Getting charged with a crime can have serious repercussions on your record as an individual. Just because you were charged doesn’t mean you are guilty. When you find yourself in trouble with the law, finding an attorney is your best option. A criminal defense attorney can provide legal assistance and help you get out of your predicament.
There is a proliferation of criminal defense attorneys making finding the right one a daunting task. There will be a lot of lawyers who will be offering their services to you. How do you know which is the right one for you? This article will guide you on how to choose the right attorney who will defend your case.
Consider hiring a public attorney
Public attorneys are well-trained and the savviest attorney that you can get. They also probably have more trial experience than most private attorneys. In addition, they are driven by their mission and not money. If you don’t have enough money to hire a private attorney, you can consider a public attorney. The money you will pay to hire a private attorney can be used to post bail.
Ask for a referral
If you opt to hire a private attorney, you can ask friends or colleagues to refer you to a good one. They may be able to recommend an attorney who has the knowledge and the skill to handle your case.
Look for a website
Sometimes the lawyers who appear first on online search are not necessarily the best. When looking for an attorney, check if they have a website. From there, you can see their accomplishments, client reviews, cases handled, and contact information. You can always cross-reference with a general Google search the name of the lawyer to check if they have the experience in handling high-profile cases or just appeared in the news.
There is really no formula in finding the “best” criminal defense attorney. Asking some questions can help you get an informed decision. Here are some things you may want to ask about:
You would want to make sure that the attorney specializes in criminal defense. This will help ensure that they have the skills, training, and knowledge to handle your case. Criminal law is handled differently in state and Federal courts so it would be best for you if the lawyer has experience in handling cases in one or both courts.
The experience of the attorney is an important consideration when choosing an attorney. Then again experience doesn’t always equate to quality representation. You should really ask the attorney how many levels of experience they have in the charge you are facing. For example, some criminal defense attorneys focus on niche areas like DUI or felony cases. You would want an attorney who has familiarity with the type of case you were charged with.
It will also be helpful to your case if the attorney you are considering has knowledge of the court where the trial will be held. Knowledge and experience in a certain area will help the attorney know the tendencies of the prosecutors and judges.
Another important consideration when choosing a lawyer is the fees. Typically, your chosen attorney will charge you an hourly or flat rate. With the former, you will be charged based on the actual time they spent handling your case. With the latter, on the other hand, you will pay a set amount for your case. Other attorneys also collect a pretrial fee aside from the fee if the case goes to trial. You can also ask if they will charge other costs such as fees for expert witnesses or investigations.