Are you in trouble and you believe that you’re wrongfully accused?
About 6% of people are serving jail time because of wrongful convictions. Often, these cases happen because they failed to get a proper defense for their case in the courtroom. A weak defense when criminal charges get pressed on you is a surefire way of getting yourself in jail.
The best criminal defense attorney will make sure this doesn’t happen to you. They’re the best hope you have of pleading innocent. However, what are the qualities you need to look for in such an attorney?
In the guide below, we’ll help you by showing you the factors that make a great criminal defense lawyer. Read on and give yourself the best chance of success. Visit us to learn more.
Know Your Defense Lawyer’s Qualification
When looking for a criminal defense attorney, you need to know their qualifications. Where they studied law is a deciding factor when considering if they’re the right one for your case. This will help you know their expertise in criminal justice and how long they have studied for it.
If they come from a prestigious university, it should weigh into their credibility as a defense attorney. Also, don’t forget to check whether they’ve passed the bar exam or not. This will determine whether they qualify as an attorney, or only as a lawyer.
This difference may save you from pleading guilty as it means they’re well-versed in the legal profession. Passing the bar means they’re familiar with local laws and jurisdictions, giving you a better chance of winning your case.
Who Were Their Previous Clients?
Before hiring a lawyer, know who their previous clients are. They’re the best sources of information you’ll have regarding the performance of the lawyer. Ask about how the attorney performed during the trial and what the outcome was.
Knowing this information will help you know their credibility in handling cases. You can expect a good resolution to your case and increase your chances of winning the case if the feedback you get is positive.
You can also check their practice online. Most lawyers nowadays have online profiles, often the ones associated with legal groups. You can go to the group’s website and check the comments left by previous clients.
Here, you can also see the testimonials and reviews that they’ve left after their experience with the attorney. However, you should be wary of reviews that are overtly negative or positive. These may be fake reviews, often left by bots to tarnish the reputation of a practice.
They can also be bought by the practice itself to look more favorable. You can determine this by reading the review thoroughly. If it sounds like there’s no specific point to the comment but to hate or praise, then it may be a fake one.
How Experienced Is the Attorney?
As someone who has criminal charges, how the attorney handles your case is important. What you need is an attorney who has experience with cases similar to your situation. It means they’ll know how to proceed with your case efficiently, increasing your chances of winning the case yet again.
Look for an attorney with much experience in the courtroom, too. The confidence they have in the courtroom will factor into how they can sway the judge and the jury.
Experience in the courtroom also allows them to make adjustments that benefit you on the fly. Cases are always evolving, bringing new evidence into the court on both sides. An experienced attorney can adapt to the situation and help you gain favor through changes in the courtroom.
Can You Afford their Services?
The fee for hiring a lawyer ranges from $200 up to $520. The price depends on the location. If you’re in an urban area, expect higher fees.
The more complex is the case, and the more experienced the lawyer is, the more you will pay. In this case, you might not be able to afford the price of hiring a lawyer. This makes it important to know the payment methods they accept.
Do they accept payments using bonds? Will they accept contingency fees as a form of payment? How much are the flat fees and the hourly rates of a lawyer?
You need to ask these questions before hiring a lawyer especially when you’re short on cash. This will help you in advance in case that you need to qualify for public legal services at a low cost.
How Responsive Are They?
Responsiveness is important during a case. As mentioned above, cases are always evolving and there will be new questions for you to answer. Being able to reach your attorney any time is essential during these times.
They’ll provide you with legal advice in the heat of the moment. They can prevent you from answering anything that can put the case in jeopardy. They can also tell you your rights, often reminding you that you need not answer anything without their presence.
Will They Be Handling Your Case?
The initiative is something that you should look for in an attorney. The best defense attorney will tell you upfront that they’ll handle the case personally. This is important because most hand-down cases to their underlings or juniors.
How Enthusiastic Are They?
The last thing you should look for is enthusiasm. Gauge their enthusiasm upon hearing about your case.
Any doubt in their facial expression may be a sign of unfamiliarity with the case. This can impact how the case proceeds as they may have hesitations along the way.
Enthusiasm means they understand the case thoroughly. This is important as different states handle criminal cases differently. Florida, for instance, has different methods of proving theft in their courts.