When you are facing criminal charges, or legal challenges at work, hiring the right lawyer can make a difference where your freedom is concerned. To do this, you need to make some considerations to ensure that you are entrusting your freedom in capable hands. To help you make an informed choice, here are essential things you should consider before hiring a criminal defense lawyer.
1) Check your Lawyer’s Background and Experience
An experienced lawyer is in a better position to secure your freedom as they have dealt with numerous cases like yours in the past. What’s more, the years of experience means they know what strategies work in getting a favorable judgment. Other than checking your lawyers’ experience, look into their background, and find out whether they have been involved in shady deals before. You don’ want to be represented by an attorney with no regard for ethics, or one who uses dubious means to win cases as this may create further complications for you.
Also, when asking about your attorney’s experience, ensure they are specialized in criminal law so that you get the exact match for your case. Since most lawyers avoid trials due to lack of experience or the uncertainty that comes with such a case, find out if your attorney has been to trial before. Criminal defense lawyers with experience in handling trial cases are your best bet as they will leave no stone unturned in ensuring you get a favorable judgment.
2) Be Aware of Legal Fees
When hiring an attorney, seek to know what legal fees you are going to incur for your case. This includes information whether your lawyer charges an hourly rate or a flat fee, and whether you will have to pay a retainer for the hourly rates. With this information, you can compare different legal fees from different lawyers and settle for the one that fits your budget. However, remember not to settle for an attorney just because they charge lower fees as this may translate to poor services.
Also, when inquiring about how much your case will cost, find out the breakdown of your legal fees such as investigation costs, attorney’s fees, and witness costs. Make sure that you ask for a written contract to confirm that the fees are stated in the agreement so you can avoid surprise fees that may crop up along the way.
3) Check Reviews and Testimonials
No matter how experienced a lawyer is, the best indicator of their prowess lies in reviews and testimonials from past clients. They give you an insight into the type of cases the attorney has handled before, success rate, and reputation. You can ask your social circles whether or not they recommend the attorney, or look for reviews and testimonials online.
A criminal defense lawyer with the most positive reviews and testimonials is your ideal hire as it shows that they are good at what they do. Working with such an attorney assures you of stellar presentation and professionalism.
4) Are You Hiring a Single Attorney or a Law Firm?
When hiring a criminal defense lawyer, find out if you are working with a single attorney or a law firm. This will let you know who is in charge of your case, which is important when inquiring about the progress and also to avoid misunderstandings. If your attorney works with a team, find out who you can contact with regards to questions or advice relating to your case as well as when they are available to contact
You should hire a law firm as criminal cases can be complex. As such, having a team of experts working on your case means better strategies for your defense. What’s more, a single lawyer may have multiple cases to handle thus making it difficult to prioritize your case. With a law firm, you are assured of someone being in charge and available at any given time.
5) Understand That There Are No Guarantees
Before hiring any criminal defense lawyer, you need to acknowledge that there are no guarantees when it comes to court cases. Therefore, you should be wary of any lawyer who promises you a certain outcome as it is not only against bar laws but may also point to unethical practices by the lawyer. This is because the outcome of any case depends on a myriad of factors such as the facts to your case, your criminal history, the judge, as well as your attorney’s ability to defend your interests.
While your criminal defense lawyer may not guarantee the outcome of your case, hiring the best criminal defense attorney boosts the odds in your favor.
If you are seeking to hire a criminal defense lawyer, always ensure that your attorney is licensed to practice in your location. With the above information, your search for the best criminal defense lawyer will be smooth and productive.