Criminal cases are unlike domestic issues that can be forgotten or swept under the carpet. In criminal cases, rules, procedures, and processes guide each stage, from arrests to sentencing and appeals. Accused persons have a right to a criminal defense lawyer to represent them in court.
In many cases, the choice of a criminal defense lawyer contributes to the case’s outcome. Many defendants want to hire experienced attorneys like Sean Fagan, Criminal Defence Lawyer but do not know how to find them. This article goes over the important tips for finding the right criminal defense attorney for your case.
What to look for in a criminal defense lawyer;
- Criminal law experience and expertise
- Years of practice experience
- Transparent fee structure
- Courtroom and appeal experience
Criminal law experience and expertise
When hiring a criminal lawyer, you’re better off speaking to a legal practitioner with criminal law experience, specifically in the area wherein your case lies. For example, a DUI lawyer is perfect for all DUI cases but may not be the best option for a manslaughter case.
Before hiring your criminal defense lawyer, ask them about their practice area or expertise. Doing this helps you understand where the lawyer’s strength lies and whether they are the perfect fit for your case. Remember that the more experienced the attorney is, the better the chances of delivering solid legal representation in your case.
Also, note that some lawyers may not exclusively practice in some areas. This means that such lawyers may combine different practice areas into one. You can ask about their experience handling cases similar to yours and the case outcomes to weed out the unwanted options.
Years of practice experience
One of the most important factors when hiring a lawyer is their years of practice experience. The number of cases they’ve handled and won within those years also matters. A criminal lawyer with several years of experience is most likely to have seen it all, thus preparing them for all eventualities that may happen down the road.
You can also judge an experienced lawyer based on their success record. Most experienced lawyers always aim to have a higher number of positive records as this improves their client’s confidence in their services. By choosing an experienced lawyer, you can rest assured that they will walk you through all aspects of your case and deliver a better level of representation.
Transparent fee structure
Criminal defense doesn’t come cheap in most cases. However, it is best to know what your lawyer will charge for their services. As part of the hiring checks, you should ask your criminal lawyer what their legal service fees are. You should also ask what other fees will be charged as part of the services rendered.
Getting an honest and transparent breakdown of the legal fees can give you an idea of whether you can afford such a lawyer or not. You can easily move on to the next best attorney whose prices and fees are reasonable and within your budget.
However, if you must hire an expensive attorney you cannot readily afford, ask whether they offer financing or payment plans to help break the cost into smaller bits. Some law firms offer payment plans to their clients, enabling them to enjoy quality legal services by spreading payment over an agreed period.
Courtroom and appeal experience
Not all lawyers have courtroom or appeal experience. As a criminal defendant, you’re better off hiring a lawyer with extensive courtroom experience. When hiring, ask if your lawyer has been in court and how comfortable they are representing clients in court. You should also ask about their experience trying cases in court and the case outcomes.
The case outcomes give you a general overview of how the lawyer does in court, whether they are exceptional, average, or below average. An attorney with an exceptional trial record inspires confidence and puts your mind at rest.
One of the best ways to get a good criminal defense lawyer is through referrals. Referrals are like word-of-mouth recommendations from people who have tried such attorney’s services or those who respect their experience and expertise.
You can seek referrals and recommendations from friends, family members, neighbors, or colleagues. You can even ask your existing lawyer for referrals. It is important to note that referrals are not enough to hire a criminal lawyer; you should conduct in-depth research into each recommendation.
While conducting your research, focus on important factors like years of experience, practice areas, reviews from past clients, awards and professional affiliations, case wins, free consultation services, etc.
A lawyer’s reputation says a lot about them and can influence your case and its outcome. Experienced and aggressive lawyers with a track record of winning cases are more likely to give you a confidence boost and improve your case outcomes. When hiring, look for lawyers with good reputations in and out of court.
Following the tips above will improve your chances of hiring a good lawyer for your case. With a good lawyer in your corner, you can enjoy improved legal services and an overall favorable case outcome.