In order to pick the right criminal defense attorney, you need to know the credentials that make up a good lawyer, particularly when it comes to your case. You will need to set up an initial consultation with the attorney before you choose whether or not to use his services. If you get acceptable responses to your questions, consider keeping him.
You should keep in mind that this process is only available if you choose to hire a private criminal defense lawyer. If you can’t or do not wish to pay for a private lawyer, a public defender will be provided to you. You do not get to pick and choose your public defender.
Four Sets of Questions to Make or Break a Case
Ask your lawyer these sets of questions. If he can’t answer them to your satisfaction, seek a second opinion elsewhere. Your criminal defense trial is important, and you don’t want to go with a second-rate defender.
- Qualifications – How many years have you been a criminal defense lawyer? How many cases like mine have you taken to trial? Are you certified in a particular specialty?
- Rates – What are your rates? Do you often try to settle cases out of court? Do you have connections to any experts who might help my case? What are their rates?
- Logistics – Who will actually handle my case? Will you handle the work or will I be dealing with one of your associates? if so, who will I be dealing with? How many years experience do they have and what are their specialties and credentials?
- Options – What are my legal options? What are the common strategies you use to defend against these particular allegations? What penalties might I reasonably expect to face, given my circumstances and record? What would you recommend?
These questions encapsulate the most important things you need to know about your criminal defense attorney. He should be able to answer them smoothly and easily, and his answers should both give you insight into your case and provide a sense that the defense will go as well as can be expected. Just remember: Qualifications, Rates, Logistics, Options, and you will be able to pick the right criminal defense attorney for your case.