Were you recently charged with a criminal offense? The number of people who have received prison sentences has nearly tripled over the last 30 years. If you’re facing charges, it’s important to hire a federal defense lawyer right away.
Their experience and expertise could help you avoid facing jail time or a serious fine. They could reduce your charges, impacting your future. Trying to face a case alone, however, could prove costly.
Don’t risk it. Instead, use these seven tips before hiring an attorney.
With these tips, you can find the best defense attorney for your case. They’ll fight with your best interests in mind.
Start your search for a qualified lawyer with these tips today.
1. The Right Specialty
Before hiring a lawyer, take a moment to consider your specific needs. What type of charges are you facing?
Criminal charges are categories between violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Each charge comes with its own list of charges.
For example, violations can include trespassing, unlawful possession of drugs, or disorderly conduct. You could face up to 15 days in jail if charged with a violation.
Misdemeanors are separated between Class A, B, and Unclassified cases. These cases can include graffiti or prostitution.
Felonies are far more serious. They can include arson, murder, or rape. You could get jailed for life without help from a qualified defense attorney.
Determine what type of charges you’re facing, such as:
- Driving under the influence
- Drug crimes
- Sex crimes
- Violent crimes
- Domestic violence crimes
Then, look for a law firm that specializes in your type of case.
There are now over 642,000 lawyers throughout the US. Focusing on a specific specialty will help you narrow down your options. You can focus on finding a lawyer with expertise that’s relevant to your situation.
They’ll have a better understanding of the laws and procedures that are relevant to your case.
Start your search by visiting your local bar association website. Check the Martindale-Hubbell law firm directory, too. If you need a credit defense lawyer for financial justice, start here: https://financialjusticenow.com/.
Then, you can make a list of lawyers to vet further.
2. Years of Experience
Once you have a list of lawyers to research, look into their professional history.
First, determine how long each lawyer has practiced law. Make sure their license is up-to-date, too. Confirm that their license is relevant to the state you’re in.
Make sure the lawyer you hire has experience practicing in your state.
Hiring a lawyer with years of hands-on experience is essential if you want to reduce your charges or get them dropped. These lawyers can use their previous case experience when building your defense.
Determine how many cases each defense lawyer has handled over the years. Consider how many of those cases were similar to yours, too. Make sure their experience and expertise will benefit your case.
Make sure each lawyer on your list has years of experience handling themselves in a courtroom, too.
Some lawyers are nervous about trying a case in front of a judge and jury. These lawyers might accept a plea deal on your behalf to avoid a trial. Unfortunately, these lawyers won’t have your best interests in mind.
Instead, focus on hiring an attorney who understands your goals and will fight at your side every step of the way.
3. A Strong Reputation
If you want to find the best defense lawyer in town, learn from the people who were once in your position. Start by reading client reviews. Check each lawyer’s Better Business Bureau and Google My Business listing.
You can also ask each lawyer if you can speak with some of their recent clients.
Ask each client about their experience working alongside the attorney. Were they satisfied with the outcome of their case? Was the lawyer professional and capable?
Look for a lawyer who already has a strong reputation. You’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve chosen a lawyer others trusted in the past.
4. A Telling Track Record
It’s not enough to find a lawyer other people trust, though. You also need to make sure they’re capable of meeting your goals. Ask each lawyer on your list about their track record.
First, determine how many cases they’ve won versus lost overall. Then, ask about the cases they’ve handled that were similar to yours. How many of those cases did they win for their clients?
What was the outcome for those cases?
Learning about their track record and case history can help you make a more informed decision. You can find a lawyer capable of meeting your needs and goals. You can also ask their help to find inmate bond info if this is needed.
If they have a history of failing their clients, scratch that lawyer off your list. Choose someone capable of fighting at your side.
Before making your final decision, ask each lawyer about their current caseload. How many cases are they juggling at the moment? If they’re busy, they might fail to make time for your case.
They might miss deadlines that could impact the outcome of your case.
Make sure they won’t hand you off to a junior lawyer at their law firm. Instead, choose a lawyer who is available to help.
6. Strong Communication Skills
You can learn more about each lawyer by scheduling a consultation appointment. Discuss the specifics of your case. Ask how they would handle the situation moving forward.
Look for a lawyer who speaks clearly and concisely. You’ll need someone with strong communication skills.
7. The Right Price
Ask at least three lawyers on your list about their fee structure. Determine how they calculate their pricing, too. Some lawyers work based on a fixed or hourly rate.
Make sure you can afford their services before hiring an attorney.
Make Your Case: 7 Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Defense Lawyer
Finding the right defense lawyer doesn’t have to feel like a hassle. Instead, use these tips during your search. Prioritizing these factors will make hiring a lawyer easier in the long run.
You’ll have peace of mind knowing a capable attorney is at your side.
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