(Newswire.net — May 16, 2017) — Hiring a criminal defense attorney is about the most important part of criminal defense. Selecting the right criminal defense attorney can be the difference between you being discharged or being convicted.
If it’s your first time of being charged with a crime, finding a good attorney to defend you might be a little hard – nobody wants to be jailed especially because they hired an incompetent lawyer to defend them.
The point I’m driving at is: it is critical you find a competent and reliable criminal defense attorney to defend you against your criminal charges. And the whole point of this article is to make it easier for you, and to make sure you get it right.
Hiring the right criminal defense attorney for you takes few simple steps, and here they are:
1. Determine whether you need a lawyer
The reasonable first step to hiring a criminal defense attorney is to determine whether you need a lawyer or not. This is however not something you can decide on your own; as soon as you’re charged with a crime, no matter how minor, seek legal advice.
That is, consult an attorney to discuss your case. Most criminal defense attorneys don’t charge a fee for the initial consultation, and you’re not obliged to hire any attorney you consult with, so you have nothing to lose.
You ideally want to use this consultation to understand the charges against you, the defenses available to you, and what next steps to take.
Basically, if it’s a minor charge you might not need an attorney. Anything more, and you should definitely hire for yourself a trusted criminal lawyer.
2. Federal attorney v. State attorney
Depending on the law you break, state or federal, you need to determine whether you’ll be hiring a state or federal attorney.
According to criminal lawyer Vikas Bajaj, “determining whether you broke a federal or state law is important because when you break a federal law (copyright, patent, etc) for example, you’ll be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s office.” This should necessarily encourage you to hire a criminal defense attorney that is more experienced in criminal defense, as cases involving federal law are more complex.
3. Find a specialist
Your search shouldn’t end with the initial consultant. You want to consult as many attorneys as possible, to find not just one you’re confident of, but who specializes in the area of defense you’re interested in – the area of law you’re charged under.
You can check up the State Bar Association in your state for recommendations of specialized criminal defense attorneys.
4. Ask questions
The best way to know if a criminal defense attorney is the perfect one for you is to ask several questions and look out for qualities you desire in his/her answers. You want to prepare ahead of time a list of questions you’d be asking during consultation.
Among other things, ask about their experience in the area of law you’re interested in, ask about fees from the outset to avoid any future conflicts, and then ask about his local knowledge of the jurisdiction of the court you’ll be going to.
Also ask about who exactly would be handling your case and other staff members that would be working on your case.
Once you’ve consulted and done your due diligence, and are convinced that the criminal defense attorney you chose is perfect for your case, take the relationship to the next level. Hire him/her and let your defense begin.
There are few things you should do after hiring an attorney for your criminal defense, to increase your chances of success in the case. Most have to do with the relationship between you and your attorney.
Firstly, you want to ensure you give your attorney enough room to do his job. While you might be tempted to have an input in your case, because your future depends on it, always remember that your lawyer is the expert, and the legal system is far more complex than you can handle. If you truly did your due diligence before hiring him/her, then you have nothing to worry about. Just relax and let the experts do their job.
Secondly, you want to have a good working relationship with your attorney to help them defend you to their best capacity. And this involves communicating openly, and being honest and never lying to your attorney.
With these 5 steps, you’ll never go wrong in hiring the perfect criminal defense attorney for your defense.