Choosing A Criminal Law Attorney: Questions To Help You Decide

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Choosing A Criminal Law Attorney: Questions To Help You Decide

29 January 2016
 Categories: Law, Blog

Being charged with a crime is a scary thing, whether you are guilty or not. The justice system can move incredibly quickly, so it is important to seek expert legal representation immediately.

Unless you have made a career out of crime, you are most likely only familiar with lawyers who specialize in areas such as family or estate law. If you have been accused of criminal wrongdoing, you will need an attorney that specializes in criminal law. Because a guilty verdict could dramatically affect your life, you will want to interview a few prospective criminal law attorneys before placing your life in their hands. Here are four areas to explore further before settling on the right one for you and your situation.

What Is Your Background And Experience?

Not all crimes are equal, so you will want an attorney who is familiar with the type of charges you are facing. Ask basic questions, such as:

  • How long have you been a lawyer?

  • Where did you graduate from school?

  • How often do you defend clients with similar charges?

  • What areas of criminal law do you specialize in?

  • What is your relationship with the district attorney and prosecutor's office?

What Is Your Assessment Of The Facts?

Whether you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, chances are you are frightened and confused as to what your rights and options are and how the process works. You will need to rely on your attorney to help guide you through the often confusing judicial system. Ask a prospective attorney:

  • What happens with a guilty plea?

  • What happens if a not guilty plea is filed?

  • Is going to trial worth it in this particular case?

  • What would your defense strategy be?

  • What should be expected during each step in the process?

  • What is your overall feeling on the chance of a successful outcome?

Who Will Manage The Case?

Oftentimes, junior associates will assist in the management of cases. You will want to know who will comprise your legal team.

  • Who will be the official representative working on the case?

  • Who is the point-of-contact for any further questions?

  • What is the preferred method of communication?

How Much Do You Charge For A Case Like This?

Knowing what you can expect to pay for legal service is key. You have to choose the best candidate that you can afford. Important questions to ask are:

  • How do you bill? Is it an hourly charge, or is it a flat fee?

  • What services are included in this fee?

  • Is a retainer required? If yes, how much?

  • What other legal expenses may arise in the handling of this case?

When you have finished interviewing candidates, it is time to choose the criminal law attorney who you feel will best be able to represent your legal needs and at a price you can afford.