Your Consultation with a 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.
Before you can hire a criminal defense attorney to represent your case, you must interview them to decide whether they’re right for you. In this blog, we will cover some important questions and suggestions to help you find and hire a criminal lawyer in your area.
Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney With Experience
With hundreds of criminal statutes in local, state, and federal or regional law, choosing the best criminal defense lawyer may be a matter of finding an attorney with considerable experience in the particular charges a client is facing. An excellent murder defense lawyer may have no experience with grand theft auto charges, so it is important to get an idea of a lawyer’s area of expertise. Most lawyers will post the type of charges they or their firm have experience handling.
Your reasons for needing a free lawyer consultation will have some impact on what you can expect, but most free consultations do tend to follow a similar pattern. During the consultation, your lawyer will probably want you to briefly explain why you need his/her services.
What Can Be Expected At An Initial Consultation?
You should not expect to get any legal advice during your free consultation. Many people mistakenly believe that a free lawyer consultation involves getting some legal advice. A consultation is normally set up to give a lawyer and a potential client a chance to meet and determine whether the client could benefit from the lawyer’s services depending on her situation.
Your attorney will be able to explain the charges against you. They will hear your facts and be able to tell you how the law might apply to your situation. Your attorney will tell you what the penalties are for someone convicted of the crime with which you are charged. An experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to tell you a likely penalty based upon what you tell him about your self and the offense itself.
A criminal lawyer should be able to spot possible defenses to your charge, either true defenses of innocence, such as alibi defenses, or technical defenses. Technical defenses can be ones that show how your facts don’t support the charge or improper police procedures.
It is not always necessary to make a decision as to whether you are going to hire a lawyer at a free consultation. Many people choose to speak with different lawyers about their situations because some lawyers may be more qualified than others, and some lawyers might additionally charge less or offer clients payment plans that aren’t possible at other legal firms.
Preparation For Your Initial Consultation
It is a good idea to prepare for your consultation so you do not waste your or your attorneys time. Do the following:
- Summarize your case in writing.
- Bring a list of questions you’d like to ask the criminal lawyer.
- Bring a pen and notebook to take notes during the consultation.
- Bring any important documents that pertain to your case.
Questions To Ask Pertaining To Lawyer’s Legal Experience
- How long have you been a criminal defense lawyer?
- Where did you earn your law degree?
- How much experience do you have handling criminal cases such as mine?
- What is your success rate in handling cases such as mine?
- Do you have a list of references I can call?
Case Assessment Questions
- Have you ever handled a criminal case like mine?
- What has been your success rate in handling criminal cases like mine?
- Could you explain the process for handling a criminal case like mine?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
- How long do you think it will take to resolve my case?
- What type of approach will you take to resolve my case?
- Will I have to go to trial or are there any other ways to resolve my case?
Case Management Questions
- Will you handle all aspects of the case or will other associates or employees be helping you?
- Who will handle the research, case preparation and court work for my case? If it’s other lawyers, what are their qualifications?
- Who will be making court appearances?
- Whom should I contact if I have any questions?
- What’s the best way to reach you?
Legal Fees and Expenses
- What type of fee arrangements do you offer?
- What’s included in the attorney’s fee?
- What other fees will I have to pay for?
- Will you put our fee arrangement in writing?
- How often will I be billed?
- Do I have to pay a retainer?
West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
West Palm Beach lawyer Andrew Stine focuses exclusively on criminal defense cases and has an exceptional track record of results spanning the last ten years. A former public defender and medic for the U.S. Army, Mr. Stine is known for being proactive. He represents his clients aggressively, armed with individual attention and a passionate respect for their rights to due process.
The criminal defense law firm of Andrew Stine, P.A. combines the nationally recognized criminal defense practice of trial and appellate attorney Andrew Stine, creating an international practice encompassing the defense of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges in Florida, across the United States and around the world. When you retain our law firm, you don’t simply retain a criminal defense attorney – you retain an experienced criminal defense law team. Andrew Stine and his team have worked together for years, successfully representing clients in virtually every type of criminal case. We represent individuals and organizations vigorously, with individual attention and a passionate respect for due process, through each stage and every aspect of your case.
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.