The Steps In How To Choose A Criminal Lawyer
If you ever find yourself accused of a crime of any sort it will be vital that you are represented with a knowledgeable and competent criminal attorney. Not just any attorney will do because the outcome of your case will certainly have the possibility of affecting the rest of your life and the way that you live it.
You should find the very best, the most experienced criminal lawyer available, and the price won’t come cheap. However with what is at stake, the fees of the lawyer might be a bargain based upon what the cost would be if you were convicted of a crime. Spending time in jail or in prison can be a very heavy cost to a person.
The type of lawyer that you want is one who is billed as a criminal defense attorney. Many lawyers will list all of the areas of the law that they practice. This is not the lawyer that you want. You need an attorney that does only one thing, and that is that they practice in the area of criminal defense.
Start with browsing different attorneys on the internet. Find the most prominent firms that look like they have a lot of experience and know what they are doing. A criminal defense lawyer who has experience in the local area will probably know prosecuting attorneys and judges, and can probably get concessions that many attorneys know nothing about.
Could you defend yourself in court?
You should also avoid hiring a public defender, because they usually only handle clients who have no money to pay for a personal attorney. They are so overloaded with cases as a usual matter, that they do not have the time or the resources to provide much legal help outside of rudimentary basics.
Look for a criminal lawyer who specializes in the area of criminal law of which you have been accused. It may be tax, SEC, or other specialties of the law that apply to your case and an attorney that specializes in your area is a bonus.
Once you have narrowed down some likely possibilities, look for any organizations that the lawyer belongs to. He or she should belong to the county and state Bar Associations. The National Association Of Criminal Defense Lawyers is a good organization for your attorney to be a member of because it shows interest in the field that has been chosen for a specialty. Also if he or she pursues the Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, the same application would apply. If the attorney has ever held office in any of these groups, better still.
If you have narrowed down your field, it is time to interview your lawyer. Information that you should have is your court date, what you are charged with, the court location, the amount of your bail, and who the bail bondsman is. The more details that you can provide about your case, the better the lawyer can estimate how effective will be the defense that can be provided, and give you an estimate of what the fees will be.
You should be extremely wary of any lawyer who promises results either way without first going over the information with you in a thorough manner. That is highly unprofessional and not in your best interest.
You should ask the lawyer what related cases he or she has handled in the past that is similar to yours. For example a lawyer that specializes in murder trials may not be very good in handling a DUI criminal case. Attorneys have different specialties, even within the criminal defense area.
The attorney should be able to fully explain the charges that are being brought against you, the possible consequences, what the prosecution has to prove in order to gain a conviction, and how evidence may be used against you when in court. It is very important that you follow the advice of a good attorney, as he or she knows what must be said and proven in order to win an acquittal or favorable result.
The lawyer should be honest with you if he or she feels that your case might be difficult and what the possible consequences will be. You should be properly prepared for possible outcomes, what ever they may be.
A good criminal defense attorney will properly prepare you for trial and use his or her experience to bring about the best result for you, so you can move on with your life.