When you or someone you know is accused of a crime, especially if there is the possibility that he or she could face prison or jail time, its highly advisable to hire a criminal attorney. While many people feel capable of representing themselves, the benefits of having a criminal attorney on your side far outweigh the cost. Considering the possible penalties of a criminal offense, hiring a criminal attorney is a is a no brainer.
Good criminal attorneys know the ins and outs of criminal law. They have the ability to assess a case and determine whether the individual has a chance of beating the accusation based upon years of experience and learning.
Selecting the right lawyer for the case can be the hardest part of the whole ordeal. Issues of ability, price, and experience are all important. Equally important, however, is the relationship and attitude of the lawyer and his or her staff.
Having an experienced, hard-working, and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on your side is the only way to have a good chance in court. Please review the steps below to help you make an informed decision.
- Get a criminal defense attorney who concentrates his practice in the area of defense that you need.
- Determine what qualities are important to you.
- Do you want someone young and who is willing to make up for a lack of experience through hard work, or someone with well-established credentials? Does your case require someone who has special knowledge of a certain area of criminal law (like tax law or SEC investigations), or will any criminal lawyer be sufficient?
- Ask friends if they know (or have experience with) a criminal defense attorney.
- Find out what legal organizations the lawyer belongs to. At the very least, he should belong to the County and State Bar Associations. If he belongs to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), his State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, or to the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section, that is a good indication he has more than a passing interest in criminal defense.
- Don’t be fooled by advertising slogans, such as “former deputy district attorney” or “aggressive trial lawyer.” Meet the lawyer and decide if you have confidence in his or her skills and feel comfortable with their analysis of your case.
- Ask who will work on your case if you hire this attorney, and what their experience level is. Ask what rates they bill at. What percentage of work will these other people be doing, and what percentage of time will your attorney be dedicating to your case?
- Discuss the facts of your case. At this point, attorneys should be able to discuss how he will proceed and what he will do. You should discuss law office communications and what ancillary services he thinks you will need (e.g. psychotherapy, private investigation, etc).
- Most lawyers offer free consultation. Once you narrow down your search to 2-3 layers in your area, schedule a consultation with each one and then make an informed decision.
- Remember there is no official list of the best lawyers. There is no official “win/loss” rate. When its time to find a criminal attorney, due diligence in your research is a must.
West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation, your immigration status, and your job may be at stake. The outcome you receive in the criminal justice system depends upon the experience and knowledge of the defense attorney you choose to represent you.
When you retain the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., you do not simply retain a nationally recognized criminal defense lawyer. You retain a criminal defense team who has worked together for years and successfully represented clients in virtually every type of criminal case, including:
- Animal cruelty, such as dog fighting, cock fighting and abandonment
- Drug crimes, such as drug trafficking and Oxycodone offenses
- Fraud, such as mortgage fraud, insider trading and mail fraud
- Traffic offenses, such as DUI
- Violent crimes, such as domestic violence and battery
Contact our firm to discuss your case in a confidential consultation. Receive a free consultation 24/7 by calling West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine at (561) 832-1170 or by submitting the contact form. You can reach our office after business hours.