If you have been charged with a crime, then you know how difficult it is to find a good criminal defense lawyer-especially if you are doing it for the first time. In most cases, your criminal attorney is less likely to be the one that handled your will or DUI charge but rather one who is experienced in criminal defense. The greatest challenge that people face when searching for criminal defense lawyers is the increasing number of criminal defense law firms making it almost next to impossible to narrow down on a single criminal defense law firm. The process of choosing the right attorney is vital when you have been charged with a crime. The search can get even more complicated depending on the nature of crime. Below are some few tips on what to look for when choosing a criminal defense attorney.
Experience With Crime Charges
In every profession, everything comes down to experience. Sometimes, criminal defense is a rigorous and tedious process that requires someone who understands everything there is to know about criminal law. Make sure that the criminal defense lawyer that you settle on has represented someone else charged with a crime-especially one that is similar to the criminal charges preferred against you. Currently, criminal law is a complex field which is why defense attorneys are specializing in specific subsets of the field. For example, there are those who specialize in DUI, drug-related offences and white collar crimes. During consultation, do not hold yourself back from inquiring about the field of specialization of your preferred lawyer. Make sure that this field is related to the offence you have committed or purported to have committed. Ask about approximately how many people the attorney has successfully defended in a court of law. This way, you can evaluate the possibility of success in your case.
The Personal Factor
In criminal law, be sure to hire an attorney who you are personally comfortable with. Under the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, you are at liberty to choose the lawyer you want to represent you. No matter how highly placed in the profession an attorney is, ensure that you can maintain an effective attorney-client relationship. This could be the tipping point to winning or losing the case. It is important to understand that whereas your attorney understands law more than you do, you are the employer. This means that the boundaries should be set from the beginning. Don’t try to hijack your attorney’s work or interfere with the process but also don’t allow to be shut out of the proceedings entirely. Always ask for updates or new developments regarding the case and at any point should you accept vague responses.
The Local Advantage
This is one of the most ignored factors by people who have been charged with a crime-failing to take advantage of the local experience. Always select an attorney who understands local jurisdiction as they are more likely to anticipate how the process will play out in the courtroom. Whereas criminal laws can be uniform in the entire state, the rules and procedures sometimes vary from one county to the other or from state to state. With this knowledge in mind, select a criminal defense attorney from the area where the alleged crime was committed. You will find that such attorneys have knowledge about which offences can have a plea-bargaining policy and which ones cannot be plea-bargained. Local lawyers also know the local prosecutors and will no doubt take to arrest the situation whenever necessary and this could work to your advantage.