TIPS ON CHOOSING THE BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Law is so large an entity that no definite word or phrase can actually define it. This is because there are different laws to cater to different situations of life. There is civil law, which is the law that relates to laws connected with personal relationships, marriages and interpersonal circumstances like a personal injury case. On the other hand, criminal law is that branch of law that defines a crime, the victim and the violator of the law.
As criminal law is a large branch in the field of law, this branch is again divided into two sections. Each of these sections has its own professional criminal defense lawyer. The first section of criminal law is criminal procedure, which defines how a trial has to be conducted. With criminal procedure law, it is proven how claims have to be examined and how proof of a crime has to be collected. The criminal defense attorneys who are experts in criminal procedures have a system of collecting evidence in favor of the client. As this criminal defense attorney is specific about the client’s rights of the law, they maintain the doctrine ‘innocent until proven guilty’ throughout the trial of the client.
Tips To Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Best Criminal Defense Lawyer for You
Choosing a lawyer is not just about choosing the best criminal lawyer. Yes, you want to find a good criminal lawyer but you want the best one for you. That means you want one who is going to meet your needs and must understand the whole matter.
A Lawyer with the Right Experience
Not all lawyers are the same. Some specialize in personal injury and others in criminal law.
Check the Team
Preparing a case for the court is not a one-person job. Even a very good defense lawyer needs a team behind them. Check to see whether there are an administrative team, paralegals, and other criminal lawyers in Greensboro NC backing up your lawyer.
Find a good criminal lawyer and you will find a reputation to match. Ask friends and associates for recommendations. Ask for references and talk to previous clients.
Confident but No Guarantees
Find a criminal lawyer who is confident that they will build the strongest case possible. An air of confidence is a helpful trait in a lawyer. Be skeptical of any lawyer who guarantees you a specific result.
Tips for Choosing the BEST Criminal Lawyer
Find a lawyer with courtroom experience; just in case. Heading to court is expensive, but sometimes is the best option for your case. You need a lawyer that isn’t afraid to go to court and represent you.
Will they take time to explain your options? Decisions relating to your case can’t be made on a whim.Find a lawyer that will explain your options from plea bargains to sentencing. Every decision you make carries lasting consequences and you need information to make an informed choice.
You need a lawyer you can understand. Lawyers might use specialized terms in court or when preparing legal documents, but when they are talking to you they should speak clearly using terms you will understand.
Is the fee comparable? An experienced attorney will probably cost more than a lawyer fresh out of law school, but if your lawyer’s fee is much higher or lower than other similarly qualified candidates, you should ask why.
Check References. A great lawyer will have a reputation to match. Ask friends and trusted associates which attorneys they recommend. Even the best lawyers have a few dissatisfied clients, but you want someone with more good recommendations than bad.
Tips to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney
Your Lawyer Needs Experience
You need an attorney who has experience with the crime you are facing. Don’t hire a criminal defense attorney who mainly handles DUI cases if you are charged with sexual assault. Find an attorney who knows the laws that you are facing. You also want your lawyer to be familiar with the judges and DAs in your district because it can help with strategy.
Your Lawyer Should Meet Your Needs
You have to be honest with your lawyer and feel comfortable dealing with him or her. You should also feel comfortable with the strategy that your lawyer outlines. Sometimes, you just have to listen to your head and heart and select an attorney that meets your needs.
Who’s on the Team?
Your lawyer will probably have a team of people who help with your case. If your lawyer is a solo practitioner, find out who helps him or her prepare for court? What happens if your lawyer gets sick? Not only do you need to check the references of your own lawyer, but the other members of the team, too. Find out who supports your lawyer.
Check Your Lawyer’s Reputation
Good lawyers have a good reputation. Criminal defense attorneys may get a bad rap, but they also have a reputation for how effective they are for their clients. Without criminal defense lawyers, the court system would grind to a standstill. Make sure your lawyer has a good reputation for what they do.
Your Lawyer Should Not Make Guarantees
The law is fickle. There are no guarantees in court. Your lawyer should be confident but should not guarantee any outcome. No lawyer can predict what will happen in court, especially if you go for a jury trial. If your lawyer is guaranteeing an outcome, you should probably look for another lawyer.
How To Pick A Good Criminal Defense Attorney
Don’t automatically eschew the public defender. Generally, public defenders are among the best trained and most savvy attorneys you can get. They know the lay of the land, have probably tried more cases than most private attorneys, and generally are driven by mission, not money. That means they care. If you don’t make enough money to hire your own attorney and can get assigned a good public defender, don’t mortgage the house. Better to use your money for bail then to pay for a high-priced attorney who may not do as well as the court-appointed one. If you’re in a state or federal jurisdiction where the judge doesn’t inquire into your finances and pretty much assigns everyone public counsel, consider yourself lucky.
If you choose to hire a private attorney, how do you find a good one? Start with word-of-mouth. Any friends who are lawyers know other lawyers in other fields. They may be able to refer you to someone good, or at least refer you to someone knowledgeable who can then refer you to someone with the skills to do your case.
Look on the internet, though this method is scattershot at best. Sometimes the attorneys who pop up first may not be the best. They could merely be the ones who invested the most money in Google ads or search optimization. Yes, this shows they have good business acumen, but not necessarily good trial chops. That said, because we are now in 2019, the best attorneys should have a decent web site that includes accomplishments, client reviews, important cases, and easy-access contact information. I’d look for how long this attorney has been practicing criminal law. How many trials have they handled? Did they come from a prosecutor or public defender background? (You make the choice who would be more suited for your case.) You can always then cross reference with a general Google search of the person’s name to see if he or she has handled any high-profile cases or has popped up in the news.
The amount of money a person charges doesn’t always correlate with excellence. I call this the “Hampton” syndrome. A cousin of mine who works in the pool business in Southampton tells me if he doesn’t charge exorbitantly for his services, people won’t think he’s good. So, the same job he’d do in Coney Island for 10K, he’d charge 50K for in the Hamptons. When I first opened my own firm after a stint at the public defender’s office, I didn’t know how much to charge clients. A senior lawyer advised, “Find out what the person does for a living, figure out the highest amount he can pay, and that’s what you charge.” I was the same exact lawyer I was when I was a public defender, but it’s funny how much my reputation improved when I started charging money.
Beware of web services like Avvo that claim to rate lawyers. Their rating model is uneven at best. Some of it makes sense. They ask lawyers to solicit reviews from their clients and claim to have a system that ensures the reviews aren’t fake. However, their 1-to-10-star rating is based, in part, on what the attorney is willing to pay. For example, all lawyers get solicitations from organizations selling accolades like “Best Of” awards. Mail comes in from, let’s say, Lawyers of Distinction. The letter states, “You’ve been chosen to be named among the 100 BEST Lawyers of the Year.” The price, $350. Avvo will award you an extra star if you pay for such an endorsement. My theory is that Avvo gets kickback from such companies.