Sometimes good people make mistakes. Sometimes good people are implicated in crimes that they didn’t commit. Whatever the reason, if you find yourself in cuff in the back of a police car, you might feel uncertain about the outcome of your predicament. Whether you’re guilty as charged or not, the best thing you can do to help your circumstances is to find the right criminal defense firm. While this might be your first time going through the criminal justice process, but the attorneys who work at good criminal defense firms have dedicated their career to helping people like you get the best possible outcome when they are charged with a crime.
However, you have hundreds of criminal defense firms to choose from, and they aren’t all going to help you get to the best outcome with your case. How do you know which criminal defense attorneys you can trust to fight on your behalf, and which are not worth the money? To help you sort this out, we’ve put together a list of four tips fir finding a good attorney.
Four Tips for Finding a Good Lawyer
- Make the most of free consultations while shopping for the right criminal defense lawyer.
When you are shopping for a criminal defense lawyer, many firms are willing to provide you with a initial consultation at no charge, to discuss the specifics of the case. This is a great time to size up how well you’d work with the attorney you’re interviewing. Do you mesh with them? Although credentials matter, it’s important to make sure that you have good rapport with your lawyer. The only way to determine that is to meet them face to face and talk to them. Pay attention to whether or not they listen to your questions, and answer them in a way that you understand. Communication is critical for a successful criminal defense attorney. If you don’t feel confident that the attorney you’re meeting with jives with you, move along to another one. That’s the point of the free consult.
- Take the payment structure into consideration.
The cost of an attorney should not be the only determining factor while looking for a good criminal defense attorney, but it is an important consideration. The cost of hiring a criminal defense firm varies from one firm to the next. It’s important to ask how much the attorney will cost you through out the course of your criminal defense case, so that you can make sure that you are able to pay for it, and so that you can make financial arrangements in the near future to cover it.
Many criminal defense firms offer financing options that allow you to make payments instead of paying one lump sum up front. If you are worried that you won’t be able to afford a criminal defense attorney, this might be a good option for you. It is far better to be adequately represented than to fret over the legal bills and end up with a poor outcome to your case.
- Pay attention to the area of expertise a criminal defense firm works in.
If you have problems with your feet, you wouldn’t visit an optometrist. An optometrist is a medical professional like a podiatrist, but is not equipped to treat the medical care you need. Likewise, the best criminal defense attorney for your situation is one who specializes in the area of law that applies to your charges. For instance, if you have been charged with a DUI, find a DUI attorney who understands the nuances of your legal predicament and can best advise you on the situation.
- Consider the lawyer’s experience in state and federal courts.
It’s easy to assume that the federal and state court systems are basically the same thing. If a lawyer usually works in federal trials, the same rules apply to state court proceedings, right?
This is actually not the case. The procedures that federal courts follow are actually far different than that of state courts, if your attorney is not familiar with the nature of the court that you’re in, it can be detrimental to the outcome of your case. If you are facing state criminal charges, use a lawyer who works in the state judicial system, and likewise for federal charges.