There are millions of people every year that are in need of a criminal defense attorney. In some cases, we need the legal representative to show that we really are not guilty, and in some cases, we need the best possible lawyer to help us get the smallest sentence they can. Looking for the right attorney is a complex process, and if you don’t choose the best one for you and for your case, you risk paying a lot of money, losing your case, and possibly even spending time in jail. Because of that, we created this list with tips for finding the best criminal defense attorney for your case. Check this list out, make note of the most important things, and start looking for the right person to represent you.
1. Look for someone with the right degree
When looking for the best criminal defense attorney, you should be looking for people with the right type of degree. Just because they went to law school, it does not mean that they specialize in criminal law.
Check out their website, and see if they practice it, if that part is not mentioned anywhere, chances are, they may have some basic knowledge, but in the long run, they are not the right type of legal representative for you.
2. Your attorney should be acquainted with the local laws
The next thing you need to think about is their knowledge, skills, and experience in your country, and with the local laws. You can hire the best lawyer in the world, but if you take them to a place where they know nothing about the current local laws, chances are, they are going to lose your case.
Because of this, you should look for someone local who knows the court procedures, knows the other people involved in your case, and possibly knows the judges. Every judge is different in their courtroom, and sometimes having the experience of working previously with them, can do a lot for a current case.
3. Ask them the right questions
Choosing the right attorney is not just about gathering information and seeing if someone looks perfect on paper. You need to meet up with them before you decide to hire them and see how things are working between the two of you.
Your legal representative needs to be transparent and honest with you, and they need to be there every step of the way. Before you hire them, make sure they are going to be the one to lead your case. When working with larger law firms, sometimes the person you are currently talking to is not going to be the one leading your case, so make sure you are talking to the right attorney.
Know that the lawyers who have knowledge and experience will be able to answer most of your questions off the top of their head, and they won’t have to search through books and documents.
Ask them about their previous experiences, how many cases they’ve had that are similar to yours, and what the outcome was. Try to find out what their plan is, even if you just get the outline without any special details.
There are a lot of different criminal defense attorneys as well, and depending on your case, you should look for one that has a similar experience. According to LawyerCarl, your representative should be able to help you with every step of the way, starting from the arrest, up to the final court date.
4. Check referrals, ratings, and reviews
To find the right person to represent you, you need to hear from someone else other than the attorney and their coworkers. Check to see if there are any referrals on their website and if possible, find other people they have worked with, in the past.
You can easily find this type of information online and on social media platforms. Join the right groups and see what people think about different legal representatives. See what their experience was; if they were happy with the service they got, and how things went.
These things will take time, but it is better to know about possible red flags right from the start than to risk ending up with the wrong person to handle your case.
5. Know their rate
Nowadays there are more than one million criminal defense lawyers in the United States alone. In the world, that number is much higher, so it means that you won’t have an issue finding a person to represent you. However, not everyone will ask for the same rate, and your budget may not be enough to pay someone who has the knowledge, reputation, and experience.
Because of this, you need to be aware of the rate before you start asking more questions. If you don’t have too big of a budget, start by looking for people with the needed experience who don’t ask for too much money.
Know that in some cases, it is better to do everything you can to get the money needed to pay for a great lawyer, than to risk your freedom. If needed, you should borrow money, or get a mortgage for your property, and pay the money back after your attorney wins your case.
6. Look for someone that has time for you
You should always look for a representative that has enough time to handle your case. They need to be able to communicate with you and keep you in the loop. If you can’t seem to get ahold of them, or if they take days to return your call, they are most likely too busy with other cases, and they will not give you the attention you need.
Look for a person that has courtroom experience, and know that even though more than 90 percent of the cases will end up with a settlement or an agreement, you should look for a representative that will be able to defend you in front of a judge.
Take your time, explore your options, and know that the right legal advisor will be there for you every step of the way. Listen to yourself, and if you don’t think someone is a good match for you, then continue searching. Talk with them, have them explain your options, and depending on that, hire them or look for another attorney.