In case, you have been charged or arrested for a crime, no matter serious or not, the best thing is to consult a criminal lawyer. Based on your finances, you may take into account hiring a private criminal lawyer or a counsel appointed by the court. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can also choose self- representation, although it is not a good idea.
To hire a criminal defense lawyer is a crucial decision since there are hundreds of lawyers who take up criminal cases, many of whom are not great choices.
Do not Delay Consulting
If you are charged or arrested for a crime, you must consult a criminal attorney at the earliest. Even though the first date at court may be way out, but you will need some time to find a good lawyer. There are certain things that can change the viewpoint of your case in the meanwhile. For example, if the case entails alcohol or drugs, your attorney may want you to take up a treatment or join a 12-step convention such as AA or Alcoholics Anonymous, even before you go to the court for your first hearing.
How to find the Right Criminal Lawyer
Once you start looking for a criminal lawyer, you will find hundreds of them, which makes the choice even more difficult. You can consider the following things while selecting a criminal lawyer.
Majority of criminal defense lawyers offer a free consultation to their prospective clients. You can take benefit of this provision and get answers for your initial questions. At this stage, you are not obliged to hire the lawyer. If you consult with a lawyer in person, you will get a fair idea about whether you should hire the particular law firm/ attorney or not. However, when you go for the consultation, you must be prepared. You can bring all the papers related to your case and prepare a list of questions that come to your mind.
You must know about the qualification of your criminal lawyer and he/ she must be enrolled with the relevant Law Society of your country. He/ she must have passed the state bar exam.
It is better to hire an attorney who specializes in criminal cases, rather than hiring a general lawyer. The specialized lawyer can give you better advice about your case and handle it well because of his/ her experience in the relevant field.
In a criminal case, you have a lot at stake while you are on the side of defense. You must hire a criminal lawyer who has an experience of at least 3-5 years. In addition, you must check what the rate of winning the cases by the lawyer or the law firm is.
You should also research about the firm you are consulting with. You should choose the law firm with a good reputation along with a strong criminal defense law background. In many firms, one case is handled by a team of lawyers. In that case, you must choose the law firm with a large team of criminal defense lawyers.