Every so often, even the best of us gets in trouble with the law. When it happens, you’ll need an attorney to represent you. The question is, where to start looking? If you do find an attorney, how do you know it’s the right one for your case? For the remainder of this article, we will discuss tips for choosing the best lawyer in 2021 to represent you in criminal court.
Why You Need an Attorney
Few people succeed in defending themselves in a criminal case. And many wonder if they really need to hire an attorney.
Even in today’s world, one would think this is common knowledge. People still don’t heed this warning and find themselves in much more trouble than if they had hired a lawyer, to begin with.
An attorney is there to represent you in your criminal case. They will work to get the best result possible on your behalf in court. When charged in any criminal case, the first step is to contact an attorney that meets your needs for an adequate defense.
Tips for Choosing an Attorney
Finding the best lawyer for your defense is not difficult with a little research and an interview session with the prospective attorney. It’s important to find the best attorney for representation. As you know, a criminal record will affect your job and your future if not handled properly.
Follow along as we outline the best ways to choose a lawyer.
1. Hire locally
Each city and town across the country has its share of excellent attorneys who will represent your case. This doesn’t mean they are the best fit for you. The city or county where your case is pending is where to find the attorney to represent you. A local criminal lawyer has advantages over others outside of the area they serve.
Lawyers working in the same court systems understand the nuances of prosecutors and judges they work with every day. When you hire an attorney from outside of the area, they are not familiar with these nuances and will not be as effective as a local attorney.
2. The Lawyer Needs to Be Experienced in Defending Your Type of Case
Lawyers specialize in the type of cases they serve. You wouldn’t hire a chiropractor to perform your heart surgery. In the same respect, you would never hire a probate attorney to represent you if you are facing drug charges or a DWI charge.
During the interview with your prospective attorney, make sure to ask the criminal defense attorney about their experience in handling cases similar to your case. If they don’t simply say thank you for your time and move on. Don’t use yourself as a test case for an inexperienced lawyer to gain exposure to a new law field.
3. Check Client Reviews
In today’s world, everything is captured online, including reviews. Before hiring an attorney, take the time to research any reviews that other clients left behind. You certainly do not want to walk into a courtroom with a lawyer who has only bad reviews on their work. All businesses have some negative reviews; you must weigh the good and the bad to get a sense of what the attorney is capable of.
4. Who Will Represent You?
Be careful of all criminal law firms who advertise that their top lawyer will represent you in court, when in fact, you receive the guidance of an underling. If this is clear upfront and you accept it, then proceed. Be sure to ask who will be representing you in court during your interview. You are paying the firm for the expertise of the advertised attorney. Don’t settle for anything less.
5. Positive Success Rate
The lawyer that you hire does not need to be a famous attorney like Perry Mason who never lost a case on TV. They need, however, to have a success rate that makes you feel confident they can handle your case. When interviewing with lawyers, feel free to ask about their success rate in the courtroom. Those who have done well will be more than glad to let you know how accomplished they are.
6. Trust Your Initial Judgement
Lawyers are people just like the rest of us. During the interview, you will get a sense of how you feel about their personality, confidence, and trustworthiness. If at any time you think they will not live up to their oath to defend you, it is time to move on. Our instincts about others helped us survive in the wild. The same instincts will protect you from hiring someone you don’t trust.
7. The Lawyer Needs to Show Interest
In the same scope of using your initial judgment, another value to look for is how much enthusiasm the lawyer has in your case. When speaking to you about your case, does it seem they are only trying to get you out of the office? Are they answering all of your questions, no matter how insignificant? Make sure when hiring a lawyer, their time spent with you is about you and your case only.
8. They Need to Be Detail Oriented
Did your lawyer forget your name? Details of your case? Most attorneys are extremely busy. The best ones are detailed oriented enough to organize their thoughts and be on point for your case. If they appear to lack basic organization skills, how would they ever defend your case properly?
9. A Good Lawyer Should Not Break the Bank
A lawyer bases their rate on the concept of supply and demand. If they are talented, they will have many prospective clients and charge more for services. That said, you shouldn’t have to mortgage your home to defend a DWI case and especially a traffic ticket. Depending on your criminal charge, determine if the price is right for you. The more serious the conviction results, the more you will gladly pay, but keep pricing in perspective to the charge when searching for a lawyer.