Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer? And How to Hire a Good One

When being faced with a criminal charge I highly recommend that you hire a criminal defense lawyer. I recommend this because the hire of a professional in this matter could be the major difference between a jail sentence and the charges being dropped. A criminal defense lawyer handles many different charges a person can receive such as drug crimes, domestic violence, juvenile crimes, parole and probation violations, white-collar crimes, traffic violations, weapons trafficking, kidnapping, murder and much more.

Consider This While Searching Through Criminal Defense Candidates.

Start off by making a criminal defense candidate list. You can create this list by browsing either through a phone book or via internet searches. Thing’s you may want to look for is someone in your area. Or quite possibly you have special needs such as a language barrier, so do they have someone to accommodate to your special needs? After all communication between you and your lawyer is vital! Now that you have done this you are ready to make some phone calls to the firms and get more specific information pertaining to meet your exact needs.

Things to Ask When Deciding Best Fit to Represent You

While speaking with these firms some information that will play an important role in deciding who is best fit to represent you, would be do they have an exact area of expertise in criminal defense? How many years experience do they have? Or even more valuable information would be what kind of result have they produced with previous cases? How many people have they represented? How many times have they been to trial? Are they able to meet with you and if so when? How do they get paid, because some want full payment up front and some want an hourly this differs from firm to firm. By now you should have been able to narrow your list down to only a remaining few candidates.

Making the Final Decision

Now that your list should have only a few candidates remaining you should ask these lawyers for references. Check these references see what these people have to say about the lawyer and how they handled their individual case. Knowing how they handled cases similar to yours should be of great value to you. Make sure you are treated with common courtesy from the lawyer and the other staff at the firm. The criminal defense lawyer should have complete total knowledge of the law of the state they represent. It is also a necessity that they have had a great amount of experience with the federal criminal system also. Make sure that you have confidence in the criminal defense lawyer you choose to represent you, because after all you two make up a team now. Do not allow yourself to be forced into any action you do not agree with taking. Last but not least take your time in choosing the perfect criminal defense lawyer to represent you. The research is worth your time and hopefully in the end it turns out to be worth your money also.

How To Find A Criminal Defense Lawyer With 7 Key Questions

You can’t believe it’s happening to you. There’s a pit in your stomach as the cop starts coming toward you and utters the words “I’m arresting you for a criminal offense.”

Your mind starts racing with thoughts like ” What in the world am I going to do? How is this going to affect my life, freedom, family, job? What can I do to protect myself? How do I decide on the right lawyer so I have the best legal help possible?”

Regrettably, this crisis is a possibility for anyone. Innocent people are charged with crimes as a result of many different circumstances, such as honest mistakes, or overzealous, or malicious actions by others. Good people also make mistakes and choose the wrong course of action in a difficult situation.

Whatever the case is, you sure enough need the best representation you can get.

All of a Sudden Nothing is More Important

You realize that a conviction will have ruinous effects on your life so it’s important to seek the best attorney you can afford, whether you need an Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer (my state) or one who can represent you in another state of the U.S.

And even though you are “under the gun” to hire someone, this decision must be made with care. After all, if your life was threatened in a medical emergency, such as needing brain surgery, you probably wouldn’t want the cheapest doctor to perform it. Moreover, you shouldn’t choose an attorney based on who charges the least. At the same time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire the most expensive person.

How Are You Supposed to Pick a Criminal Defense Attorney, then?

Should you hire your brother-in-law’s estate planning lawyer, or the attorney who handled your high school friend’s divorce? What about going to the yellow pages and picking the lawyer on the first page of the attorney listings, or the law firm with a two page ad?

I don’t advocate any of those methods for someone charged with a criminal offense. The problem is that just because someone went to law school and passed the bar exam, that doesn’t mean he or she is effective and experienced in criminal defense. Many have never set foot in a courtroom.

All Lawyers Are Not the Same

In the medical field there are doctors who specialize in certain parts of the body and so, too, many lawyers concentrate on just a few areas of the law. There are just too many types of law for someone to be an expert in every area.

