A criminal charge can have profound and lasting consequences, such as having to explain a criminal record to future potential employers. Certain convictions, such as felonies, also entail longer sentences, as well as the loss of certain freedoms. For instance, convicted felons cannot access or own firearms.
If you’re facing a criminal charge, particularly a felony, you need to have the right criminal lawyer on your side. You want to hire someone that will fight for your rights and have your sentence reduced, if possible.
Here’s what to consider when you start your search and what questions to ask a criminal lawyer to ensure you find the best fit for your case.
Find Someone With Experience
You want someone on your side that can navigate and walk you through the court process. Ask your lawyer if they specialize in criminal law or if they have a great deal of experience in this area. See if they’re currently working on any cases similar to your case or if they have in the past.
It’s best to focus on a specialty lawyer for your criminal defense case.
Prentiss Felony Defense, for instance, will fight for your rights in a felony case.
A veteran criminal defense lawyer knows how to fight for you, they know the latest changes in the law, and they’ll know what to do and say for the best outcome.
Ask About Their Fee Structure
Before you seek legal help, you need to understand how your lawyer will bill you. They should be upfront about pricing and fees, so you can plan and budget.
Draw up a contract at the beginning of the case with clearly stated terms regarding payment. If you’re using a payment plan, the terms for the plan should be clear to you.
Some lawyers bill by the hour, while others offer a flat fee.
Their pricing should be competitive as well. Avoid suspiciously low rates, as it may indicate an attorney with a bad reputation or one that plans on tacking on hidden fees.
See if Your Lawyer Has Time for Your Case
Ask your lawyer about their caseload before you hire them. You want them to have enough time to thoroughly investigate the details of your case and tailor a winning strategy.
You don’t want to hire an attorney with a heavy caseload, as they may not have enough time to dedicate to you.
Your attorney should have enough time to interview witnesses, hear your side of the story, go through police reports, etc.
Finding a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you use these tips and speak with your criminal defense lawyer, you should be able to find someone that can take your case and fight for the best possible outcome. The sooner you find a lawyer, the sooner you can work on your case, so start your search now.
Legal issues can get complicated, but we cover a variety of law topics on our blog. Read some of our other posts to brush up on all law-related matters.
Andrea Parker is a reporter for Zobuz. She previously worked at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Andrea is based in NYC and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe coffee addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.