When you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is time to look into hiring a criminal defense attorney. Your attorney will be the person working with your best interest in mind, and their work can be invaluable for someone looking at serving serious prison time. Everyone accused of a crime has a legal right to representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, one can be appointed to you by the local public defender.
Where to Start
You can start searching for a criminal defense attorney by contacting any attorneys you have used in the recent past. Even if your prior attorney represented you under different circumstances, there’s a good chance he or she will know of highly skilled criminal defense attorneys in your area.
Another place to find references for respected criminal defense attorneys is through word of mouth from family and friends. You can even ask for a Spanish criminal lawyer near me.
What to Ask
It would be wise to interview multiple criminal defense attorneys, so you should be prepared to ask each candidate the same questions and then compare their answers. You should hire whichever attorney’s answers best fit your needs.
Before meeting with an attorney, be aware of their fee for initial consultations and how they bill. Specifically, determine whether they bill by the hour or charge a flat fee. During the meeting, find out if the attorney has ever handled a case similar to yours and how long he or she has been practicing law. Further, find out what the outcomes of similar cases were. If the outcomes were unfavorable, you may want to remove this attorney from your list of potential candidates. Lastly, you should ascertain how long the attorney would expect your criminal case to last.
Immediately eliminate any attorneys you interviewed with no experience on cases similar to your own. Taking chances on your freedom with inexperienced attorneys is not advisable. Trust your gut instinct and go with an attorney you feel comfortable around, and who you can afford to pay.
There are many things to stress about when you are charged with a crime, so find a criminal defense attorney to assuage your worries and fight for your best interest. Rest assured, if you cannot afford to hire a private criminal defense attorney, one will be appointed to you by your local public defender’s office.