Selecting a criminal defense lawyer
There are a number of things to consider if you are hiring a criminal defense lawyer. It can be a stressful time, so we have broken down some of the most important considerations to keep in mind.
Do not delay
There may be some magical thinking involved if you are facing a criminal case. Maybe if you just don’t do anything it will go away? In reality, you know that will never be the case, however, and the faster you act the better chance at success you have.
Truth is, you’ll want to find a criminal defense lawyer quickly as possible so that they can advise you step-by-step through your case and trial.
Local knowledge and experience
A major factor you need to consider when looking for a criminal defense lawyer is their experience and knowledge within the area that you are facing charges. If you are facing DUI charge in Philadelphia, you need to find a Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer who has worked in the city for years. That’s because that experience will make it very likely that they have relationships with judges, public defenders, and anyone else who might be involved in your case.
While these relationships will not necessarily get you off of your charges, it does certainly improve the chances that you get a more forgiving sentence.
Inquire about free consultations
Any defense attorney worth his or her salt will be willing to offer a free consultation so that you can get a better idea of how you two would work together. Make sure to come prepared, with details about your case and important dates to keep in mind.
You should also come with a list of a couple questions about your case. This is just as much about the answers as it is about seeing how you two communicate. When it comes to a criminal defense lawyer, making sure personalities match is very important.
Make sure they are experts in your type of case
Defense attorneys all come with a fairly similar type of expertise, but there are some who excel in other areas. For examples, if you are dealing with a drug or alcohol related crime, you want to find someone who has expertise in that area of the law.
Same goes for a violent crime. Even if it seems clear that you will serve time, you want someone who will be able to get the best possible deal for you. The right lawyer can make all the difference between how much time you potentially face.
This is the final consideration on this list, but it certainly is not the least important. Throughout the hiring process, you want to make sure that you are getting all the facts about any fees you will face in your trial.
It is crucial that you know whether or not you will be able to afford the services of a given lawyer. If you are unable to pay fees in lump sums, many lawyers are willing and able to work with clients to set up flexible installment payments.