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.