Criminal charges can be difficult to deal with, especially if you’re the one involved. Aside from the complex legal processes, doing everything on your own while fearing for your reputation and future can be emotionally exhausting. In addition, tackling a criminal charge also comes with costs, which can be stressful if you’re not financially equipped for it.
Because of this, having an experienced legal professional beside you is beneficial. Before deciding who to hire, it’s best to learn how to choose a criminal defense lawyer. Here are some factors you should consider:
- Level of Experience
As with hiring other professionals, it’s essential to choose a criminal defense lawyer with enough experience to handle your case. The possibility of jail time and costly fines is on the line once you are faced with a criminal charge. So, it is only vital to get legal help from someone who knows the ins and outs of criminal cases, court procedures, and building a solid defense.
Besides that, you should learn about a defense lawyer’s practice areas and specialization. If you’ve been charged with burglary, choose someone who has handled those types of cases and has a high success rate. This is because a lawyer with a track record in defending drug cases will not be able to provide the same expertise regarding burglary charges.
- Credibility and Reputation
In order to represent you in court, a lawyer must be licensed to practice in your state. So, check if the person you’re considering is certified to provide legal services in your area before hiring them. You can also check their credibility through the State Bar Association. Here, you can see if they are licensed, still active, and in good standing.
Another way to check a criminal defense lawyer’s reputation is online. You can visit their websites or social media pages for reviews and testimonials from former clients. If you are still wary of hiring these lawyers, you can always get a free consultation if it’s available. Through this, you can ask them questions in person and better gauge if they are the right fit for your situation.
Since it can be tough to find a criminal defense lawyer to hire, you can always look for referrals. If you have a friend or a family member who has previously worked with a defense lawyer, consider hiring them. Aside from getting personal feedback about their skills and work ethics, since they are recommended by someone you trust, you can rest easy knowing you’ll get efficient legal advice.
- Local Connections
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer who is based locally or has local connections is greatly beneficial for your case. Aside from having sufficient knowledge of the various legal proceedings in your area, they will also likely be familiar with the judges and prosecutors you’ll encounter. That said, a locally knowledgeable lawyer can work on your case more efficiently and with higher chances of success.
Aside from being quite complex, dealing with criminal charges needs urgency. So, it’s essential to hire a lawyer who will not only be present during your initial meeting but who will be readily available throughout your case. Choose someone who will pick up calls promptly and provide the information you’ll need for peace of mind.
The price of hiring a criminal defense lawyer varies. So, it’ll be helpful to understand how they are pricing you for their services, especially if you are on a budget. Lawyer fees may depend on factors such as their level of expertise, the complexity of the case, and the expected time needed to complete the job.
With these tips on how to choose a criminal defense lawyer, you can better determine who to hire for your legal needs. Aside from taking the burden of handling a criminal case off your shoulders, hiring a reliable attorney will also ease your and your family’s minds.
Although there is no guarantee of winning a lawsuit by simply choosing a suitable lawyer, doing so will help increase your chances of success. If you or a close friend or family member has been accused of a crime, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.