How to Hire the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Hiring the best criminal defense attorney for yourself or any of your close relative or friends is quite difficult, especially when you have so many options to choose from. So, how can you know which criminal defense lawyer is the best and which one is just average? Or who can fight your case with the best of his abilities?
It is important to find a reputable lawyer whom you can trust. Therefore, in order to help you out in hiring the best attorney, we have jotted down some significant points that you must keep in mind.
1. Determine your legal needs
The first and foremost step towards hiring the best criminal defense attorney is to determine your own legal needs. This means to evaluate what kind of lawyer you want and whether you even need a lawyer or not or if consultation would be enough for your case. You must know whether you are convicted of major or a minor crime.
And, if you are facing criminal prosecution, then ensure that your criminal defense lawyer helps you in understanding what kind of charges can be filed against you, what plea bargains can be offered to you, what are your defenses, and what can you expect after a conviction or trial.
2. Decide the type of defense lawyer that you need
The next thing is to decide the type of defense lawyer that you require, that is whether you need a federal or state attorney. For instance, federal cases include the cases of US Constitution violations, such as copyright cases, patent cases, bankruptcy cases, etc. On the other hand, state cases are those where a state law is broken, like traffic violations, family disputes, robberies, broken contracts, etc.
3. Look for the qualities of a criminal defense attorney
Criminal defense lawyers handle different types of criminal cases, such as felonies, misdemeanors, white collar crimes, drug charges, and many other federal and state crimes. Since you want to find the best defense lawyer for your case, you must focus on his or her skill level, knowledge, and expertise. This means that he or she should be able to:
- Lesser your criminal offense, like lower a felony to a misdemeanor
- Eliminate or reduce your jail time, for instance through probation
- Reduce the severity of your crime’s punishment
- Assist you to produce a judicious defense strategy
Besides this, the attorney you plan to hire must have the optimum skills required to defend your case and should be the one to conduct most of the work in a case. For example, he or she should be someone who is familiar with witness, police or victim interviewing and crime scene investigations and who has extensive knowledge of sketches, polygraphs, video, photographs, etc.
4. Find a criminal defense attorney
The last step is to find a criminal defense lawyer. You can do this through a number of ways, such as get referrals from family and friends or research online. And, if you do not want to disclose your criminal charges to your family or friends or do not have enough time to conduct online research, then you can use one of the qualitative lawyer directories and find a local criminal defense attorney for yourself.
With these tips, you can hire the best criminal defense lawyer. Ensure that the attorney you employ is the one you trust and go by your gut instincts.
Article was written on behalf of Whitney S. Boan, an Orlando based criminal defense attorney. You can read about her criminal defense practice here.