How to Choose the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer

After you have been charged with a crime, one of your very first steps is to begin the process of choosing the right criminal defense lawyer. This can feel like a daunting task when you are under the extreme stress of potentially facing jail or prison time. Your career, family, finances, and ultimately your freedom and perhaps your very life are at stake. Thus, it’s crucial to go through the proper steps of finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you. There are a few things that can guide you in your choice and help you find the best attorney to safeguard your freedom.

Friend and Family Referrals

Referrals can be invaluable for finding a top-notch criminal defense lawyer. For example, if you are accused with committing a drug related crime, there is a chance that an acquaintance or friend of yours has either faced this type of charge, or knows someone that has. Ask friends and family if they have any attorney recommendations. Even if you know attorneys that don’t practice criminal defense, it is still valuable to ask if they have any recommendations.

Emphasis in Specific Types of Law

Choosing an attorney that has the experience to represent your particular crime or pending matter is most of utmost importance. It goes without saying that you should always go with an attorney that emphasizes in criminal defense. Furthermore, it’s ideal to go with an attorney that emphasis in the partial crime that you are charged with, such as white collar crimes.

To find out this information, contact at least two to three lawyers or law firms to investigate whether or not they are the right fit. Ask about some of the cases and trials that they have handled, especially ones that are similar to your case. This is one way to ascertain whether or not they have the expertise to represent you. Ask questions about the percentage of relevant criminal cases that they have worked on, as well as how many of them have resulted in trials.

Jury Trials

Another thing to consider is skill of an attorney at winning jury trials and overall trial experience. If your case to goes to trial, it’s important to find out if the lawyer not only has had success at winning jury trials in general, but in particular when people have been charged with crimes similar to the one or ones that you have been charged with. This is just one way to ascertain his skill and expertise.

The Costs of Criminal Defense

For most people, the cost of criminal defense is a factor when making a decision about the right attorney to choose. Many skilled criminal defense lawyers will offer a free consultation. Always take advantage of that. It’s crucial that you choose a lawyer or firm that you can afford for the duration of your case. However, keep in mind that you should not make the choice of criminal defense lawyer on price alone. A competent lawyer is most important and cost should be secondary if at all possible.

During the consultation, ask about whether the case is likely to be billed hourly or on a flat fee basis. He can ideally provide some sort of estimate but it really depends on factors that he may not be able to predict. Try and get an idea as to how difficult the case will be, the likelihood of a plea bargain, and the cost of similar trials. Also don’t forget to get an idea as to the initial fee that he or she charges.

Finding the right attorney to represent in this difficult time will bring you incredible peace of mind. It’s crucial that the attorney is not only experienced in criminal defense, and that you are able afford his representation, but you must also be able to trust him with your life. As you will be working closely with the attorney, you must be able to rely on his seasoned legal advice and expertise. Protecting your freedom and livelihood is worth taking the time and right steps to find the best attorney to represent you.