The market has no shortage of criminal defense attorneys. A simple Google search will prove this to be true. However, this doesn’t make the selection process any easier. If anything, it is even more confusing since all of them promise stellar representation, but only a handful actually delivers. If you are considering hiring a criminal defense lawyer, it is essential to know the right qualities to watch out for.
We talked to one lawyer from Simon Law, a leading criminal defense firm in New Jersey, and here were some of his insights on finding the best criminal defense lawyer.
Their background and experience
The first and perhaps the most important thing to find out about a lawyer is their experience representing clients with similar charges as yours. If you’re charged with a personal crime, like an assault, for instance, you may not need a statutory crimes lawyer who defends drunk driving suspects. A few questions that you may ask a lawyer to determine their experience and background include:
- Where did you study and which year did you graduate?
- How many years of experience do you have representing cases as mine?
- How experienced are you with the courthouse where my case will be heard?
- How often do the cases you take go to trial?
- Are you a member of any professional organization or association? Which ones?
Analyzing your case
When you are charged with a criminal case, you want to know what lies ahead of you so you can be prepared physically and mentally. So, it’s essential to find a lawyer who is capable of assessing your case and informing you of what’s to come beforehand. Here are some relevant questions to ask the lawyer:
- What options do I have – how should I plea?
- What parts of this case are in my favor?
- Do you see any problems with my case?
- What should I expect throughout the case?
Handling of case logistics
Many people often overlook this part, yet it is very critical. Knowing how your case will be managed is essential, as it allows you to clear any misunderstandings that may come up along the way. So, you should find out:
- Whether the lawyer in question will be the one taking on your case
- If it’s another person, you should request to meet them
- The channels of communication as well your contact person, in case you have a question
A criminal lawyer may have all the qualities you need; however, if their legal fees are way beyond your league, they may not be the right option for you. Your ideal lawyer is one whose services are within your budgetary preferences. Additionally, you want to find out whether they charge a flat fee or hourly fee. Keep in mind that high-end lawyers with good industry reputation will charge more than those who are just getting started.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney
It’s always recommended that you meet and interview a few lawyers before making your decision. Your goal should be to find one who is experienced enough to take on your case. On top of that, they should have a good reputation, transparent case management, and above all, be reasonably priced.