7 Tips to Help You Find the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer
The number of lawyers in the US could grow by 8% between 2016 and 2026. Unfortunately, that could make it more difficult for you to find a lawyer. If you’re facing criminal charges, you’ll need to find the best criminal defense lawyer for your case.
Otherwise, you could face serious charges.
If you’re in legal trouble, it helps to have a plan. Don’t make the mistake of hiring the first criminal defense attorney you find. Instead, use these seven tips to vet your options.
With these tips, you can find a lawyer with years of experience and expertise. Their case experience could help you avoid jail time. They might even get the charges dropped.
Beyond that, finding the best criminal defense lawyer in town will give you peace of mind in their abilities.
Start your search with these seven simple tips today.
1. Know What You Need
Before you hire a criminal defense lawyer, it’s important to be specific about what you need. Criminal defense law covers a mix of different cases. These cases are classified as:
You could face different consequences based on the charges.
Violations can include disorderly conduct, trespassing, or unlawful possession of marijuana. If you were charged with a violation, you might face 15 days in jail.
Misdemeanors are a little more serious. They’re broken into Class A, Class B, and Unclassified cases. These charges might include prostitution or graffiti.
Felonies are the most serious types of crime. They can include rape, murder, or arson. You could get jailed for life if you’re charged with a Class A-I or Class A-II felony.
You can read more about criminal law here.
Consider the specifics of your case. What type of criminal charges are you facing? For example, your charges might involve:
- Drug crimes
- Sex crimes
- Violent crimes
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Domestic violence crimes
Once you understand the specifics of your case, you can find the right criminal defense attorney for your situation. Otherwise, you might choose a lawyer who lacks the experience or expertise you need.
2. Build a List
To find the best criminal defense lawyer in town, make a list of available lawyers in the area. You can start by visiting your local bar association website. Check for defense lawyers under the “certified criminal law specialists” tab.
Otherwise, check the Martindale-Hubbell directory. You can use their directory to find more information about each lawyer on your list.
Check your state or city’s criminal defense lawyer organization as well.
Otherwise, speak with a lawyer you’ve worked with in the past. For example, maybe you hired someone to draft your will or after a car crash. Ask if they can refer you to a criminal defense lawyer.
You can also Google “criminal defense lawyer near me.”
Try to learn as much as you can about each lawyer while you’re online. For example, are they a member of a local, professional organization? Look for lawyers who have held leadership positions over the years, too.
Their additional experience and expertise could strengthen your defense.
3. Look for Experience
As you look into each lawyer’s professional history, consider how long they’ve practiced law. Consider how long they’ve practiced in the area, too. Some laws can differ based on where the charges were filed.
Then, determine how long they’ve specialized in handling criminal defense cases.
It’s important to find a criminal defense litigator with years of experience. They’ll understand the laws and procedures relevant to your case. They can leverage their previous experience when building your defense, too.
An experienced lawyer will have an easier time building your defense strategy. Someone who just passed the bar, however, might struggle.
4. Consider Their Reputation
Start narrowing down your options by reading reviews from clients who were once in your position. You can find reviews on the law firm’s Better Business Bureau and Google My Business listings. Check their website for testimonials as well.
Pay attention to comments about the lawyer’s professionalism and confidence. You’ll want someone who is confident in their own abilities. Otherwise, they might struggle to argue on your behalf.
If you find an abundance of negative reviews, scratch that lawyer off your list.
Instead, choose the best criminal defense lawyer; someone with a strong reputation and the track record to back it up.
5. Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with one or two lawyers on your list. Meeting them in person can help you learn more about their abilities.
Pay attention to how the lawyer communicates. Are they easy to understand? If not, a judge and jury might struggle to understand them, too.
Use your consultation appointment to ask any lingering questions you have on your list. Discuss the details of your case, too.
6. Check Their Track Record
During your consultation appointment, ask each lawyer about their experience handling cases like yours, too. How many similar cases have they handled over the years? What was the outcome for each case?
For example, maybe they were able to get the charges dropped. Perhaps they were able to reduce the charges instead.
Asking about similar cases can help you develop realistic expectations moving forward.
Make sure to choose someone with a strong track record. You’ll want a winner at your side.
Ask the lawyer what outcome they expect for your specific case, too. Don’t hire a lawyer who gives you a guarantee. They can’t anticipate the outcome of your case.
Instead, choose someone who is honest and transparent. They’ll have your best interests in mind.
7. Ask About the Price
Criminal lawyers make nearly $81,000 a year.
Ask the lawyers you meet about their fee structure. Some lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Others work based on an hourly rate.
Make sure to review their contract. Then, look over your notes. Which lawyer do you feel most confident in?
Choose the best criminal defense lawyer based on their ability to achieve your case goals.
Make Your Case: 7 Tips for Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer Around
Don’t hire the first lawyer you call. Instead, use these seven tips to find the best criminal defense lawyer in town. With these tips, you can feel confident in your final choice.
They’ll help reduce your charges. Want to discuss the details of your case with a member of our team? We’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule your case evaluation.