What to Look For When Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

When you are forced to face a grim legal consequence which may involve jail term, probation or fines, you can’t afford to go about handling your legal condition without the services of a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer. You need to get the services of a lawyer who has the knowledge, experience and the reputation to handle your case with the prosecutors, judges and courts.

As soon as a person is released from jail on signature and cash bond, he must immediately prepare for his defense. The best way to prepare for the case is for the person to hire a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you avail for the services of one the better for your chances at successful defense. In cases where you are still under investigation or if you have not been charged, you should immediately seek a legal counsel as it is your basic right.

There are essential guidelines that you should follow when searching for your defense lawyer.

1. Perform an online search for a qualified Cincinnati criminal defense attorney who is practicing in the location where you are facing criminal charges. Narrow your search by focusing those legal practitioners specializing in criminal cases.

2. Pick out the top three or four law firms for your choice of criminal defense lawyer. Screen the lawyer’s credentials and track record. Verify his court experience in the court case that you are facing.

3. Visit the websites of the large and most renowned criminal defense associations and check the criminal defense lawyer’s name. You should limit the search for your attorney to those who are affiliated of highly regarded lawyer’s associations.

4. Check on the veracity of the claimed area of expertise of the criminal defense lawyer. You can also check the State journal site and local TV stations.

5. Lastly, visit or call the law firm to verify if they provide free initial consultation so that you can explore the possibilities for their firm representing you in your court case.

You should also consider the following when selecting your Cincinnati criminal defense attorney.

1. Check for published books, articles and treatises that were written by the lawyer. This is a strong evidence of the competence of your legal counsel.

2. Verify the number of outright acquittals won by the lawyer. This is a good proof not only on the expertise of the lawyer but also on the degree of preparation and overall court demeanor your lawyer.

3. Check on how your lawyer is regarded by his peers and his position in lawyer’s associations.

4. If there is a referral for the lawyer from state bars, then you are assured of the competence and integrity of your criminal defense lawyer. You can check the website of the state bar to get the background information of your lawyer.

5. Check the feedback of legal experts and criminal law commentators. Watch local TV and radio shows that feature forums on criminal law. Citing and invitation of lawyer in these forums indicate his being highly regarded in the field of criminal law.

Personal Interviews Are Vital In Hiring Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you’re in trouble with the law, your knee-jerk inclination might be to hire the first criminal defense lawyer you can find in a telephone book. Depending on the severity of the crime and your personal background, the need to find a lawyer and do it fast could absolutely be present. But, going with just anyone is not the best way to hire a criminal defense lawyer. It’s important to make sure you hire someone who is not only competent, but also a person you can and will work with.

A good defense lawyer will want your case to be handled as a team effort. He or she will need to rely on input from you as much as possible. He or she will also need to be able to develop a good rapport with you to ensure the case is handled in the best possible manner to obtain a good or at least fair outcome. Inasmuch, it’s vital that you and your lawyer have not only an ability to talk with each other, but also trust each other on a basic level. This will be particularly vital not only if you’re innocent of the charges, but maybe even more so if you’re guilty.

Considering the importance of a working relationship with a criminal defense lawyer, it’s very important to make sure there’s at least a face-to-face meeting before you hire the person. What you’ll be able to find out if you do a personal interview is a whole lot. Within the first meeting with a lawyer, you should be able to:

* See if the person has the kind of personality you can work with. This will be vital, because if you don’t trust them, you might hold back on information that could be very important to your case.

* Has good communication skills. You have to feel like you, too, can trust the person. If you don’t, you won’t get the best possible criminal defense lawyer for your case even if it’s the best lawyer in the state.

* Has a good track record with similar cases. This, too, is very important for ensuring a good defense. A criminal defense lawyer should be versed in the kind of case that you’re facing. A homicide expert might not be the lawyer to bring in to defend a robbery or DUI.

* Has trial experience if you think the case will go that far.

