There are several law professionals you want to have on speed dial in case of an emergency. A criminal defense attorney is one of them.
If you’ve recently been charged with criminal activity, you likely have plenty of questions swirling around in your mind. From what your next steps should be to how the sentencing will go, there’s no shortage of “what ifs” to ask yourself.
Your first move should be hiring the best criminal defense attorney you can find. This is critical to ensuring that your voice gets heard and you get a fair trial.
Today, we’re discussing five tips to keep in mind when searching for the attorney best equipped to handle your case.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. Know Why You Need One
Before you begin your search, it’s important to understand what a criminal defense attorney does.
In a nutshell, this is a law professional trained to represent people who have been arrested on criminal charges. Your attorney will perform the following actions:
- Investigate your case details
- Talk to any witnesses
- Research any laws and statutes that may apply to your case
- Build your defense
- Negotiate with the court and prosecution
- Draft and file any required motions
- Act as your personal advocate if your case goes to trial
2. Share Your Case Details
You might think that if your criminal arrest is minor, you can get through the next phase on your own. The truth is, no matter the degree of the infraction, it’s always smart to seek legal counsel.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll secure the services of an attorney. It simply means you’ll need to ask professional advice to see if you do.
Contact your local law firms to see if any offer a free consultation or case evaluation. The best criminal defense attorney will listen to the details of your case and advise you on whether or not you need their services and what the process will look like.
3. Find Someone Specialized in Your Case
The best criminal defense attorney is one whose practice area and specialty match the crime you’re charged with. For instance, if you’re looking at DUI charges, you’ll need to talk with an attorney who has experience in that field.
On the other hand, if you’re up against a violent crime charge, a DUI attorney might not be as adept at handling cases like yours. Conduct a simple online search to see which law firms in your area specialize in your charge.
Many firms will cover a host of charges, so be sure to ask around. For instance, Webb Law Firm in Maine has practice areas that range from Operating while Under the Influence (OUI) to manslaughter.
4. Get a Feel for the Communication
When you go for your consultation, be sure to take note of how the in-person meeting makes you feel. Even if someone looks like the best criminal defense attorney on paper doesn’t mean you have to use that firm.
Are you uncomfortable during the meeting or do you feel that you can share freely? Were all of your questions answered? Is this attorney qualified, experienced and reputable?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, then keep looking.
5. Ask about Team Involvement
Often, even when you sign with a criminal attorney you’ll be interacting with the rest of the law firm on a regular basis as well. Before agreeing to a partnership, determine who will be representing you moving forward.
If your attorney is unable to attend a meeting, who will be the substitute? Make sure you understand and feel comfortable with the entire team before moving forward.
Hire the Best Criminal Defense Attorney Today
When you’ve just been cuffed, you want to know your rights and you want someone who will fight for them. Thankfully, that’s exactly what a criminal defense attorney is trained to do.
Start your search today and use these tips to find your perfect match. In the meantime, be sure to check out our guides for more advice on how to succeed at work and home!