Tips to Help You Choose the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is one of the best decisions you can make if you’re arrested or charged with a crime. However, you might not realize that your choice of attorney is equally as important.
Not all attorneys are the same, nor will they offer the same level of representation. There are a lot of things you should take into consideration when choosing a lawyer to represent you.
At the end of the day, the best attorney for you will be someone who (a) has the skills and resources to get you the best results and (b) is someone you can trust when your future is on the line.
Here are the top things to consider when making a decision:
FIND OUT WHERE THEY WENT TO LAW SCHOOL
When attempting to choose a lawyer to help you battle back against your criminal charge, one of the first pieces of information you should try to find out is where they went to law school. This information should not be hard to find. It will also give you a great deal of insight into the quality of the lawyer with whom you plan to work.
Ideally, you should try to work with an attorney who went to a recognized law school. However, you would be unwise to disregard lawyers who went to smaller universities. They may have other credentials that make them a good fit for you.
ASK THEM ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE WITH CASES LIKE YOURS
Before you hire a criminal defense attorney, you must find out a little more about their experience with cases like yours. Asking a question like this will give you a keen insight into their understanding of the area of criminal law that matters to you.
If, for example, a prosecutor in Los Angeles has charged you with manslaughter, you would be well-advised to enlist the services of a defense lawyer that has years of experience handling homicide cases. It would be risky to hire an attorney who has never worked on a case of that magnitude.
CHECK TO SEE HOW THEY PREFER TO COMMUNICATE WITH CLIENTS
As you work to find a criminal defense attorney that fits your needs, it is typically a good idea to find out how they like to communicate with their clients. You will have to speak with your lawyer frequently to go over the latest updates in your case, so it is vital that you hire one that is willing to communicate in a way that works for you.
Some attorneys prefer to speak to their clients in person or on the phone. Others like to send texts or emails. A few even insist on communicating by snail mail.
There are no incorrect ways for you to speak to your legal representative. However, if you work with a lawyer that communicates in a way that does not work for you, you will begin to see a breakdown in the attorney-client relationship before too long.
FIND OUT HOW OFTEN THEY TAKE CASES TO TRIAL
As you strive to find the perfect criminal defense attorney for you, it might be a good idea to take some time to find out how often they take cases to trial. Doing so will give you an indication as to how willing they are to fight for their clients.
If you find that the lawyer you research tends to resolve a high portion of their cases out of court via plea bargains, it may be a sign that they do not have the resolve to go all the way for their clients. They might just be looking for the quickest and easiest way to close the case.
When you find a defense lawyer that regularly handles criminal trials, you can also take a moment to find out how frequently they secure not guilty verdicts for their clients. Ideally, you want to work with an attorney that has a high success rate in court.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OTHER EMPLOYEES AT THEIR LAW FIRM
When you hire a criminal defense attorney, you don’t enlist the services of one person. You will also be working closely with their administrative staff and paralegals.
Because the other employees of their law firm will have such a significant impact on your case, you might want to learn a little bit more about them before you sign an engagement agreement. In particular, you should ask about their legal experience and how long they have been working with the firm.
If the employees are all relatively inexperienced or new to the firm, it may be a sign that you should look elsewhere for legal representation.
ASK THEM TO PROVIDE YOU WITH REFERRALS
When you think you have found the right attorney for you, there is one last step you can take to make sure they are as qualified and knowledgeable as they appear: Ask them to provide you with references.
If they cannot offer you the contact information of any clients who will vouch for their skills, you might want to reconsider working with them.
On the other hand, just because an attorney provides you with a long list of references does not mean you should hire them on the spot. Instead, it is generally advisable to take the sheet home and set aside some time to reach out to some of the people listed on it. If they speak in glowing terms about the attorney’s abilities, you can go back to their office in a few days to sign the engagement agreement.
HOW WILL A GOOD CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY HELP WITH YOUR CRIMINAL CASE?
Finding good lawyers may not always be an easy task, but it is well worth the effort. The input of a seasoned defense attorney can make a world of difference to your criminal case.
Here are just some of the many ways an experienced lawyer can help you fight back against the allegations of the state of California:
- Providing you with astute legal advice and guidance as necessary
- Giving you honest answers to all of your legal questions
- Filling in and filing legal documents with the court on your behalf
- Searching for evidence that may sway the case in your favor
- Standing up for your rights as a resident of the United States
- Speaking with the district attorney on your behalf
- Working tirelessly to secure your release from police custody
- Helping you understand how the California justice system functions
- Conducting an independent investigation into the state’s allegations
- Consulting with relevant experts about the nuances of your case
- Working out a plea bargain deal with the district attorney
- Presenting evidence and arguing on your behalf at trial, if needed
Are you ready to hire a knowledgeable attorney who can provide you with all of these services? Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at the Rodriguez Law Group. We have an in-depth understanding of California criminal law, and we are ready to stand up for you.
NEED MORE TIPS TO CHOOSE THE BEST CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER? CONTACT OUR LAW FIRM TODAY
If you need more tips to choose the best criminal defense lawyer for you, there is only one law firm you need to call.