Today, there are many attorneys who handle criminal cases, hence; finding the right attorney for your case can be daunting. Below are some guidelines to help you find a reputable criminal defense attorney.
First, you must come up with a list of potential criminal defense attorneys so that you can choose the right one for your case. You can start your search by contacting your local bar association for recommendations to good attorneys who practice criminal law in your area. You can also ask for referrals from friends and family who previously used criminal attorney’s services. Lastly, you can conduct online searches and use reviews sites as they may be a good source for referrals. It is a good idea to find an attorney with the local knowledge because they are more likely to know the judges, prosecutors and the regulations of the area.
Experience is a key consideration before hiring a criminal lawyer. Make sure that the attorney you choose has experience defending clients who have similar charges. Also, you may want to consider their particular practice areas because some attorneys take particular criminal cases while others do almost all criminal cases.
Reputation is the other thing that you should consider when searching for a criminal lawyer. You can find out about their reputation by going through online reviews and testimonials of clients who they have represented before. Visit your State’s Bar website to check the disciplinary records of the attorney and avoid one who has a history of malpractice. Do not hire the services of an attorney who has been disbarred as they will not be able to represent you in court.
Research their educational background and find out whether they went to an accredited law school as this shows that they have been properly trained to handle the criminal cases in their field. In addition, hiring a licensed attorney is crucial so that they may be able to represent you in court.
The next step is to meet up with the lawyers so that you can ask important questions to help you make an informed decision. A competent attorney will conduct an assessment of your case and answer relevant questions regarding it. Be certain who will be working on your case beforehand. Consider the level of comfort and communication skills before you make your decision.
The last thing that you need to consider is the criminal defense attorney’s fees. Some lawyers will charge you an hourly fee while others charge a flat fee; hence choose the method that works best for you. Finally, before you make your final decision, ask if there are any additional fees.