Are you being accused of a crime? Whatever the allegations against you, be they driving under the influence (DUI)/driving while intoxicated (DWI) or assault and battery, you have to undergo the criminal process to determine what the final verdict would be. Drunk driving may be a far cry from robbery and embezzlement or even manslaughter and homicide, but it still boils down to you being charged with a crime.
When faced with criminal charges, whether felonies or misdemeanors, the first step to take is to hire a lawyer who specializes in criminal cases instead of civil ones. If this is your first time being charged with a criminal offense, you probably won’t have a defense attorney among your existing contacts. In this case, you can ask your current lawyer to refer you to a good criminal lawyer.
Many criminal lawyers choose to work in smaller law firms if not independently, and they typically practice in a limited geographic area. Criminal defense attorneys also tend not to have regular clients to work with, with one-time legal representation understandably being the ideal scenario.
Some private criminal defense lawyers come from being public defenders, while others previously worked as prosecutors. Both backgrounds can offer an advantage. It’s best to do your due diligence and see what your prospects’ records have to say about them.
What to Look for in a Defense Lawyer
There’s more to the credentials of a criminal law attorney than knowledge of criminal defense law. There’s also more to the performance of a trial attorney than courtroom prowess. What makes a lawyer the right pick for you?
The best lawyers to choose from are those who have worked a criminal case similar to yours or who have represented defendants facing the same felony charges. Criminal law covers a wide and varied area. The criminal defense strategy used in a murder case would greatly differ from that used in a fraud case, although both involve criminal offenses. Fortunately, most criminal trial lawyers would meet with a potential client for a free consultation. While it is mainly for case evaluation, you can also use the time to inquire about their experience. Be leery of vague answers. Most certainly, you can find another trial lawyer who can respond more clearly.
Your criminal attorney should not only be familiar with the criminal laws that apply to your case, but also with the court system in the criminal court where it will be heard. This is important because procedures and rules are often specific and may vary from court to court. For this reason, you really want your criminal defense lawyer to be local with local connections and local influence. You want your criminal defense attorney to be cognizant of the different district attorneys’ prosecuting styles and be able to anticipate how a prosecutor will attack a case. This way, he or she can have accurate expectations from a plea bargain and the district attorney’s willingness to negotiate and strike a deal. Such legal counsel will also know the local officers of the area, resulting in insight as to their credibility. This would guide your lawyer in attacking their testimony and finding the prosecution’s weak points.
A defense law firm may have an impeccable reputation, but if its lawyers don’t inspire your trust and confidence, it’s not the right fit. You need to be comfortable with the people with whom you’re navigating the criminal justice system and trusting to defend your constitutional rights. Perhaps you feel that they won’t let you be an equal partner in making decisions and defending the charges against you? Could it be that they failed to make you understand the legal system? Instinct comes into play as well. Pick a lawyer who will truly fight for you and your legal rights.
Need to Mount the Best Defense? Find the Right Defense Counsel Today!
It’s important to engage an excellent criminal defense law firm to avoid a conviction and its accompanying punishment, especially if the alleged offender is actually innocent. The gravity of the penalties may involve fines, jail time, and a criminal record. For this reason, it’s important to hire an attorney with extensive experience.
Are you or a loved one facing criminal charges? Keep the above considerations in mind as you scour the local lawyers association for appropriate legal counsel. A criminal defense firm can help with cases involving drug crimes, violent crimes, sex crimes, white-collar crimes, etc.
For increased chances at the most favorable, best possible outcome, it’s important to approach the right law practice. If you need a lawyer who will tirelessly work to defend you, call the Law Offices of Marc Grossman to schedule a free consultation.