5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney
Just because an attorney has a criminal justice degree, it doesn’t mean that he or she is completely competent to practice law. Whether you are being charged with a crime or one of your loved ones has been charged with a crime – whether it be a \misdemeanor or a felony – finding the right legal defense is critical. There are a number of things to look out for – if you want to increase your chances of winning your case – when a criminal lawyer is provided for you. Your attorney’s skill, talent, and even reputation could determine whether you walk free or not. Here are 5 things to consider when selecting a criminal defense attorney.
- The first criminal defense attorney you find online is not always the best option. If you are searching for a criminal defense lawyer online, you might get a number of results on the first page, but it is important to remember that they aren’t always the best options, just because they happen to currently be the most relevant results. It might even be that they have paid for their placement at the top of the search results. It is still important to investigate further and to find online reviews.
- Avoid attorney referral services. There are many attorney referral services online. This service acts as a broker of sorts that helps you find criminal defense counselors in your area. However, often times these services are superfluous and unnecessary. All these companies are doing is charging you to search for attorneys in your area and to send emails. If you notice that the website does not have an actual address and no evidence of an actual address online, chances are that this is a shady referral service based overseas.
- Find a lawyer who specializes in the crime you are being charged for. There are lawyers who represent all sorts of cases, but then there are lawyers who specialize or focus on one certain type of case. For instance, there are lawyers who only deal in murder cases or domestic violence cases. If you are innocent, hiring a criminal defense attorney who only focuses on one type of crime will give you a much better chance of winning your case and going free.
- Public defenders won’t always give you the justice you deserve. Most public defenders are working on dozens of cases at once. They also aren’t getting paid nearly as much money as private attorneys. It is recommended to only hire a public defender in the event that you can’t afford private counsel.
- If money is an object, make sure that you are getting a fair deal. If you do hire a private criminal defense attorney, make sure to discuss the nature of your case explicitly so that you can devise a realistic plan for payment. You might want to cut down the chitchat and only focus on the case, because many lawyers will be charging you by the hour, and exorbitantly so. If it is a very delicate or publicly recognized case, they might want to work pro bono, which means “free” in laymen’s terms.