Think of it this way. Do you really think that someone who spends most of their time writing and negotiating contracts for businesses would be as effective in the courtroom as a lawyer with decades of experience in criminal law?

What’s more, when you hire an expert, you have to expect that the cost is going to be higher than hiring someone else with only a moderate amount of knowledge or experience.

That leads us to:

7 Key Questions to Find the Right Lawyer for your Criminal Defense

1. The first question to ask would be simply, How many years has the lawyer practiced criminal law.Someone with a fair number of years of experience, such as 10 years or more, would be preferred. Your future is too important to hand over your defense to a new law school graduate.

2. The second question you’ll want to learn the answer to will be how many trials has the lawyer handled. This is important because your lawyer should be familiar and confident with the process. There are some so called “criminal lawyers” who rarely, or never go to trial and are known as “settling attorneys”. Many times they aren’t comfortable in trials, and even if it isn’t best for their client, they find a way to settle without going to trial. The prosecution can sense that fear of going to trial, which can have a detrimental effect on possible plea bargaining for the client. Definitely, a lawyer who has tried 50 to 100 or more cases will maintain a stronger bargaining position.

3. Another thing you should determine is the number of jury trials the attorney has handled. Additional areas of expertise are needed in jury trial with facets like selecting jurors, and knowing how to be persuasive to jury members. As you can probably guess, more experience with jury trials is better than less. If your lawyer has handled 40 or 50 jury trials, he or she should have learned a lot about strategy in that area.

4. While you can certainly ask a potential lawyer about his or her experience, an even better way to determine that is is through a reliable certification process. Some states recognize specializations in different areas of law and if a lawyer qualifies according to the state’s requirements, he can reflect that specialization in his marketing and advertising materials. However, many states don’t allow specializations (including my state of Oklahoma). Fortunately, there is a national certification available through the National Board of Trial Advocacy This is a very rigorous certification process, requiring significant experience in criminal trials, a written exam, peer review and recertification every 5 years.

If a lawyer has achieved this certification, you have an unbiased third party validation of her experience, instead of having to rely simply on what the lawyer says about her ability.

5. Something else you should ask about is how and when the lawyer will communicate with you. Use the first consultation (which is often free, however be sure to ask ahead of time) to assess whether you will be comfortable and confident handing your case over to this person.

6. Make sure to ask if the lawyer you think you are hiring will actually be the one who is handling your case. This is important because some firms will have you talk to a lead lawyer initially and then give your case to a newer lawyer in the firm to handle. I believe a criminal charge deserves an experienced and seasoned lawyer, not someone just out of law school.

7. Ask about the costs involved. Find out whether the lawyer charges an hourly rate or a flat fee. Obviously, it is better for you, the client, to get a flat fee. That way you know exactly how much you need to pay as opposed to being concerned that the lawyer is trying to string things along in order to increase his fees. Also, determine what is covered in the flat fee, such as does that fee cover fees for a trial or will there be additional costs for that?

Remember if the lawyer’s fee is much lower than others that it could be a red flag.

A much lower fee can mean he is not as experienced (not good for you), or he may handle a high volume of cases. The problem with the high volume situation is that he won’t be able to spend as much time or attention on your case (also not desirable) as the lawyer who takes fewer cases but charges more.

I’ve also known of attorneys who entice clients by stating they will only charge a small amount such as $100.00 to go to court for you. However, they don’t mention that you’ll have to continue to pay them for every phone call or each document they do for you. And, pretty soon the total expense can be higher than a set fee charged by someone else.

A lower fee could also indicate that the lawyer is the “settling” kind of lawyer as I mentioned before, who won’t go to trial even if its in your best interest. And since he knows he won’t ever be going to trial he can charge less, as trials involve significantly more work.

I believe these questions will allow you to become informed in this important decision making process so you can find a criminal defense lawyer who will skillfully protect your rights and freedom.

