The knowledge of how to hire the right criminal defense attorney is not limited to offenders only. If you have that stigma in mind, then you’d better throw it away. Crimes can happen at you anytime. In some cases, you may even be accused of something that you’ve not done. And before you get into any of those misfortunes, getting ready for the worst is always the best precautionary strategy to have.
1. Look for an Experienced Law Firm (Or not?)
Not all criminal cases have severe consequences. For instance, trespassing can put you in trouble indeed, but as long as you don’t commit any other crimes that result in property damage or harm, you will usually get fined only. In that case, you may not need to work with an experienced law firm as it can be expensive.
However, in other cases like theft, aggravated assault, property damage, and statutory rape, you will need only the best attorney in the field. Browse through the Internet, make a list of several firms, and check how long they have been in the business. For example, dinanlaw.com has more than 150 years of combined experience in law. It’s a legendary achievement to be in the business that long, indeed.
2. Check the Feedback from Former Clients
Experience measures the quality of the lawyer’s performance, but it is not the only factor. The second most important ones are the reviews and testimonials from former clients. Usually, a firm’s official website has a reference page where you can request quotes from their clients. But if it is not there, go through the contact page and make the inquiry through emails.
What you want to look for is a law firm with a clean history. It means that there are not supposed to be any dissatisfied former clients. You also want to check the firm’s social media accounts, if they have them. Facebook page for business has rating systems that allow users to measure the quality of an establishment with stars. Google and Yelp have the same mechanism too. Look for the comment section and see if there are any unresolved affairs.
3. Choose a Law Firm That Has Experience in Local Courts
When you browse for a lawyer on the Internet, don’t get swayed by the idea of hiring one from different states or provinces. No matter where you live, each court usually has unique procedures and personnel. And you want a lawyer who knows the insider knowledge about the legal proceeding in the court where your trial is going to take place. It will be an advantage to your side. Therefore, make the experience with local courts as a factor to consider when you are looking for a law firm.
4. Visit the Law Office in Person
You can’t just make contact through emails or calls and hire the lawyer. You’d better visit their office because only by then you will know the level of their professionalism. For instance, a busy office is a sign of credibility and reputation. However, if you have to wait too long to have your consultation, it is a hint that you are taken for granted. Go to the next firm on your list.
5. Be Prepared to Rehearse Your Story
Your story is the foundation of your defense. And the only party whom you can tell about it is your lawyer. Hence, you must be as honest as possible to him/her. If any pieces of your recount do not match the evidence, they will be used by your plaintiff against you. And that is why experienced criminal attorneys will often ask you to build a story that makes sense and rehearse it again and again before the court hearing.
Another critical point here is the existence of potential witnesses. Lawyers will spot them from your story, and they will be used to support your position in the court. Therefore, if there is anyone in the world that you should not lie to, he/she is your lawyer. …