How to Choose a Criminal Defense Attorney?
Not sure how to choose a Criminal Defense Attorney? The Waltman Firm provides this useful guide to help you plan your strategy. Call us for more information!
Choosing the Right Criminal Defense Lawyer
You might be wondering how to select the right criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with a crime. Being charged with a crime can be stressful. Also, many criminal offenses have harsh consequences, including jail or prison time, fines, community work, and other far-reaching consequences.
So, it’s understandable why people are scared when trying to choose the right defense lawyer. There are so many of them that people can feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Also, the process of finding the right lawyer can be tricky. Choosing the right attorney requires great care due to the many factors you should consider.
Before engaging in your quest, it is advisable to familiarize yourself with the criminal charge you are facing and the potential penalties if convicted. Also, bear in mind that even if you hire the highest-rated criminal defense attorney, that is not a guarantee of mitigating an eventual sentence. But, taking steps to improve your current situation can be beneficial throughout the case.
What Are the Three Major Categories of Defense Attorneys?
Major categories of defense counselors in a criminal case include assigned counsel, public defenders, and contract systems. Every state has its system to provide for the defense of indigent clients who don’t have enough income to afford an experienced criminal lawyer.
An assigned counsel is typically a private attorney the court appoints to represent an indigent defendant. It is usually used in states that don’t have a public defender’s office. On the other hand, a public defender is a state employee who represents indigent defendants. However, some states have mixed systems that use both public defenders and assigned counsel.
Although those charged with a crime can use the services of a public defender, that isn’t recommended. The reason isn’t that they lack knowledge or skills. It is because they may be overworked and unable to devote sufficient attention to your case. Furthermore, public defenders are appointed by the court, meaning the defendant has no say in the matter if they don’t like them. It is also important to note that not all defendants qualify for court-appointed attorneys.
On the other hand, private criminal defense lawyers are focused solely on getting your charges dismissed or achieving the best resolution possible.
Criminal cases are unsuitable for trying out different legal counsels or engaging in self-representation. Hiring an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible is crucial. Time is of the essence, and hiring an ill-equipped defense lawyer can sink your case quickly, leaving potentially irreparable damage to your case.
Where Should You Look for Criminal Defense Lawyers?
You can use numerous resources to find a suitable criminal defense lawyer. One of these resources involves visiting state bar and local bar association websites.
You can also ask your friends, relatives, or neighbors to see if anyone has recommendations for criminal defense attorneys whose services they might have used in the past. Alternatively, if you have recently used a lawyer to make a Will, you can ask them for referrals. Although they are not experienced in criminal law, they may have a colleague who is.
Many criminal offenses are felonies, so retaining the services of an experienced felony lawyer can be the right move.
What Can I Do to Learn More About My Attorney?
Typically, most criminal defense attorneys will require you to schedule a consultation before agreeing to take on your case. Just like they will use that meeting to evaluate your case, you can also evaluate them before hiring them.
If you are afraid you may forget to ask an important question, you can always make a list of concerns or questions regarding your case. For example, you can ask whether they have previously handled cases similar to yours in the past or how long the case would last.
You can also inquire whether plea bargains are available, their fee arrangements and any other issue you feel is relevant.
What Should You Look for in a Criminal Defense Attorney?
When looking for legal representation, looking for a local criminal defense attorney can generally be the most suitable approach. Local attorneys know and have experience with local judges, prosecutors, and police officers. That knowledge can be quite helpful as your case progresses through the criminal justice system.
Making sure your criminal lawyer has a history of success fighting charges similar to yours is also essential. However, criminal law is very broad, so you have to ensure you hire a defense attorney who has experience in the area of criminal law you need. For example, hiring a good criminal defense lawyer experienced with drunk driving defense when facing charges of first-degree murder or armed robbery doesn’t make much sense.
If your minor child has been charged with a crime, they could face dire consequences if convicted. Hiring a lawyer who doesn’t understand juvenile law and its loopholes can result in a conviction and a criminal record. But, the right juvenile defense attorney can help your delinquent juvenile to understand the consequences of their criminal actions and work in their best interest.
How Can Criminal Defense Attorneys Help Those Facing Criminal Charges?
If law enforcement suspects you of a certain crime, they will try to ask you more questions about the crime during the pre-arrest investigation.
Cooperating with police officers without consulting an attorney isn’t always the best strategy. You may end up telling them more than you should and incriminate yourself. But, a skilled pre-arrest criminal investigation lawyer understands the process and can help you protect your rights.
Although your attorney controls the specific methods of crafting a defense strategy, such as filing court motions and choosing what witnesses to call, the big decisions are up to you. You have to decide whether you want to plead guilty or go to trial.
A criminal charge requires you to act quickly. As a former district attorney, Holly Waltman of The Waltman Firm is more than qualified to handle criminal cases. She knows how the prosecution builds its case before it goes to trial and how judges look at particular facts about your case. Don’t waste your time; reach out to our law firm today so we can start building your defense.