How to Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

When you or a loved one need a criminal defense attorney, you can’t afford to take your time evaluating options, because every hour lost is very significant when you’ve been charged with a crime. But it IS critically important that you hire the right attorney. Your lawyer can make a difference in the outcome of your case, and the outcome of your case will have a big effect on your life. So how do you make a good decision, especially if you need to find a lawyer fast?

First, you want a lawyer who has experience successfully defending people who have been charged with what you’re charged with. Also, laws vary by locality, and various localities do things differently. It’s helpful to have someone who’s local and comfortable with the local court system. Lastly, procedures vary from courthouse to courthouse. It helps if your lawyer already has a working relationship with the local prosecutor’s office and court personnel.

You may not know any criminal defense attorneys, but that’s okay. The important thing is that you obtain a referral to a qualified criminal defense attorney from someone you trust. That may be an attorney who has helped you in the past with a real estate transaction, personal injury case, business dispute or any legal issue. Don’t be embarrassed to contact him or her and tell them you need a criminal defense lawyer. Remember, everything you discuss with an attorney is confidential. If you don’t have any previous experience with an attorney, then turn to a trusted friend, family member or business associate. Let them know that you have a serious matter to discuss with them, and ask them to keep your conversation between the two of you. If neither of those methods are available, then you can turn to the internet for information. There are a wealth of resources on the web, including Avvo.co and lawyers.com where you cans earch for lawyers in your area. Be sure to go a step further though, and google the lawyer’s name. That way you’ll be able to locate online reviews from former clients that will assist you in determining if the lawyer is one whom you want to interview.

The first thing to ask a potential lawyer is what kind of experience he or she has had handling cases similar to yours. You should also ask how much trial experience the lawyer has. It’s important to find out what kind of legal options the lawyer might recommend. Avoid a lawyer who seems to treat every case as if it’s the same as every other case. You want a lawyer who’s going to take into account the particulars of your case and who will see to it that you have the best defense possible.

The lawyer may not be available to meet with you on short notice, but that isn’t uncommon for busy lawyers. The lawyer’s staff should be courteous and professional and easy to work with. Someone should be available to answer your questions and that person should be someone you feel comfortable with.

Usually lawyers charge by the hour, though some charge a flat fee. How much will your case cost? Be careful while evaluating cost, though, as many people make the mistake of being “penny wise, pound foolish.” Is it worth saving money on your legal bill if that means hiring a less skilled attorney, which in turn increases your risk of a life-altering criminal conviction?

Consider chemistry as well. The lawyer you hire should be someone you’ll feel confident working with. Remember, your lawyer has your future in their hands. It’s going make the case proceed more smoothly if you feel your lawyer is someone you can confide in and if your lawyer inspires trust.

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, it’s important to have an attorney on your team as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today if you’d like to learn more!

Written by Law Offices of Barry M. Wax

Law Offices of Barry M. Wax

For 34 years, I have provided both State- and Federal-Level representation for those facing charges ranging from wire fraud, mortgage fraud, and healthcare fraud to identity theft, drug trafficking, money laundering, murder, DUI, domestic violence and numerous other criminal charges. In every case, it is my commitment to one-on-one service and support that has separated the Law Offices of Barry M. Wax from other criminal defense firms. When it comes to your future, you need a strong defense and the ability to make the right choices and regain control of your life.