When you have a criminal charge, your top concern is to choose the best criminal defense lawyer. A good lawyer can make all the difference in putting up your defense. So take your time to seek out the right defense lawyer for your case who can depict you in the best light possible when you go to court. Although the process of searching a criminal defense lawyer seems depressing, especially when you are dealing with the consequences of a criminal charge. But this is certainly the most important step of your entire case.
Here are the tips to help you select the right criminal defense lawyer.
1. The Lawyer should be Responsive:
Time is the essence when you are on a criminal charge. Time lost is the case lost. You need an attorney who shows the concern for time and starts working on the case right away. When you contact a lawyer for your case, either through email or phone number, he should respond quickly. He should arrange a meeting with you within a day or two. If that happens, he will probably be equally on the ball while defending you.
2. Choose the One Experienced in Local Courts:
This aspect is often ignored while selecting a lawyer. But the one having local courts experience may have valuable local relationships. These links can go a long way when fighting a criminal charge. Each court has a specific culture to handle the cases so your lawyer should know the ins and outs of your court. This knowledge contributes a lot to create a winning strategy for your case. If you are living in Vista, choose Vista Criminal Defense Lawyer to for best advocacy services.
3. Check the Repute on the Internet:
When you are searching for a lawyer on the internet, the ones that pop up on the top are not necessarily the best one. They could have invested good money in Google ads or search optimization. It shows that they have a good business strategy but not necessarily the good trial chops. There are more factors to consider. The good and reputed attorneys and law firms have a decent website with all the accomplishments, important cases and client reviews listed on it. Does this lawyer come from a public defender or a prosecutor background? You should check how long he has been practicing criminal law and how many trials he has handled. The social media sites like Google+ and Facebook don’t allow the attorneys to delete their bad reviews, so these are the good sites to know the other clients’ experiences.
4. Ask for Referrals:
The most reliable way to select an attorney is to ask your relatives, friends or family to refer you a good one. Their personal experience with that lawyer can offer you a better understanding of how he will handle your case. A good lawyer has a reputation in his profession so, if you already have a lawyer for the legal matters of your business or estate, you can ask him to recommend you a criminal defense lawyer. Word of mouth is also useful to get honest opinions about the lawyer.
5. The Right Attorney Knows the Basics:
A criminal defense lawyer must know the basics of the most common crimes but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he doesn’t need to look things up if your case is exceptional. He must have good research and analytical skills to understand the complexities of your case. He should know the appropriate questions to ask you that help to squeeze out the useful information for your defense. The best criminal defense lawyer should have good knowledge of the general criminal laws and the criminal justice system.
6. Look for a Clear Fee Structure:
A good lawyer will not like confusion about his fee. He should clearly explain you the fee structure of his service and the total estimated cost of your defense. Don’t look for the least expensive lawyer but choose the right one according to your affordability. Ask what his services include and make sure that he is preparing well for a vigorous defense. But, don’t think that an expensive lawyer has the excellence to make you winner of the case.
7. Gauge their Passion:
Some lawyers are work harder than others and you certainly want that one. You want your lawyer to be proficient enough to investigate thoroughly and collect evidence and witnesses in your favor. He should go to trial at the right time and encourage you to accept the plea offer only when it’s actually favorable for you. A good attorney can make the right choice for you like whether to go for trial or accept a plea. He should work in your best interest. To sort out such a lawyer, look for the passion and enthusiasm he has for his work. While your lawyer should be experienced, the years of experience isn’t everything. The lawyer must be eager to prove you innocent and should have high interest in his work.
8. The Courtroom Confidence:
The most important experience you lawyer should have is a courtroom experience. Make sure that your lawyer has enough confidence in the courtroom to make objections instantly. He must be sharp enough to analyze the court hearings and know the court rules. In this regards, judge a book by its cover. If the lawyer is well spoken and has a neat appearance, he is likely to be the same way in the court. The way he deals with the case in the courtroom can also tell you if he is a professional or not. Your lawyer is your spokesperson in the court. So, you should like the way he presents himself when you meet him. After all, he is going to defend you.
9. Account for your Priorities:
Your lawyer should take into account your priorities while composing your defense plan. Your criminal charge is ultimately yours and the lawyer should seek your direction in major decisions. He should have the control to mount the defense methods like which witness to call and filing court motions, but it should be your decision to plead the guilty or go to trial.
10. Beware of the Raters:
While researching on the web, you may come across the web services that claim to rate the lawyers. They ask the lawyers to record the reviews from their clients and claim to have a system of genuine reviews. Don’t assume that all of them are true. The lawyers tend to submit the reviews that are in their favor. These raters also show 1 to 10 star rating for the lawyers listed there which is mostly based on how much money these lawyers pay them.
11. Check the Reviews and Testimonials Provided by the Lawyer:
As we discussed earlier, the experience of the lawyer matters a lot but there is no harm in hearing the opinions of his former clients. This way, you will be able to know the advocacy skills of the lawyer and know how he handled those cases. You will get insights about the patience of the attorney while dealing with clients and how he worked as a team with them. But all the law firms don’t offer testimonials. In this case, go to their official site. There you can find some. You can also directly ask the attorney for such information. Google+ and Yelp can also help you dig up the reviews of the previous clients.
12. Do You Require a Single Attorney or Team of Attorneys?
Some criminal cases can be more difficult and require more than one attorney. If your budget allows, hiring a team of lawyers is better for you and your case. When they work on your case as a team, their joint expertise is used to devise a strong strategy to defend you. They will find a way to release you from the criminal charge faster plus the years of experience they have together will definitely be helpful in this regard. If your case is not a one man show, its way too hard to win it. Also, remember that he might have other cases so yours might not be his priority all the time. If he is into multiple cases, he may not be able to give the required working time to your case and lose his concentration. So it’s advisable to go for a law firm rather than s single lawyer.
13. Trust Your Instincts:
Facing a criminal charge is a worrying issue. You shouldn’t take it easy. You need to consult the best lawyer if you want the best outcome. Even though it’s essential to invest your time to select the right lawyer for your case but its also important to do it as soon as possible to protect your interest. You have the option to search online, but you have to meet your prospect lawyers in person to judge them correct.