal defense case. As they have developed their proficiency in local laws and strong relationships with all the court staff (the judge, the prosecutor, and others) in the county that holds your case, they will do a much better job.
Lawyer or Law Firm
Criminal defense lawyers are judged by their individual qualification, experience, and skills, not the firm they work at. Always ensure that the attorney handling your case has a track record of successful criminal cases.
Number of present pending cases
Criminal defense lawyers are busy individuals. If they have too many cases, you may hardly get the level of personal representation you deserve. On the contrary, if the lawyer has very few cases, it would not be a suitable option as well since they are typically legal practitioners who have a lower success rate in their professional practice. Therefore, find the attorney who has a healthy number of clients, regularly attends courtrooms, and is available to represent you in a professional and personal manner.
Though client feedback and peer reviews of the lawyers you are considering are helpful ways to know their viability, sometimes these could mislead there are always some dissatisfied clients. Therefore, take some references and contact details of some satisfied clients from the lawyer and talk to them how the legal practitioner helped them. Prefer the attorney who is well-liked by clients as well as colleagues. A credible lawyer often has a good ranking in Google search research and great Word of Mouth reputation.