If you are facing criminal proceedings, it is important to consider the option of hiring an experienced criminal lawyer. This will help minimize the damage as well as the ultimate impact the arrest could generate on your life. Therefore, the choice of a criminal defense lawyer is very important because this would translate to walking away free instead of being imprisoned. The following are some of the tips to consider when choosing a criminal lawyer, including:
· Shop around
You do not have to hire the services of the first lawyer you come across. Finding the right lawyer takes time. Typically, when you are buying an important product or service you do not choose the first product/service you find. If it is a car, you will most likely seek to take it for a test drive. During the first free consultation, inform the lawyer that you are in the formative stage of finding the right lawyer. If you are meeting with a potential candidate, he/she will understand. However, if sense the lawyer’s attitude change this is a sign that he/she is insecure and is probably not the best lawyer for you.
It is important to find a lawyer with a good reputation. A flashy ad should not in any way fool you. It is important to do your homework. In fact, many of the leading criminal defense attorneys do not advertise in the Yellow Pages. Many of the good lawyers get businesses through referrals, word of mouth, publicity and repeat offenders. By reading through the client reviews, you will have a good idea about the lawyer’s ability.
When choosing a criminal lawyer it is important to find one who is honest and aggressive. You want proper representation that will fight to the end to protect your human rights. Therefore, during the initial meeting consider how he argues his/her case and how much he/she believes in a win.
· Legal fees
It is important to know the nature of the fees chargeable. Many criminal lawyers offer the option of flat rates for their legal services or an hourly fee. The right lawyer should be in a position to explain these options in great detail. This will help you make an informed decision. Therefore, you will not have to choose an option that is most beneficial to the law firm.
· Public defender
Sometimes, a public defender may turn out to be the best defense attorney. This is particularly the case if you cannot afford to hire the services of a criminal defense attorney. The court may consider appointing one for you. Some of the public defenders possess many years of experience and therefore they can do a better job than many new lawyers in private practice. To make an informed decision, it is important to find out the reputation of the lawyer in your jurisdiction.