Have you been charged with a crime? Are you looking for a criminal defense lawyer who can give you the best chance of a good outcome?
When criminal charges come, you’re facing a number of life-changing emotions. Anxiety, fear, and depression are all part of the difficulties you need to work through. It’s important to have the right people on your side while you work through all of the details.
Here’s what you should be looking for in a criminal defense attorney.
The right criminal defense attorney for you will have completed three years of law school and specialize in criminal defense. They will be experts at legal research, writing, and criminal procedure. Your attorney should also have lots of coursework in the criminal process.
Once your lawyer completed law school, they should have passed the bar in your state. They may also have been admitted to the bars of other U.S. District Courts. Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer where they studied, what they specialized in, and what they are experts at.
A great way to determine whether or not a lawyer is the right one for your case is to go to their website and see what field they have experience in. Is “criminal defense” listed as an area of practice?
You can also ask prospective lawyers about their experience with cases similar to yours. Can they give you an example of one with similar circumstances? What was the outcome, and what strategy did they use?
Ask your lawyer what percentage of their caseload is dedicated to criminal defense. How often do these cases have a positive outcome for the defendant?
Your lawyer’s answers should give you a solid idea of their breadth of experience defending folks in a similar situation.
When you’re considering a qualified lawyer, it won’t be hard to find former clients more than willing to recommend them. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, ask prospective lawyers for the names of former clients, and don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
Were they happy with the outcome of their case? Was the lawyer understandable and professional throughout the process? Were there any unexpected fees along the way?
You can also check on websites and search engines to look at online reviews. While any lawyer can get a poor review once in a while, you’ll want to look out for patterns that can serve as red flags.
Are there a lot of former clients saying that they never got to speak to their lawyer directly? Do several say they think they could have won their case with a different attorney?
If, on the other hand, a lot of former clients are saying they were happy with the process and outcome, you will likely have a positive experience.
4. Honest About Fees
Most criminal defense attorneys charge on an hourly basis or by a fixed rate. Much will depend upon the skill of your attorney, the seriousness of the offense, and the amount of time your lawyer will need to spend on the case.
The least expensive attorney is not necessarily the best person for you. It’s a much better investment if you hire a qualified attorney that will get you the outcome you want. Nonetheless, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t overpaying in legal fees.
Get at least three estimates from qualified attorneys in your area. You’ll want to make sure they are comparable in terms of experience and track records. It’s important to know that your money will be well spent on the services.
Your region will have its own distinct structure in terms of the county, state, and city regulations. Your lawyer should be well-versed in these. They should also be connected with prosecutors, judges, and other defense attorneys through their community involvement.
The right lawyer for you will know who to call for important information. They will also know how to get things done quickly and efficiently.
6. Strong Negotiating Skills
It’s critical to hire a defense attorney who knows how to negotiate. Not everything is cut and dry, and you’ll want someone who knows the law well enough to help you hammer out the best outcome. You can get an idea of a particular attorney’s ability in this area through your conversations and experience.
7. Great Communication
Those of us who aren’t members of the legal community can have trouble understanding terms and processes. The right lawyer can explain things you want to know about.
They will also be quick to respond to your questions, emails, and phone calls. If you have a preferred communication style, such as emails you like returned right away, make sure your lawyer knows about this.
You’ll also want to know if there will be other people on staff in your attorney’s office that you will be communicating with. These could be paralegals, administrators, or associates. If this is true, you’ll want to meet them before you hire your lawyer.
You don’t want to hire a lawyer who isn’t honest or committed. Your attorney should be straightforward with you about what they believe the outcome of your case might be, even though complete certainty is never possible. They should be willing to keep you updated on all of the developments in your case.
If you get the sense that a particular lawyer isn’t being forthcoming, you might want to look elsewhere.
Your lawyer should be thorough in interviewing witnesses and reviewing documents. No stone should be left unturned in terms of finding out about your case and getting you the best possible outcome. Find a lawyer who is willing to do whatever it takes to win the case.
The Best Criminal Defense Lawyer For You
If you’ve gotten charged with a crime, finding a qualified criminal defense lawyer is critical to your situation. With the right research, you could be on your way to getting your life back in no time.
Don’t stop getting smart about your search for a lawyer now. For top-notch criminal defense attorneys in Georgia, contact us today.
Cook & Tolley, LLP
304 E Washington St
Athens, GA 30601