If you have been arrested or been issued a misdemeanor citation in Memphis, Tennessee, one of the first things you’re going to have to do is hire a lawyer. This can be a daunting task if you don’t know one, and especially so if this is your first run-in with the law. You’re probably confused and don’t know what to do. That’s ok. This article will help you out.
Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee have over 4,000 lawyers. That’s a lot. Why so many? Perhaps it’s because Memphis is a big city in a largely rural region. The greater Memphis area has a population of around 1 million people. Many people come here for work, family, and other purposes. Another reason is probably because of the Cecil C. Humphreys Law School at the University of Memphis, located at 1 North Front Street. It’s one of only three accredited law schools in Tennessee, so it attracts a lot of students. Many of those students stay in Memphis after graduation and start their practice here.
For the individual in need of a Memphis criminal defense lawyer, this means they will have to do some research before their selection. The most important thing to look for, in my opinion, is an attorney who dedicates his or her practice exclusively to criminal defense. As you begin your search for a Memphis criminal attorney, you’ll see that there are a lot of lawyers in a lot of different areas. What you want is a specialist, not a general practitioner. You don’t want someone who practices bankruptcy, divorce, personal injury, or other areas in addition to criminal law. You want a criminal attorney, pure and simple.
Think about it. The best criminal lawyers are the ones who practice criminal law exclusively. They’re going to know the law and the procedure regarding your case. They’re going to know each judge’s particular traits and habits. They’re going to know the prosecutors, and who to go to work out a deal. The Memphis criminal courthouse is located at 201 Poplar Avenue, which is downtown. The best criminal lawyers will be there everyday. Do not hire someone who just dabbles in criminal defense, or does it in addition to numerous other practice areas.
If you’re charged with DUI, shoplifting, drug possession, or any other crime in Memphis, you want to be represented by someone who has handled dozens, if not hundreds of those types of cases before. Only a dedicated Memphis criminal lawyer will have that kind of experience. In your research, you should ask the attorney how much experience they have with your type of case. You should ask what options you have for disposing of the case and keeping it off your record, and about ways to challenge the evidence if you want to go to trial. You should also ask what the worst case scenario would be if you were convicted as charged.
Remember, there are over 4,000 lawyers in Memphis, but if you’ve been charged with a crime you need to whittle your search down to experienced, competent criminal attorneys. You can find them by reviewing their website, and asking them specific questions about your case. If the lawyer can’t answer those questions honestly and competently, you should move on in your search.