The number of people sentenced to prison has increased threefold in the past 30 years. Crime rates have increased, leading to the need for more criminal attorneys.
Are you facing criminal charges? You need more than a “good” lawyer; you need the best criminal defense attorney available. With an experienced attorney, you can beat your charges or minimize your sentence.
Not sure where to start your search? Here are the nine tips you need to find a great criminal defense lawyer. With these tips, you can find the representation you need for your case.
Don’t stress. Start your search with these nine simple tips today.
1. Know What You Need
Before you start your search, it’s important to understand what you need. Are you facing criminal charges? If you’re dealing with a criminal case, it’s important to find the best criminal defense attorney.
You might feel the need to hire the first lawyer you come across or choose the cheapest lawyer you can find. Don’t. You’ll likely get what you’re paying for.
If you’re interested in avoiding jail time, you need to find an experienced criminal defense attorney. They’ll represent your best interests. Look for someone who specialized in criminal law.
Criminal charges are filed by the local, state, or federal government.
Look for a lawyer who has practiced in your area. They’ll understand the laws and procedures that are relevant to your case. Some laws can differ based on your location.
Focus on looking for a criminal defense law firm. Their specialty can indicate they have the experience, expertise, and resources you need.
2. Check the Directories
You can start your search by Googling “criminal defense law firm near me” or checking online directories. Start by looking at your state bar association website. You can search under the “certified criminal law specialists” section.
You can also check the Martindale-Hubbell website.
These resources can give you a list of criminal defense lawyers in the area.
Focus on lawyers who are members of professional organizations. Do any of them hold a leadership position? If so, it’s likely their peers respect their expertise.
You can also contact your state or city’s criminal defense lawyer organization for referrals.
Don’t rush to hire the first lawyer you come across. Instead, use the rest of these tips to make sure they’re capable of helping you.
3. Make Sure They Specialize
It’s not enough to find a criminal defense lawyer. If you want the best criminal defense attorney, look at their experience.
How long have they practiced law? Have they always specialized in criminal defense cases? How long have they practiced in the area?
Make sure their experience is relevant to your case, too. When was the last time they handled a case similar to yours? What was the outcome of that case?
For example, are you facing aggravated assault charges? Find a lawyer with experience in these cases. You can learn more about aggravated assault here.
Do they understand the laws and procedures that apply to your case? Are they confident they can handle the complexities of your lawsuit?
Looking for a lawyer who specializes in your type of case will give you peace of mind in their abilities. Otherwise, they might struggle to help you.
4. Look for Courtroom Experience
Once you find an experienced criminal defense lawyer, make sure they have courtroom experience.
You don’t want to end up with a lawyer who is apprehensive about going to court. Instead, make sure they can handle themselves in front of a judge and jury.
If they’re nervous about going to court, they might settle to avoid a courtroom. These lawyers won’t have your best interests in mind. If you’re interested in avoiding jail time, find the best criminal defense attorney for your case.
5. Check Their Track Record
Ask each lawyer about their track record. How many criminal cases have they handled over the years? What were the results of those cases?
Do they have a strong track record? If not, don’t hire them. You want a winner at your side.
Don’t forget to ask about their most recent cases. Ask about their legal strategy. What strategy would they use for your case?
Asking about their strategy can help you learn more about their abilities. If they’re not sure how to help you, keep looking.
6. Ask for References
You don’t have to believe a lawyer at face value. If you want to learn more about their abilities, ask for references and reviews. Speak with clients who faced charges similar to what you’re facing now.
Talk to these clients about their experience working with their criminal defense lawyer. Are they satisfied with the outcome of their case? Would they trust the same lawyer in the future?
Try to talk to a handful of clients.
7. Consider Their Skill Set
As you read reviews and speak with each lawyer, keep an eye out for specific skills.
For example, do they sound confident? Do they speak in a way that’s concise and easy to understand? Remember, your lawyer will talk on your behalf.
If you struggle to understand them, a jury will, too.
Do they have an analytical mindset? They’ll need to listen to opposing counsel and know how to react accordingly. Otherwise, your case could crumble.
Look for someone who is confident, educated, experienced, and capable.
8. Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with at least three lawyers. Ask:
- How long have you practiced law?
- How long have you specialized in criminal defense?
- What’s your track record?
- Have you worked on a similar case before?
- What strategy would you recommend?
- What payment schedule or structure do you follow?
- Can you handle my case?
Who will make up your legal team? Make sure to speak with every lawyer involved in your case.
9. Consider the Costs
Criminal defense lawyers make about $81,119 a year. Before hiring a lawyer, review the contract. What’s included within the contract?
Will you still pay them if they lose your case?
Remember, you’ll get what you pay for. If you want the best criminal defense attorney, it’s likely worth the price to avoid jail time.
Strengthen Your Case: 9 Tips for Finding the Best Criminal Defense Attorney
Don’t enter the courtroom with an experienced lawyer. Instead, use these tips to find the best criminal defense attorney for your case. With these tips, you won’t have to worry about jail time.
Instead, you can find the best possible outcome for your case.
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