How To Select A Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing potential criminal charges, you do not want to delay securing legal representation. A good criminal defense attorney can help ensure that you make strategically sound decisions from the outset. However, you also do not want to risk rushing into a relationship with an attorney who will not ultimately provide you with the kind of sharp, expert guidance you need over the long term of your case.
Perhaps the most critical component you should weigh when researching criminal defense attorneys is their level of experience. You want to be confident that the attorney you entrust with your case has the background and knowledge to fully explore all of the legal issues involved and to work for you to pursue the best possible result.
Experience does not simply equate to years an attorney has been practicing. It also refers to someone’s experience practicing in a particular area of criminal law that is relevant to your case. Attorneys are not often generalists. Make sure your attorney has a depth of knowledge in the area of criminal law affecting you.
Explore law firm websites to ensure the background of an attorney under consideration matches your particular need. Read their online biographies to explore their credentials and how it aligns with your needs. You should be able to find evidence of expertise in your area. Search media archives and find out who has tackled cases like yours – and has found success for their clients.
One of the best places to start searching for an attorney is with other attorneys. Ask an attorney you know for a recommendation. Attorneys often know who excels in legal specialties other than their own. Find out who they would call if they found themselves in your situation.
Former clients are another strong source for feedback. Speak to others who have faced circumstances similar to your own to find out who represented them and how it went. Search for testimonials on firm’s websites to see how clients speak about a particular attorney or law firm and how they helped them in a tough spot.
Communication Skills & Firsthand Impression
Once you have narrowed down options for an attorney, reach out to them. Consider how accessible an attorney is and how well they communicate with you. You want an attorney who pays close attention to your case and asks you plenty of questions. If you approach them for an initial discussion of your case, consider how well they explain your case, its twists and turns and its legal options ahead to you. How well do they seem to understand the details? Do they appear to have your complete attention? Do they seem poised to fight for you? You want an attorney who has the time and resources to focus on your case, and a conversation can be a good way to gauge that.