If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek legal representation right away. Having an attorney by your side to fight for your rights and protect you in the courtroom will truly make all the difference in the outcome of your case. That’s why it’s so important to choose a criminal defense lawyer who is experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable. You need someone who is going to work hard for you and who knows the ins and outs of the legal system in your state.
To help you out, we’re sharing a few key tips that will help you choose the best criminal defense lawyer for your case. Keep this advice in mind during your search and you’re sure to find a great lawyer to represent you.
Research Potential Lawyers Who Specialize in Criminal Defense
Although it might be tempting to go online and do a quick Google search for criminal defense lawyers in your area and then pick the first one you see, this really isn’t the best way to go. To ensure you choose the right lawyer for your case, you’ll want to do some research on potential options first. This will ensure you’ve made an educated decision and it’ll serve you well in the long run.
“You can start by doing a search of criminal defense lawyers in your area and reviewing each one,” says criminal defense attorney, Kensley Barrett. “You want to make sure the lawyer you choose has a lot of experience in handling criminal cases because it means you’ll have plenty of knowledge and skill by your side in the courtroom. One of the best places to start your online search is the State Bar website.”
If any of your friends or family members have had experience in using a criminal defense lawyer, you can also consult with them for recommendations. It’s always helpful to see what previous clients are saying about a lawyer and how that particular lawyer has been able to help them in their case. Websites like Avvo and Justia can be helpful for finding well reviewed lawyers.
Schedule Consultations with Potential Lawyers
Once you’ve compiled a list of a few criminal defense lawyers who you feel could effectively handle your case, it’s time to give their office a call. Many lawyers offer free consultations to new clients and this is something you should take advantage of. Meeting for a consultation gives you the opportunity to discuss your case, get an idea of what you’re up against, and also to see if a particular lawyer is the right fit for you.
It’s recommended to come prepared to these consultations as well. Create a list of questions you can ask the lawyer to get to know him or her better. Start by asking if their law firm has experience in dealing with cases similar to yours. You want to be sure the lawyer you choose has plenty of experience in handling cases like what you’re dealing with. Although it’s not a guarantee you’ll receive a favorable result in the court room, it’s good to know your lawyer has dealt with these situations before and is knowledgeable on the laws associated with your case.
If the lawyer is open to discussing potential options for handling your case, now is a good time to ask. You want to know what’s in store for you as you tackle these criminal charges you’re dealing with. Find out if the lawyer has a particular strategy in mind, what kinds of situations you could be facing, and also how you’ll be kept in the loop throughout the entire process.
And finally, make sure you ask about lawyer fees and court costs during your consultation. It’s no secret that paying your lawyer and forking over court fees can be very expensive. However, when you consider that a great attorney is essentially fighting for your freedom, it’s worth the cost in the end. If you’re concerned about how you’re going to pay for the lawyer’s services, ask about payment plans as well. Many attorneys are happy to do this for their clients, so don’t be too afraid to ask about it.
How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer for You
As already mentioned, you need to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has years of experience in this field. You don’t want to consult with an estate planning lawyer for a criminal case because he or she wouldn’t have the experience and skill you need by your side in court. Find a lawyer who has dealt with cases similar to yours and has received favorable results for clients in the past.
Depending on the type of criminal charges you’re facing, that will also dictate the lawyer you choose to represent you. If you’re dealing with a case where you have broken a state late (DUI, assault, domestic violence, theft, etc.), then you will want help from a state lawyer. For cases involving the United States Constitution (bankruptcy, copyright patent, etc.), you will need to find a federal lawyer to handle your case.
Another important tip to keep in mind is that you should always hire a lawyer that you are comfortable with. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident with your choice of a lawyer, it’s not going to be the best experience for you. You want a lawyer that is going to make you feel safe. You want a lawyer you can trust so you can always feel reassured when talking to him or her. When you’re battling criminal charges, it’s a very stressful time and you want to know you’ve made the right choice in your lawyer.
If you just do not have the finances available to pay for a private attorney, remember that you can always seek the help of a public defender. The tricky thing about working with public defenders is that they typically have limited time and resources for your case. They might not have experience in dealing with a case like yours. Despite this, it’s still better to have legal representation as opposed to none at all.
How a Lawyer Can Help You When Fighting Criminal Charges
When you’re facing criminal charges, it can be a very scary time. You’re usually up against some pretty serious consequences, such as hefty fines and time in jail. No one wants to drain their bank account paying fines and no one wants to sacrifice their freedom to serve a jail sentence. Not only that, but criminal charges can blemish your public record and make it harder for you to secure employment, housing, and loans in the future. That’s why it’s so important to have a criminal defense lawyer representing you.
Many people mistakenly believe they don’t stand a chance at lowering the punishments they face for criminal charges. However, a skilled criminal defense lawyer will fight for you and help to lower, or even drop, the charges you’re facing. Plus, having the expertise of a lawyer will help guide you along what is sure to be a tough time.