Most people know that hiring a defense attorney once charged with a crime is the best course of action. But the lawyer you hire will make the difference between winning and losing a case. So how can you be sure you’re hiring the best lawyer for your case?
Every lawyer will have their strengths and areas of expertise, and it’s up to you to sort them out and find the one best equipped for your needs. But many factors determine whether or not an attorney is a good match for you, and they can be confusing if you’ve never hired a lawyer before. Do you know how to avoid this unnecessary frustration in an already stressful time?
There’s no silver bullet to picking the perfect lawyer, but there is expert advice that will help you make an informed decision. We’ve outlined a five-step process to choosing the right criminal defense lawyer for you. By focusing on these areas, you can eliminate many of the headaches and much of the uncertainty that can come with hiring an attorney. So if you’re ready to simplify the process and make the right decision, keep reading.
1. Define Your Needs
The first thing you should focus on is defining what kind of criminal defense attorney services meet your needs. Not every criminal defense lawyer will specialize in the field relevant to your case. So, before you start your search, you need to zero in on what you want from your lawyer.
For example, you may need a lawyer that also specializes in family law if you’re facing domestic assault charges or an Alabama criminal lawyer if there’s any possibility that you’ll face federal charges as well. Take some time to create a list of criminal offenses that you may be charged with, and research the corresponding criminal defense attorney services that you’ll need.
If you don’t understand all of your charges, you should bring that up when you’re interviewing lawyers. Any attorney you speak with will help you make sense of your circumstances and let you know if their firm can help. Between your brainstorming and interviews, you should have a clear picture of what you need from an attorney.
2. Define Your Criteria
While your personal needs for choosing a lawyer is important, you should also consider more objective factors. Consider things like costs and location when searching for an attorney. For example, if one lawyer charges more than another but is more proficient,, or more experienced, he or she may provide superior services.
However, it would be best to consider your costs as well. For example, if your ideal lawyer lives several miles away, can you afford to travel back and forth to see them or make the time for meetings? If not, can they assist you with virtual meetings? Striking a balance between experience, budget, location, and other variables should factor into your decision.
3. Have a Consultation
There’s no substitute for a face to face consultation. Sit and talk with a lawyer that you have found or that was recommended to you.
Your lawyer should give you an honest evaluation of your case based on the facts provided and be able to provide a firm procedural road map for your case. Your lawyer should understand the personalities of judges, prosecutors, and administrative staff that with whom you will interact.
Your lawyer should have an understanding of the law surrounding your concerns and should be able to explain the likely outcomes in your case as well as best and worst case scenarios.
4. Ask for Referrals
There’s no such thing as doing too much research. A lawyer will always try to paint themselves in the best light when you inquire, and online reviews aren’t always reliable. So rather than treat either of these sources as absolute truths, you can get even more accuracy by seeking out referrals.
It’s not uncommon for attorneys to refer to other lawyers when asked. Referrals can be beneficial if you’re overwhelmed by the search or simply have trouble finding someone who meets your criteria. Of course, once you have a referral, be sure to research their background to confirm that it’s a good match.
5. Look At Their Success Record
Just because someone is a lawyer doesn’t mean they’re skilled. While it’s true that becoming a lawyer requires years of hard work, study, and dedication, those things alone don’t guarantee success. That’s why it’s vital to look at a lawyer’s win/loss record, especially with cases similar to your own.
Winning and losing is relative. Sometimes a conviction for a lesser charge is a big win. A well-negotiated plea agreement, or trial ending in “not guilty” are both good results, depending on circumstances. Be sure your lawyer is taking into account all of your concerns and staying focused on getting you the best result possible.
You Can Count on Brackin Law Firm
It’s incredibly stressful to face criminal charges, and the pressure you feel about hiring the right lawyer can make it even worse. It’s tempting to rush the process just to get it over with, but doing so could be a huge mistake. Instead, you need a lawyer who understands what you’re going through and will give you the best legal services possible.
That’s precisely what we do at Brackin Law Firm.
For over 35 years, we’ve helped the people of Baldwin County with their criminal defense, personal injury, road accident, family law, elder law, ejectment, eviction, and estate planning needs. So let us put our expertise to work for you. Contact us today for a case evaluation and put your mind at ease.