If you’ve been charged with a crime, the best thing you can do is to seek a good criminal defense attorney to consult with and represent you in court. Criminal charges are quite serious and it’s important that you understand the justice system if you’re facing a trial. You’ll want to make certain you’re represented by the best criminal defense lawyer you can afford.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when seeking legal representation.
Determine the Area of Expertise
You’ll need to understand the type of defense lawyer to retain. Criminal attorneys are generally those that specifically deal with criminal law. Some attorneys vary their practice between criminal law and civil law, and that’s fine, but you’ll want to choose someone who truly understands criminal law.
Ideally, the lawyer you wish to retain should specialize in the specific area of criminal law that pertains to your charge. For example, if you were charged with Driving While Intoxicated, you may want to retain an attorney who only handles DWI cases. He should have a few years of experience in that area of law and a good track record of winning cases.
Do Your Homework
Research the attorney you’re considering to make sure they are experienced in the criminal defense you’re looking for. Look for articles, testimonials or other pieces of information about the attorney and his law firm. Check to see if he’s a member of professional associations that pertain to the area of criminal defense you’re seeking. Also, contact the state bar association to ensure the attorney is in good standing.
Good Communication Skills
The attorney you look to hire should be easy to communicate with and you should be able to understand exactly what your lawyer is explaining to you. A lawyer with good communication skills should have no problem arguing your case well. He should have excellent negotiation skills as well because you’ll want your lawyer to negotiate a deal so your case does not go to jury trial. It’s not uncommon for criminal cases to be resolved by way of a plea agreement. You can ask your lawyer about his relationship with the prosecutor, which could prove beneficial to your case.
It also helps if your lawyer has frequent dealings in the jurisdiction you’ve been charged in. This helps give your lawyer the upper hand when it comes to knowing the local legal system.
Ask for References
Prior to retaining your lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask for a reference. This is your freedom at risk here, and any reputable attorney won’t have any issues providing your references. Call those references and verify previous case success and the lawyer’s history.
Copy of Retainer Agreement
Once you’ve made your decision, ask for a copy of the lawyer’s retainer agreement and read it thoroughly. If you have any questions or concerns, ask your lawyer. You should understand exactly what the services provided are and know what you’re paying for before you execute the contract.
Finding a good criminal defense lawyer who will represent you effectively is imperative if you want a successful outcome. It’s okay to take some time to think your decision through, ask questions and interview references. If you clash with a potential lawyer’s personality, then you should consider hiring a different lawyer to represent you. Above everything else, you want a lawyer that you’ll have a professional and cordial relationship with.
When you’re ready to retain a criminal defense lawyer, contact us. We are ready, willing and able to sit down with you and discuss your situation, provide you with references, and work with you through the entire case. Our goal is to provide you with a successful outcome.