You have been charged with a crime and need a lawyer, now what? You know that just like other professionals, there are good and bad lawyers and you want to avoid the bad ones!
If money is not an issue, the answer is easy. Go to the largest law firm in your area and hire them. It is in their best interest to achieve great outcomes because of their reputation. There are no guarantees but at least you will get profession representation. The problem most of us face is we don’t have that kind of money, so here is what to do.
There are certain qualities that distinguish good lawyers from the bad ones. Watch out for these qualities when you hire a criminal lawyer.
Lack of Experience
Experience is the first thing you should take into account when hiring criminal lawyers. A lawyer that has been practicing for years is certainly bound to be better than someone fresh out of law school, at least in the world of criminal law.
Area of Expertise
Would you let your family doctor operate on your heart? Probably not, you would want a heart specialist for that. So it follows that you don’t want a lawyer with a general practice that “does it all”. You want someone who only does criminal defense work full time. You need a criminal lawyer not the guy whose practice is wills, divorces and everything else under the sun.
Get online and see what you can find out. Check out any reviews that may be available. Check out their profile in their bar association website, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media sites. You will be surprised at what kind of things you can learn about a person.
It’s always wise to ask for referrals. The obviously thing about referrals is he/she is only going to give you people who are happy with them. That’s fine but a recent track record would be better. Ask them the outcomes of their last 5 cases. You don’t need names and address just how it turned out for the client.
Beware of lawyers who promise to “get you off”. It’s only natural that you would want to believe this assurance but no one can guarantee anything. They’re lying.
Many criminal lawyers take advantage of the fact, that in most cases, looking to hire them are scared and anxious and they take advantage of this by charging exorbitant fees. It is okay to pay a lawyer for the expertise and reputation he has but look out for the greedy ones. You need to shop around to become aware of current fee rates.
Can I Trust You?
It all comes done to trust. When you are interviewing a prospective lawyer you need to ask yourself “can I trust this person” and if the answer isn’t a resounding “yes” then look somewhere else.
Your lawyer is your confidante and you should make sure that you can trust him completely. Choose a person who is sincere, straightforward and knowledgeable and is known to follow strict professional ethics.
Dedication is as important as trust when you hire a criminal lawyer. You shouldn’t hire a lawyer who cannot dedicate his time to your case. Besides, it is very important that the lawyer you are hiring handles the case himself. Don’t hire someone who will pass it on to a subordinate or a law clerk as this shows his lack of dedication towards your case.