How to Find a Reputable Criminal Defense Lawyer
When it comes to jotting down a list of things that we all need in this life, probably none of us want to put down “get a criminal defense lawyer”. That’s because when someone hires this kind of professional to represent them, it’s usually to help keep them from doing a significant amount of jail or prison time. Yet, whether you did commit a crime or you need someone to prove your innocence, you need a criminal defense attorney by your side in court.
So, how do you find a reputable one—an attorney who you can be confident will represent you well? We have five tips on how to start the selection process below:
Know the kind you will need. Just like there are doctors who specialize in certain fields (such as pediatrics or optometry), there are lawyers who are experts in certain aspects of the law. Some specialize in excessively violent crimes, others in theft and others in sexual assault. By getting someone who is well-versed in your case, that can definitely be beneficial for you.
Go with referrals first. All of us have seen commercials where an attorney tells us how great they are. However, when looking for someone who is just the right fit, start off by asking some family members or friends if they know one personally. A personal referral can definitely help to give you some extra peace of mind.
Find out certain particulars. Once you do get a few names, before you actually hire someone, make a point to do a little research on each individual. By this we mean to look up their credentials. What kind of reputation does their firm have? What kind of legal organizations do they belong to? If they are affiliated with organizations such as the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, see if they held any kind of office. That will give you some insight on how they are seen by their peers.
See if they mesh well with your personality. Until your case is settled, you and your attorney are going to be spending quite a bit of time with one another and so you definitely want to make sure that the two of you are able to communicate well. Even if you have discovered that they have good small business reputation management abilities, that they have been published in several law publications and they are highly credible in their field, still think about what kind of personality will make you feel the most comfortable. Do you want someone who is very direct or someone who comes off as a bit more compassionate? Once you know what kind of personality that you need, make sure to relay that during the interviewing process.
Be clear about the facts of your case. Before making your final selection, be sure that you are also very clear about what the facts of your case are. Sometimes people end up not getting the kind of legal representation that they thought they would and it’s because they left out some of the details of their case; ones that the lawyer they picked may not be the most experienced in. Once you hire a lawyer, there is oftentimes a team of individuals who assist them with their caseload. Therefore, it’s best to be clear and concise about your situation on the front end. Your time, money and in some cases even your freedom are on the line. It pays, in a good way, to be as upfront as you possibly can.