Are you looking to hire a criminal defense lawyer?
If yes, you’re probably in big trouble! No, seriously. What first comes to mind when you hear someone is hiring a criminal defense lawyer? If you’re anything like most people, you’re thinking of someone whose’ facing criminal charges, perhaps for theft, murder, or drug trafficking.
While there are different types of criminal offenses, all of them are serious and carry severe consequences. So, if you’re facing criminal charges, you need to lawyer up fast.
But, how do you choose the right criminal defense attorney for your case? We’ve got a complete guide.
Understand the Nature of Your Case/Charges
The first step to finding the best criminal defense attorney is to have a good understanding of the nature of criminal charges you’re facing.
Broadly speaking, you could face criminal charges for personal crimes, statutory crimes, property crimes, inchoate crimes, or financial crimes.
Criminal defense lawyers typically specialize in one type of crime. For example, you won’t find a financial crimes lawyers handling child abuse or domestic violence cases.
When you have a good understanding of the criminal charges you’re facing, you’ll know the type of criminal lawyer to look for. For example, if you’re facing drug possession charges, it’s important that you know right from the onset the lawyer you need is a drug crimes lawyer. If you’re being charged for domestic violence, you need a domestic violence lawyer, not just any criminal defense attorney.
A State Law License
In all states, lawyers are required to have an active law license in order to practice.
As such, one of the first things to look for in a criminal defense attorney is the license to practice. This might be a foregone conclusion anytime you meet any lawyer, but don’t make that assumption.
Not all lawyers are licensed. Some, especially those who don’t want to be advocates of the court, don’t need a license. They are lawyers, alright, and can dispense legal advice, but they cannot represent you in a court of law.
Other people claiming to be lawyers are mere fraudsters. They didn’t go to any law school but they are out there claiming to be lawyers, looking to prey on unsuspecting people like you.
If you’re not keen on the licensing details of a lawyer, you might end up as a scam victim. You’ll pay consultation fees to someone and you’ll never hear from them again.
When a lawyer tells you they’re licensed, don’t leave it there. Go to your State’s Bar website and verify the information. And, they have to be licensed to practice in your state.
A Physical Office
We’re in the Digital Age. Almost everyone is buying stuff online. An increasing number of people now start their search for lawyers online.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but doing an online search increases the likelihood that you’ll cross paths with a scammer. This is why it’s important to be super careful when looking for a lawyer online.
Once you land on a lawyer’s website, browse around and see if it’s authentic. If you see red flags like poor grammar on the site’s pages, run.
But, if a site ticks all the boxes of legitimacy, it doesn’t automatically mean they’re legit. Scammers are getting smart. To verify that a lawyer is indeed legitimate, visit their offices. There’s no serious lawyer who works from home.
Affirming that a lawyer indeed has a physical office ensures you have a point of help if or should anything go wrong. You can always go to the office and find the lawyer if they, for instance, stop picking your calls.
Criminal charges carry serious consequences. If convicted, you could face several years or even a lifetime behind bars. Heck, the courts could throw death row at you.
When so much is on the line, you want the most experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, like those at Fighter Law.
To know how experienced the lawyer you want to hire is, look at the number of cases they’ve handled. If you’re facing drug possession charges, you want a lawyer who has taken on tens of similar cases.
Look at the outcome of those cases. It doesn’t help if a lawyer has handled a substantial number of cases that have ended in unfavorable outcomes for the clients.
Look at trial experience. Your criminal case will likely go to trial. You want a lawyer who has been in trial court countless times.
When a lawyer starts to practice, they also set off on a journey to build a professional reputation.
When you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney, you need someone with a great professional reputation. A lawyer with a great reputation is a lawyer who doesn’t drop cases midway or do anything to leave a client frustrated. This is the kind of lawyer who maintains an open line of communication with the clients.
To know the reputation of the lawyer you want to hire, go online and look up their reviews. What are past clients saying about them?
You want a lawyer who has lots of positive comments and high ratings. If a lawyer doesn’t have any online comments, it probably means they’re new to the game. You’re better off looking elsewhere.
Find the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’re facing criminal charges, it’s super important that you hire a criminal defense attorney. They could make all the difference between jail time and freedom. With this guide, you now know what to look for in an attorney.
All the best and keep reading our blog for more tips and insights.