After being charged or arrested, finding a great defense attorney is the next step towards securing your future. However, with the number of attorneys available, you may feel overwhelmed, especially when dealing with criminal accusations.
If you are in need of a defense attorney, take time to find the right one. This person will be responsible for crafting and executing your case, so a little bit of research goes a long way.
Here are four tips to help you find the best counsel for your case.
1. Learn the Basics
One of the most important things to do before starting your search for a defense attorney is to learn the basics of your case. Generally, after the arrest, a prosecutor will decide to either proceed with the case or drop the charges. At this court appearance, further court dates will be decided. If the prosecutor decides to proceed, the case is brought before a grand jury, which decides the exact charges for the crime and issues summons for the defendant.
In addition to understanding the court process, you should also know what kind of charge you’re facing. With a minor charge, like a speeding ticket, a simple consultation with an attorney will usually suffice. However, with a larger charge, like a DUI, you’ll likely want a defense attorney.
According to columbuscriminaldefenseattorney.com, it is essential to have your DUI case reviewed by a defense attorney before you make a “guilty” or “not guilty” plea. Since multiple actions must be taken before the plea, it’s essential that you have the expert advice of an attorney when dealing with a more serious charge.
2. Types of Attorneys to Consider
Next, you need to consider the type of attorney who will be best for your case. Many attorneys not only deal with general criminal charges but also have a specialization for certain case types. For example, one attorney may specialize in DUIs, while another may specialize in financial crimes. To get the most competent help, you should pick an attorney who specializes in the charges that you are facing.
If you’re wondering how to find which attorneys specialize in what, you can run a quick search on your local state bar website. For example, if you live in Dallas and are facing a DUI charge, you can visit the Texas state bar website and search for a lawyer using the filters of “Dallas county” and “DUI” as their specialization. This will give you a list of every attorney in your area who specializes in that field. Next, we’ll talk about researching further from that broad list of attorneys.
3. Sources For Attorneys
Once you know your case and what type of attorney you need, you need to find the best sources for attorneys. First and foremost, if you have a friend or colleague who has been in the same situation as you, ask for a referral. Otherwise, you can find plenty of resources online. A simple search for “defense attorney DUI near me” will turn up with plenty of attorneys willing to help you.
In addition, there are plenty of free directories that list lawyers in your area. LegalZoom.com, Justia.com, and FindLaw.com are examples of directories that you can initially search to find local lawyers. In addition, many of these directories often offer filters that allow you to search for attorneys with specialties and certain certifications.
Finally, one of the best places to search for qualified attorneys is via a professional organization like the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Association, or an association local to your area. You can either call the organization for a referral or search their website for an attorney directory. These organizations offer pre-vetted, highly esteemed lawyers, so you’re sure to get great quality when searching with an organization.
4. Cost and Promises
Finally, once you’ve found your attorney, you’ll have an initial meeting with them to ensure that they’re the right fit for your case. There are a couple of things you should bring to this meeting to talk with this lawyer about. Bring notes on the specifics of your case, and after explaining your charge with the attorney, ask specifics about how they would proceed. If they demand a high price for the initial proceedings and promise a successful outcome, be wary of them.
Usually, attorneys either charge hourly or at a flat rate with a lower initial cost at the beginning. Be sure to note the price and their knowledge of your case information, then meet with 4-5 other attorneys to get a good view of your options.
With a list of qualified attorneys, their rates, and their qualities, you should have a much better chance of picking the best lawyer for you.