When you have been charged with a crime of any kind, it is important to seek legal representation as quickly as possible. Without proper legal representation or the right defense attorney, proving your innocence in a court of law may take months or even years while causing additional stress and undesired outcomes.
Once you have made the decision to retain a defense attorney to represent you and your case, it is important to know what to look for in a lawyer to ensure you receive the representation that you deserve.
Hiring an attorney who has experience in the area of law in which you have been charged is imperative for the best outcome possible. An experienced defense attorney understands the process involved in criminal cases such as your own. Some of the added benefits that an experienced criminal lawyer brings to the table include:
- Filing Paperwork: Expedite the process of filing the appropriate paperwork for your case with the help of a criminal defense attorney who has experience in the courtroom. Experienced defense attorneys know which routes to take for clients based on evidence, past criminal history, and specifics for each case and client they take on individually. Your attorney will help review, explain, and process all paperwork that is required in order for you to proceed with your case.
- Connections: One of the biggest advantages of hiring an experienced defense attorney is the access to connections you will gain. An experienced and successful defense attorney is familiar with the lawyers, judges, and district attorneys that work in their own districts as well as surrounding districts to better serve their clients.
- Strategy: Depending on the judge assigned to your case, an experienced attorney may alter or create a new strategy that is more likely to work in your favor.
An attorney without a positive and professional reputation may not be as trustworthy as a lawyer who is well-known and praised by colleagues and even other attorneys in their field. Seek out a defense attorney who is not only well-known in your local area, but one that is experienced in criminal law and endorsed not only by the public, but also by other law professionals.
Before you choose to retain a new attorney for your criminal case, it is important to research client testimonials. Visit the official website of the lawyer or law firm you are interested in using while also utilizing third-party review websites such as Google or Google MyBusiness to gain valuable insight and feedback about the attorneys near you before making your decision. Using third-party websites to research client testimonials is advisable to ensure that the reviews have been verified and that they are authentic. USe testimonials from past clients of local attorneys in your area to determine which lawyer or firm is best to work with based on the experiences others have had with them involving similar cases.
It is also possible to seek out more information and reviews on attorneys you are interested in hiring right from the comfort of your own home, online. Using a service of your choice, research criminal attorneys who are most suitable to represent you and to determine which lawyers near you are most qualified, professional, and reliable. Two of the most popular online resources to review current lawyers or to research real testimonials from clients of lawyers you are interested in hiring include Avvo and Lawyerist.
Strategy is extremely important when it comes to developing a defense for a client, regardless of the crime that has been committed or the evidence available that has been presented to the court or to a jury. When approaching a criminal case, it is important to have a well-thought-out and developed a strategy to help prove a client’s case and point of view.
When you begin meeting and consulting with defense attorneys, inquire about their methods of strategizing and the type of strategy they are most likely to use if they represent you. Comparing the types of strategies that are presented to you from various criminal attorneys can help you to determine which route is best for you and which route is most likely to result in reducing or eliminating the criminal charges that have been brought up against you.
While you are in the process of consulting with a defense attorney that you are interested in retaining and using to represent you, ask the following questions to determine whether or not the lawyer of your choice is the right fit for you:
- Are you experienced with cases similar to my own? How many clients have you worked with that have faced similar charges? And, what were the outcomes of those cases?
- How familiar are you with my specific charges? What type of outcomes are most likely in your eyes?
- Have you taken into account my past as well as my personal criminal history before devising a strategy for my case?
- Which strategy is likely to work best in my favor, and why? Are you willing to change or update your current defense strategy as the court proceedings continue or as evidence is presented or shifts in the case occur?
- Will I be kept in the loop as you develop new working strategies to represent me and present evidence in my favor? Will you provide me with options when it comes to making decisions that involve moving forward with my case? How open and flexible are you with the current strategy you have in mind for me?
- What is the reasoning you have for your chosen strategy when it comes to representing me? Do you have a history of proven experience that shows that this strategy is effective and suitable for my charges and my criminal history?
Knowing what to look for when hiring a defense attorney is not only a way to alleviate the anxiety that is most commonly associated with criminal charges, but it is a way to ensure that you are moving forward in the right direction with your case. With an experienced and highly-qualified defense attorney by your side, feel comfortable with and confident in the decisions you make regarding the future of your case.