5 Tips for Hiring the Right Defense Attorney for Your Case
Most people never expect to be arrested. By some estimates, the average person will commit three felonies a day without ever knowing it. Not committing a crime does not mean you may not be arrested. In the United States, at least 10,000 people are wrongly convicted of a serious crime. The numbers of people who spend time in local jails is also increasing every year. In many areas, private companies run the prisons or jails. If you have been arrested, you need to find the best defense attorney that you can. You may find that task daunting but there are things that you can do to make the process easier.
- Know what kind of lawyer you need. The first thing you need to do is know what kind of lawyer you will need to hire. Like medical professionals, lawyers specialize. Even within the realm of defense attorneys, there are different specialties. Look at the crime you have been charged with. If you have been charged with a DUI, you need a defense lawyer with a lot of experience with that kind of charge.
- Start by talking to the people you know. Given the number of people who have are arrested every year, there is a good chance that you know someone who has hired a defense attorney. This is not something that most people like to advertise so you may not know who you know who has had to do this. Ask around. While you may not hire the same person that your friend of family member used, this can get you started making a list.
- Ask any lawyers you know or have worked with. No, your divorce attorney cannot help you with your criminal defense but they may be able to point you in the right direction to find a lawyer who can help you with your case.
- Look them up online. Once you have a list of defense attorneys you want to check out, go online and look them up. They will have a website and you should read through that. Also look at what feedback you can see online. Beware of any bad reviews that are posted anonymously. People are fare more likely to complain than compliment so you should keep that in mind. Many Facebook groups have popped up all over the country to promote local businesses. Check out the groups or pages in your area.
- Ask the right questions. You should make it a point to meet with several law firms. You may be tempted to hire the first lawyer you talk to but that would be a mistake. Go to a few to get a sense of what your options are and how much each option will cost. Criminal law firms offer prospective clients a free first consultation. This gives you a chance to get to know them and for them to get to know you. Take your time in these meetings. Here are some of the questions you should ask:
- How long have you practiced criminal law?
- What made you go into this speciality?
- How much of your practice is spent on cases like this?
- What is your track record with cases like this?
- Who will be working on my case? Law firms have a lot of people working for them who are not lawyers. They have paralegals, legal secretaries and others who do a lot of the work on their cases. You should be able to meet the people who will work on your case.
- What is the billing policy? In addition to the fees you will be charged, you need to know what other fees and expenses may be added. You also should talk to them about how they will expect payment. You may be able to work out a payment plan. Make sure you are totally clear on what their billing process is. Law firms can set their own policy and they are not often the same.
Finding the right defense attorney for your case can really make all of the difference in the world. It can determine the outcome of your case and can take a lot of the stress off of you during the progress of your case.