So, you need a criminal defense lawyer?
Maybe you slipped up. Perhaps you are innocent.
Regardless of your situation you need to know the law, or you need to know someone who does.
You need to find the right criminal defense attorney.
Most people don’t know this but, in many ways finding the right attorney is like finding the right employee.
It may take a bit of work, but rest assured, taking the extra time to hire the right lawyer can make all the difference.
This go-to guide of hiring an attorney will help you find the right lawyer, best of all it includes the secret tips no one else will talk about.
When looking for an attorney, the first thing you need to ask yourself is…
If you are strapped for cash, fortunately there is a solution. Thanks to the decision in the case of Gideon v. Wainwright, the state is required to offer a public defender to those that can not afford representation.
We all hear the horror stories of working with a public defender. Of course, there is an obvious conflict of interest in being represented by an attorney who is being paid by the same state which is paying the prosecutor. But truly it doesn’t have to be that bad.
If you are strapped for cash, and don’t feel safe representing yourself, a public defender may be the only way to go. But for that information you will need to read the post on How to Work With a Public Defender.
A good lawyer doesn’t have to be expensive, and if you have no choice but hire an attorney on a budget, you should still use the tips in this guide. But here is an additional tool for finding lawyers on a budget, LawHelp.org.
If you have a job, or are able to pay a bit more for the right criminal defense attorney, you will want to hire the best!
But how can you find the best attorney, without wasting your time or money?
These 7 steps will get you started.
The first step to finding an attorney is simple. Find an attorney that seems like a suitable candidate. This is where many people who are in a rush to find an attorney end things. But you want to hire the right lawyer. You need to go above and beyond.
That’s right. You have to treat hiring an attorney just like hiring any other employee. Conducting an interview with an attorney, or law firm is a crucial step to hiring the right lawyer.
Conducting an interview with any lawyer you intend to hire can save you a world of headache down the road. So what questions should you be asking a prospective lawyer?
Asking these questions during an in person or phone interview is a solid start to finding the right lawyer to represent you.
It’s true, interviewing one lawyer is hard enough. The stress of a pending criminal charge can be bad enough, and it can be tempting to hire the very first lawyer you met. But, you probably shouldn’t.
Here’s the deal, finding the right lawyer may be a huge stress reliever down he road. Finding the right lawyer, who can protect you with the law properly, can be a huge help as the proceedings go forward. The more lawyers you take the time to interview, the better equipped you will be to choose the best one.
Additionally, conducting interviews with multiple attorney’s will help you get a better grasp and understanding about what you need to be looking for in an attorney.
Lawyers are people too, and like other folks they may have a criminal history themselves. Even more important, lawyers are also subject to the bar and may have a history of misconduct. This misconduct may have been reported to their dispensary agency.
Tip 1: You can conduct a background check, on any attorneys history with their disciplinary agency by visiting the American Bar Association’s Directory of Disciplinary Agencies.
Tip 2: Even better, you can find peer reviews on attorneys at Martindale.com.
Tip 3: Go beyond and consult other lawyers about your candidates reputation. Obviously you will have to take a competing attorneys claims with a grain of salt, but lawyers typically know the reputation, and competence of other attorneys in their local area.
Here is a secret most most people don’t take into consideration. This is an advanced step that can take a bit of time, but may be worth it in the end.
It’s no secret, most attorneys are friends with one another. This can mean that your prospective lawyer may be friends with the prosecutor. This may not always mean a conflict of interest, but if your attorney is better friends with the prosecutor than you, he may be more apt to agree with the prosecutor than to protect your interests.
If you see that your attorney is friends with the prosecution or they regularly hang out. You may want to confront your prospective lawyer about this possible conflict of interest.
You can also avoid this type of conflict of interest by hiring a lawyer from out of town. But of course this will likley raise the cost of your defense.
Additionally, the friendship between your attorney and the prosecutor may not always be a bad thing. But it is something your should consider.
The more you know, and the more informed the decisions you make, the better off you will be. Here is some interesting content to help you learn more…
Check out these pro tips on how to avoid a bad lawyer.
Yes, your lawyer is the legal professional. They should be knowledgeable at law. But like everyone else attorneys are human, and can’t possibly know everything. If you take the time to research the law, you may be able to help your attorney keep your case on the “right side” of the courthouse. After all, you are likley not your attorneys only client, and unfortunately your case may not get all of the attention it deserves. No matter who you hire.
One great tool for learning the law on your own is HowToWinInCourt.com
With the tools offered by Jurisdictionary, you can theoretically represent yourself. But, it is also a great tool to teach you about how the court system works, and how to make it work for you. It is truly a great tool.
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