If you’ve been arrested and are being charged with a crime, you’ll need to hire a criminal defense attorney to help you deal with the legalities of your case. While all attorneys have the same basic training, they each have their own area of expertise.
Depending on your needs, one may be better than another in terms of representing you in court. The following do’s, and don’ts will help you narrow down your search to find the best possible attorney for your needs.
Do Meet Your Lawyer in Person
When you’ve found a lawyer who seems like a good fit, meet with them in person. This way, you can gauge your comfort level with their personality as well as their legal skills. After all, you will be spending hours, potentially even years, working closely together to solve your case.
It’s important that you feel comfortable having an open conversation with your lawyer. If they don’t make time for that, it may be an indication that they’re too busy and not willing to take on new clients.
Don’t Hire the Cheapest Attorney
Hiring an attorney who doesn’t have experience in your area of law can cost you in more ways than one. You’re taking out more risk than necessary when you hire on price alone. You could end up with a lawyer who has no idea how to tackle your case properly. It’s important that you do your research beforehand and find an attorney that fits both your budget and needs.
Do Ask For References and Recommendations
This one seems obvious, but it’s an important piece of advice. You’ll want to ask around, or do some online research, to see who has a reputation for being effective. Try searching online for attorney name + your city, or ask friends if they know anyone in your situation who had success with attorneys they recommend.
The lawyer you speak with shouldn’t pressure you into working with them. They should be willing to give you names and numbers if you’re interested in finding out more about specific attorneys in your area.
Don’t Go With the First Lawyer You Talk To
Don’t hire the fast lawyer you interact with when you begin your search. Get as many options as possible to increase your chances of getting a well-qualified lawyer who will have time to dedicate to your case.
Do Prepare For Legal Fees
Many attorneys will offer free consultations, but be prepared to pay if you hire them to represent you. A good lawyer is not cheap, so make sure you understand how much they’ll charge ahead of time. Will they take your case on contingency? What kind of information can you provide in advance that might help reduce legal fees? How soon should you start searching for an attorney?
Take some time to research potential attorneys before hiring one. You may even want to call around for initial consultations until you find one that really seems like they could be effective for your situation. Remember, an attorney who doesn’t have time for a consultation probably won’t have time for your case either.