Guidelines in Hiring a Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense lawyers are the very people you will call in times of unfortunate incidents such as being arrested or being charged with a crime. Legal advices and representations are what you require during these trying instances.

Getting a criminal defense lawyer at once is also essential because you got to know your rights. And there is a proper way of responding to the police and to the court officials. You should know those as well. Criminal defense lawyers would be able to help with these.

The criminal defense lawyers from Richmond are always ready to discuss your case with you. They are more than willing to protect you, your family, your properties, your freedom, as well as your reputation. The lawyers of Richmond would be there to help.

But there are countless of Richmond criminal defense lawyers that you can go to, all with good honors and numerous laurels to boost. To give you an idea who to contact in times of trouble, here are the things that can serve as a guideline.

Are these defense lawyers expert in the field of criminal law?

Criminal cases are very much different from civil cases. And the expertise of a lawyer is usually either of the two. Seldom would you see a lawyer who specializes in both fields at the same time. The laws governing a criminal case is more strict than that of a civil case. So make sure that the lawyer you are getting are real-deal criminal defense lawyers.

Do these lawyers have a good winning percentage?

It really doesn’t matter if you go to a big law firm or a small one. What matters is the main person who will handle your case. Has he won a lot of cases lately? Do you have faith that he can take your case towards acquittal or settlement? A good criminal defense lawyer is a winning lawyer. He should be able to effortlessly win the case.

Does the criminal defense lawyer new to his job?

Experience counts. If the lawyer you are going to get has just handled a case or two, you are gambling on his abilities to represent you. Anyway, good lawyers, no matter how short time they had spent, has the power to win any case. But you’ve got to request for a mentor for that lawyer should you feel uncomfortable with him handling your case single-handedly.

Has the criminal defense lawyer handled a similar case before and has won?

A case always is different from another, even though the may seem to be very similar. But the lawyer’s attack on the defense is usually the same. They just change tactics slightly, depending on the merits of the case. A lawyer that has handled a case similar to yours before is a good option because he, more or less, knows how the entire proceeding will head to.

Is the criminal defense lawyer knowledgeable with the case and the law?

This is very important. The criminal defense lawyer that is going to represent you in court should be well-schooled as well as well-informed of the case. He should know by mind and by heart, the articles of the constitution that are applied against you. While it is true that he cannot memorize the whole constitutional provisions, he should at least research on similar cases and matters before hand.

These are what you should ask yourself if you are in the stages of hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Better answer these questions right now, than do it when necessary, as you might not have time to prepare.

Criminal Defense Lawyer – Choosing the Right One

Choosing and employing a criminal defense lawyer early on in any case is the best way to increase one’s probability of success in any criminal trial. Many of the more prominent people in society already have a battery of lawyers at their behest that spring into action whenever any legal problem arises.

You may not be one of these high profile people, and you may not have employed an attorney as of yet because a) you do not really have a need for them yet or b) they are, of course, too expensive to just have on hand. But even given this you will have to keep in mind that in the case of an impending criminal trial, choosing and hiring a good lawyer early on is your top priority.

In fact, the outcome of your entire case may even hinge on whether this single matter alone. If you hire a lawyer early on, there is a chance that, due to his or her timely actions, there will be no need for any case and trial at all. You might just be able to dodge the bullet on time.

Your choice of lawyer can also affect the amount and quality of evidence that is allowable by law to police and investigators. This alone is reason enough to hire good lawyers with good grasp of such kinds of investigation practice. If you have been watching enough trial TV, you will notice that many trials drag on endlessly only to argue whether an evidence is acceptable in the court of law.

This is important because some cases decisions all depend on sometimes just one piece of crucial evidence in a case. If you do not have expert advice this early in the ball game then you might have just lost your case right on the outset.

Whether or not you are in a bind to find a good criminal defense lawyer, it would be good to keep in mind these pointers on determining a good criminal defense attorney.

1. Lawyer Specialization

Look at the lawyer’s background. Does he or she have specialization in criminal defense? Just because on is an attorney does not mean that he or she automatically qualifies as a good criminal defense lawyer.