* Trust you. This, too, is important. If you get the feeling the criminal defense lawyer doesn’t trust you, it could be very difficult for the person to give you a solid defense even if he or she really tries. When their heart isn’t in it, it’s your future that could be on the line.

While it’s impossible to tell everything about a potential criminal defense lawyer in a single meeting, you should be able to at least get a decent sense of what the person is about. If you feel comfortable and confident in the person, you’re on the right track. If you don’t, be wary.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal lawyer defense job is to teach, negotiate and litigate. Your lawyer will begin by explaining your legal arguments in a way you can understand. If you have been charged with a crime you need to understand the elements of the crime. You also need to know what evidence the prosecution has to support those elements.

Next your lawyer needs to be a great negotiator. Sometimes the prosecutor will offer a less serious charge when their is weak evidence. In some cases if the defendant has no criminal background the prosecutor may offer a lesser charge. A good criminal defense lawyer will negotiate on all elements until a case is resolved.

And last year your criminal defense lawyer needs needs to be a good litigator. During a jury trial, litigator skills are a must. There are many questions a defense lawyer has to ask a judge during the trial. Example: The lawyer has to ask the judge if something can be used for evidence. This process is called a Motion Hearing. This can be very critical to your case. Sometimes probable cause motion can get a case dismissed.

Criminal Defense Lawyers can specialize in:

  • DUI / DWI
  • Assault
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Kidnapping
  • Domestic Violence
  • Bench Warrants
  • Arrest Warrants
  • Murder
  • Parole Violations
  • Hit and Run
  • Summonses
  • Bail Hearings
  • Administrative Hearings

Attorneys can also specialize in white collar criminal defense:

  • Attorneys provide representation for corporate clients against regulatory boards such as the SEC or Corporate crimes
  • Price-fixing
  • Racketeering
  • Bribery

These white collar defense lawyers usually charge higher.

Find a criminal defense lawyer in your area.

Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Imagine being charged with a criminal offense. In a circumstance as potentially life-altering as this, should one leave his or her criminal defense to a public defender, or would it be wiser to trust the case to a professional criminal defense lawyer?

The answer should be obvious, but quite often isn’t. A highly trained criminal defense attorney can offer the attention and expertise to a case that most defenders do not have the time or resources to manage. For example, recent studies have shown that public defender’s offices are underfunded and that the lawyers working there are overworked with impossible caseloads. The American Bar Association recommends a prescribed number of felony and misdemeanor cases per public defender per year, yet those numbers are routinely doubled and tripled at the expense of the defendants. Private criminal defense lawyers, on the other hand, are not subjected to such unachievable caseload expectations.

Criminal defense attorneys are often specialists in particular areas of law that public defenders are not. With the overload of casework that many defenders are expected to contend with, they are often forced to be generalists and are not able to provide specific or detailed attention to cases that defense lawyers are. As such, public defenders are often unable to navigate the finer points of one’s defense, whereas a professional criminal defense attorney, being intimately acquainted with the intricacies of criminal law, will be able to assess the precise aspects of a case and offer expert advice.

Although there is no question that a defender will work as hard as he can to resolve a case to the best of his ability, research shows that many public defenders have less than a single hour to devote to any given claim. Frequently, they are unable to even meet with their clients before appearing in court. When one hires a defense lawyer, however, one can expect a level of support that ensures a complete understanding of the judicial process during every step of the proceedings. A criminal defense lawyer will also provide clients with the knowledge of the various options available which advocates from the public defender’s office may not be aware of.

Most importantly, a defense lawyer can guide one through the overwhelming challenges that present themselves within the criminal court system. Knowing which steps to take and how to most successfully take them could mean the difference between an undeserved jail sentence and a possible dismissal of all charges. One should never leave the fate of a criminal court case to chance or to an overworked public defender’s office when a criminal defense lawyer is available to protect your Constitutional rights.