If you are facing criminal charges, you already know such a charge will have numerous far-reaching consequences in your life. As such, you need to find the best defence lawyer to fight the charges.
While a lawyer can make all the difference when fighting a criminal charge, all lawyers are not equal.
While criminal charges can be daunting and overwhelming, it helps to take some time and find yourself the best defence possible.
Here are some pointers to help you pick the best criminal defence lawyer.
The initial stages of searching for a lawyer entail getting names of possible candidates that you will sift out more a little later.
There is no one way of going about this. So feel free to check your local directory for possible names. A more effective way is, however, to ask for recommendations from people you know.
If you know someone that has been through what you are facing, you can ask them to refer their lawyer to you. If not, ask people you know that have used lawyers before to get a recommendation to a criminal defence lawyer from their lawyer.
You should have at least a few names from this stage.
When you have a few researched or recommended criminal lawyers, you need to dig deeper to identify a good fit.
Most criminal lawyers will offer a free first consultation. Ensure to make full use of this conference to find out as much information as possible. This will help you determine whether the lawyer will be a good fit.
Here is some key information to find out.
Experience does not only mean the number of years an lawyer has been practicing. Instead, it means finding an lawyer that has practiced criminal law for a significant number of years. You can even look more into the type of charges they have fought for their clients.
For example, if you have a DUI, find an lawyer with extensive experience fighting DUI's. Same case for assault, theft, and so on.
An experienced lawyer will know the ins and outs of certain cases, proceedings, and so on. This means they are better able to help you weigh all the choices at law. This aside, an experienced lawyer will also have a firm handle on court procedures and jurisdictional matters.
Every criminal case is different, and there are always some unknowns. This makes it impossible for any lawyer to guarantee a certain outcome.
However, a lawyer with significant years of experience handling similar cases to yours and a good track record is always the safest bet. Be sure to ask them about the cases they have handled and their win/loss ratio.
Keep in mind that lawyers with high success rates will be slightly pricier. But with the possibility of having a criminal record and losing your freedom, it makes sense to dig deep into your pockets to give yourself the best odds.
Numerous processes have to be undergone when facing criminal charges. These include plea bargaining, trials, hearings, and sentencing.
You should be involved in all these processes and any decisions that need to be made. Find a lawyer willing to reach out to you and communicate all choices effectively and in good time.
For this initial communication, gauge how patient they are with your questions and how well they explain things to you. If they are impatient and short with you during the consultation, don’t expect any better once the case begins.
Similarly, response times matter. Assess how long it takes a lawyer to meet with you after calling their offices. How responsive are they to emails and phone calls? Criminal defence lawyers that take too long to respond might have an overwhelming workload. This means they might not be able to allocate your matter the necessary amount of time required to put up a stellar defence.
A criminal case has the possibility of ending up in trial. So one thing you need to find out is if your lawyer has experience in the courtroom.
Aside from being well versed in the law, trial lawyers have to have confidence, good oratory skills, and a presence that will allow them to represent you effectively should you end up going to trial.
A lawyer can meet all the required qualities, only for you to get a nagging feeling that something doesn't feel right. This is instinct.
When it comes to picking a lawyer, your gut feeling is just as important as other qualities. As you go through your initial consultation;
● Think about your impression of them
● How they make you feel
● Are you able to establish a good rapport?
● Do you feel like they have your best interest at heart?
● Do you feel like you can trust them with all the details of your case?
● Would you be comfortable calling them for clarification or advice on anything regarding your case?
A criminal trial can, at times, take years. You need to walk this journey with a lawyer you trust has your best interest at heart and one you are comfortable conferring with.
Lawyers are bound by a strict code of conduct. Failure to adhere to these can lead to malpractice suits against the offending lawyer.
One of the final stages of your search should be to scrutinise individual lawyers or law firms further. Again, you can easily do this through an online search.
Look at testimonials, reviews, and news articles that mention a particular lawyer or law firm. If you find any malpractice suits against them, it might be best to go with a different lawyer.
When faced with criminal charges, you do not want to take any unnecessary risks with what is at stake. With a 98% success rate in criminal cases, you can trust us to throw all our weight behind getting you the best possible outcome.
If you or your loved one is facing criminal charges, call us today to schedule a free consultation.