Lawyers are a lot like doctors. And the legal field is pretty much similar to the medical field. There is a host of specializations and fortes making having one lawyer adept at all close to impossible. And in the same wise that you wouldn’t trust a brain operation on a dermatologist, you should stick to a defense crime lawyer when you need such representation in cases.

Also look at past case performance to see if the lawyer is fit to represent you fully in your case. If the lawyer has had experience in cases similar to yours, and has been able to perform well and respectably, then that would be a good thing to look out for.

2. Try Him for the First 30 Minutes

You will probably decide whether the lawyer is worth it during the first 30 minutes of meeting the person. While the first few minutes of meeting will not give you an accurate gauge of the lawyer’s services, it will still give you enough information to decide whether the person should represent you at all.

Pay close attention to how the lawyer listens to you during the initial interview. Does the lawyer listen intently paying close attention to details and asking pertinent questions at crucial junctures? Or is the lawyer just blowing by the interview and missing important details?

Look at the lawyer’s body language as well; you will be able to find out whether he or she is interested in the case itself. If the lawyer is showing a little boredom at your case, then it would be safe to consider other lawyers for the practice – unless the particular lawyer is a known genius and pulls through even with such demeanor.

However, if you want to play safe, then it would be a good bet to find a lawyer the listens intently, is interested in your case, and is not aloof and overbearing in dealing with you.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Do not, at all costs, be afraid to ask questions. Matters such as bills, scope of the case, payment details, and other matters should not be an esoteric exercise. Everything should be transparent and open.

Your lawyer should not tire of explaining and elucidating legal terms and strategies regarding your case. It is your head, after all, that is on the line. The lawyer should cooperate and interact with you on the case.

Conclusion

Good lawyers are not that rare. However, a good lawyer that fits your case and your personality perfectly is. Make sure you have enough time to choose and evaluate those that will represent you in the court of law.

Selecting Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

When it comes to courtrooms, there is nothing more compelling than the battle of wits between the prosecutor and the criminal defense lawyer. In fact, this duel has become so interesting that plots of books, television shows, and even video games have revolved around these people. Now the characters Atticus Finch (from To Kill a Mocking Bird), Perry Mason (from the novels and TV show by Erle Stanly Gardner) and Phoenix Wright (from the video game) have entered into the people’s consciousness.

Unfortunately, sometimes reality can catch up with people, and the criminal defense lawyers are not just left into the pages of fiction but have to become players in the real world. Once you get accused of a crime, especially one that you truly did not commit, you would want to immediately search for a good defense lawyer who can handle your case. They are the people who would be able to defend you and represent you well in court.

Of course, finding a good criminal defense lawyer is not as easy as it seems on TV, books, or video games. There are many qualifications that you must study in order to find the best lawyer that could fit your needs. Here are some ways for you to be able to select a good lawyer.

The first thing that you should do before selecting a criminal defense lawyer would be to check the background of the attorney. You could look if he really passed the bar for the state where he is practicing his law, the veracity of the achievements that he claims he has attained, his success rate in the cases that he handled, and perhaps even check if he had already handled cases that are highly similar to the one that you are facing now. The best step would be to probably ask questions. You could begin to ask how long he has been practicing law, the cases that he handled, and perhaps even how much he charges for the cases that he takes.

Another thing to look at would be the specialty of the lawyer. Some lawyers are able to specialize in a certain crime or case such as Drunk Driving, petty crimes, or even murder. It would always be a good idea to select a lawyer that is highly successful in the case that you need to be defended in.

An underrated aspect when picking a criminal defense lawyer is to check how comfortable you are with him handling your case. Does the lawyer appear to be someone who is trustworthy and would handle your case well? You could also check if he responds well to your queries, returns your phone calls, and gives you timely updates about your case.

These are just some steps in selecting the best criminal defense attorney for you. Of course, one can only hope that they would be able to live lives that would not have to resort to their services in the future!