If you’re a law-abiding citizen, you may never expect to need the services of a criminal defense attorney. However, even if you don’t expect to, you may find yourself in legal trouble for a number of potential reasons someday. Remember, sometimes innocent people are accused of crimes.
That’s why it’s helpful to know how to choose the right criminal defense lawyer to handle your case if you ever need one. The following tips will help:
Make Sure They Handle Your Specific Type of Case
Criminal defense is a broad area of the law that applies to a number of different types of cases. You need to confirm the attorney you hire is qualified to handle your specific case type. For example, if you’re accused of committing a white-collar crime, an attorney who focuses solely on basic cases like burglary and drunk driving might not be ideal for you.
When discussing your case with an attorney you’re thinking about hiring, ask them to describe cases similar to your own that they’ve handled in the past. Due to attorney-client privilege, they might not necessarily be able to go into specific detail very much, but they should at least be able to cite an example or two of a similar case in a somewhat general way.
Check Independent Review Sites
It’s important to remember that law firms are still businesses. Any business owner whose work involves serving clients will want to attract as many clients as they can reasonably handle. Lawyers are no different.
That means most lawyers will claim they are prepared to offer the representation you need. That doesn’t always mean all criminal defense lawyers who claim they can deliver ideal results will genuinely be able to do so.
Ask for attorneys you’re considering hiring to provide testimonials from former clients. However, remember that just because a lawyer was able to satisfy some clients, that doesn’t necessarily mean the majority of their clients have been happy with their services.
To learn more about an attorney’s reputation, check reviews on independent third-party websites like Avvo. This will give you a more accurate picture of the degree to which an attorney is one you should work with.
Ask for Referrals
It’s possible you already know someone who has needed a criminal defense attorney to represent them in the past. If so, you can ask them to recommend one. While you shouldn’t immediately hire a lawyer simply because your friend or family member said they can be trusted to offer quality services, asking for a recommendation can at least help you begin searching for a lawyer you might eventually choose to hire.
Trust Your Gut
You need to be comfortable speaking honestly with your attorney. Thus, while you shouldn’t necessarily choose not to hire an otherwise qualified lawyer simply because of a gut feeling, you should nevertheless account for these feelings when making a decision.
Just remember to carefully and thoroughly consider your options. The strength of your lawyer’s services can play a critical role in the outcome of your case. You want to make sure you hire the right attorney for the job.