If you are faced with a criminal charge, your best option is to seek a good criminal defense lawyer to consult and possibly represent you in court. Criminal charges are serious and understanding the justice system is imperative if you are facing a court trial. You will need to ensure that you have the best legal defense that you can financially afford.
Here are several tips on how you can find a good criminal defense lawyer.
1. Research — Research the lawyer you are considering online to make sure they an expert in the criminal defense that you seek. Look for articles, FAQ’s, or other informational pieces about the lawyer or his firm. Also, check to see if he is a member of any reputable associations in the specific area of criminal defense that may be beneficial to your circumstances. You should contact the state bar association to make sure the lawyer is in good standing.
2. Types — You will need to understand what type of defense lawyer your case requires. If you have been charged with breaking a state law, such as traffic violations, broken contracts, robberies or a family dispute, then you will need a lawyer who specializes in state laws. Federal cases involve the violation of the US Constitution or are cases in which the United States is a party, such as bankruptcy issues, patent problems, and copyright cases.
Ideally, any defense lawyer you retain should specialize in the specific crime that you are being charged with and have at least a few years of specialized experience. He should also have a good track record of winning the cases he has previously represented.
3. Qualities — You should be able to communicate well with your criminal defense attorney and understand exactly what he is explaining to you. An attorney with excellent communication skills will undoubtedly argue your case well. He should also have adequate negotiation skills. With superior negotiation skills, the odds are good that he can perhaps negotiate a deal so your case does not have to go to a jury trial. It is not uncommon for a wide majority of criminal cases to be resolved via a plea agreement. Be sure to ask the lawyer if he has a good working relationship with the prosecuting attorney, which might prove beneficial to your case and help him be successful at perhaps getting an acceptable plea bargain.
A good criminal defense lawyer also works frequently in the jurisdiction holding your case and in the particular county where you are charged. The experience gives him the upper hand in knowing the local legal system and the key players that he will be dealing with on a professional level.
4. References — Prior to retaining the attorney, don’t be afraid to ask him for references. Remember, your very freedom is on the line, so you will want to make the best decision you can make when it comes to retaining a lawyer. After the lawyer provides you with references, call them to verify his history and previous case success.
5. Retainer — Ask for a copy of the attorney’s retainer and take the time to read it. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the lawyer. Prior to signing the retainer, you should always understand exactly what services will be provided and what you are paying for before going forward with the contract.
Finding a good criminal defense lawyer who will effectively represent you is imperative to a positive outcome for your case. Sometimes, you simply have to follow your gut instincts. If you clash with your lawyer’s personality, then you might want to consider retaining a different attorney to represent you. You will want to make sure you have a good working relationship with each other so you can build a strong defense for your criminal case.
Please contact us to learn more about our criminal defense services.