Criminal Attorney Selection Process
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. With so many lawyers to choose from, how do you select the one that would serve your immediate needs and prepare you for the best defense possible?
Consider the following steps to help you with the search for your criminal defense lawyer:
- Do a Google search for an attorney in the area where you were charged. The search must also include a specific charge you were charged with, for example: DUI in West Palm Beach, Drug Trafficking in Florida, etc.
- Narrow your search to 3 law firms and review the credentials of each attorney you selected. Main questions to consider: Background. Education. Federal Court Experience. Success Rate.
- Perform a separate search on the attorney’s name. Look for links that mention cases specified on the lawyer’s website. Also, visit the websites of major criminal defense associations and search for the name of your attorney there.
- Fees are one of the least discussed parts of any legal case yet one of the most important. Lawyers mostly bill by time or flat fee. Ask the attorney for an estimate about the entire case, including all legal fees and court time.
- Inquire about free consultation. Most firms offer a free consultation so you can meet your attorney in person and see if trust can be accomplished.
The lawyer you choose mush have solid knowledge of criminal law and a stellar reputation with the courts, judges, and prosecutors sitting next to you in court. If you find an attorney with outright acquittals on very serious criminal charges, then you know he/she will prepare well and fight hard to win juries over with their arguments. An outright acquittal is a not guilty verdict and is the closest response from a court to a statement of innocence.