Criminal Defense Attorney – Things to Look For When Hiring One
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is something that most people hope they will never have to deal with, but should you find yourself in this type of situation it is vital to choose someone who has the relevant skills and experience to best serve you and your case. This could be the difference between losing and winning a case, which may involve a great deal of money or even a prison sentence. For this reason, it’s essential to weigh the following factors before making a decision, if you don’t have an attorney on retainer already. Above all else, choose someone that you can be honest with and feel comfortable discussing potentially sensitive matters with.
The first and possibly most important thing to look into when hiring a criminal defense attorney is their specific experience with your type of case. Be sure to ask about their courtroom experience, as well as the type of education they have received that would qualify them for handling your case. Many lawyers specialize in just one type of case, so find the right fit. They should be able to appear prepared, and explain the court process to you in a way that makes sense, so that you are able to feel prepared as well.
While they may have had years of experience in the past, be sure that your potential criminal defense attorney has also had specific experience within the courtroom, in front of a jury. Although you may hope to reach a plea bargain or dismissal before the case even ends up in a court, if it does, you will need to have a solid professional who is able to present the facts of the case in your favor. To this end, they should also be familiar with the local judges and prosecutors that will also be handling your case, for clear and relevant discussion of the matters at hand.
Of course, budget may play a large role as well in selecting the best criminal defense attorney, so that will be a final consideration. When meeting with different attorneys for consultations and discussion of your case, ask about any fees that may come up with such processes as forensics or paralegal work that might seem hidden at first. Don’t rule out the possibility of having an attorney appointed to you by the court, should you be unable to afford your own at this time. These are all but a few of the things to keep in mind while searching for the best fit for your case.