If you’re facing a criminal charge, you’ll need a criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights. But with so many attorneys out there, how do you choose the right one for your case?
Here are some things to consider when choosing a criminal defense attorney:
Table of Contents
- 1. The Attorney Should Specializes in Criminal Law
- 2. The Attorney Should Have Experience Defending Similar Cases
- 3. The Attorney Should Be Knowledgeable About the Local Court System
- 4. The Attorney Should Be Available When You Need Them
- 5. The Attorney Should Be Communicative
- 6. Check Reputable Sources for Attorney Recommendations
- 7. The Attorney Should Have Courtroom Confidence
- 8. Ask for a Clear Fee Structure Up Front
- 9. Listen to Your Gut
- Final Thought
1. The Attorney Should Specializes in Criminal Law
First and foremost, you want to make sure that the attorney you choose specializes in criminal law. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people choose an attorney who doesn’t specialize in criminal law simply because they know the attorney or they’re related to them.
A general practice attorney may be able to help you with your case, but a criminal defense attorney will have a better understanding of the criminal law and how to best defend you.
2. The Attorney Should Have Experience Defending Similar Cases
You want to make sure that the attorney has experience defending cases similar to yours. If you’re facing a DUI charge, you wouldn’t want to hire an attorney who primarily defends white-collar crimes.
You want an attorney who has experience with the specific type of crime you’re charged with and knows how to best defend against it.
3. The Attorney Should Be Knowledgeable About the Local Court System
You need to make sure that the attorney is knowledgeable about the local court system. The rules and procedures of each court system vary from state to state and even county to county.
An attorney who is familiar with the local court system will know how to best navigate it and what to expect.
4. The Attorney Should Be Available When You Need Them
Ensure that the attorney is available when you need them. This may seem like a given, but some attorneys are very busy and may not be able to give your case the attention it deserves.
When you meet with an attorney, ask about their availability and whether they will be able to take your case to trial if necessary.
5. The Attorney Should Be Communicative
You also need to make sure that the attorney is communicative. This means they should be able to return your calls and emails in a timely manner and keep you updated on the status of your case.
You should feel like you can trust your attorney and that they have your best interests in mind.
6. Check Reputable Sources for Attorney Recommendations
If you’re still not sure how to choose a criminal defense attorney, you can check with reputable sources for recommendations. The American Bar Association and your local bar association are good places to start.
You can also ask family and friends if they know of any good attorneys. Once you have a few names, you can then do your own research to see if they meet the criteria listed above.
7. The Attorney Should Have Courtroom Confidence
You want an attorney who is confident in the courtroom. This doesn’t mean they should be cocky or arrogant, but they should have the experience and knowledge to defend you effectively in court.
When you meet with potential attorneys, ask about their courtroom experience and how they would defend your case.
8. Ask for a Clear Fee Structure Up Front
Last but not least, you want to make sure that the attorney is upfront about their fees. Some attorneys charge by the hour while others may charge a flat fee.
Be sure to ask about the fee structure up front so there are no surprises down the road.
9. Listen to Your Gut
You should choose an attorney that you feel comfortable with. This is your case and you should have a say in who represents you. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and move on to someone else.
Choosing the right criminal defense attorney is crucial if you want to give yourself the best chance of winning your case. Consider these factors when choosing an attorney and you’ll be on your way to finding the right one for you.