Once charged with a criminal offense, your best chance for a reasonably positive outcome is to hire a criminal defense lawyer. A good criminal defense lawyer can make the difference between a lengthy prison sentence and a suspended sentence, or between being convicted or found not guilty, as well as a myriad of other options in between. Because finding a good criminal defense lawyer is so incredibly important, there are several things you should consider before hiring someone. Read more to discover how to find a criminal defense lawyer.
How Much Experience Does the Attorney Have in Criminal Defense?
Not all legal fields are the same – in fact, there are even specialties within different fields. Some attorneys may specialize primarily in one area of law, while also taking some simpler cases in one or two other areas. For example, some attorneys may practice primarily in criminal law, but also handle some family and civil cases, often due to some overlap with their criminal law clients. What’s important here is how much experience does the attorney actually have in criminal law specifically. Additionally, depending on the offense you’ve been charge with, you may want to look for an attorney that specializes in that type of offense. For example, some attorneys specialize in federal criminal cases, felonies, DUIs, or cannabis.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer should have extensive courtroom experience and the ability to negotiate plea bargains when appropriate. Another important consideration is that an experienced criminal defense lawyer knows that sometime things don’t go as planned and they cannot guarantee an outcome. They should be able to tell you the possible outcomes, both good and bad.
Criminal Defense Lawyers Should Remain Unbiased Towards You
Although as individuals, criminal defense lawyers have personal feelings about crimes, as attorneys, they should not have a bias against you for the alleged crime. They will be able to push any personal feelings aside as they work to build your defense and make a case in your best interest. Additionally, a good criminal defense lawyer will admit if they cannot remain unbiased for any reason and refer you to another lawyer. If you feel judged by your attorney, listen to your instincts and find a different lawyer.
Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Competent and Diligent
A good criminal defense lawyer should be prompt, communicative, and knowledgable. Your lawyer should come across as confident and capable in the courtroom. They should communicate with you frequently and you should be able to reach out to them when needed. A good criminal defense attorney knows what tasks need to be performed prior to the next court date and follows through with them. These tasks include talking to the prosecutor about discovery, gathering evidence, interviewing potential witnesses, and other behind the scenes efforts. These tasks are every bit as important as appearing in court – even moreso in many cases. Another aspect that is often overlooked is that a good criminal defense lawyer sees you as more than just a paycheck. They understand that you are a real person with real life concerns and loved ones you care about. Good criminal defense attorneys also understand that they are part of a bigger picture than just you, your case, and them. They are part of a justice system and play an integral part in that system.
Finding a good criminal defense lawyer can be a daunting task, but keeping these things in mind should help you find someone that is unbiased, competent, knowledgable, and experienced. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case!