12 Tips On How to Choose The Right Criminal Lawyer for Your Case
Choosing the right criminal lawyer can be a daunting process, particularly for those people who have never dealt with the criminal justice system before. Typically, lawyers are trained to be persuasive but unfortunately, some spoil the name of the profession for being unethical in their pursuits. Simply put, hiring a criminal lawyer can be downright overwhelming, because it is both costly and your freedom is at risk. Before contracting the services of an attorney, there are several things that you must to know.
1) Do background research
Before spending lots of money on an attorney, you should research the names on your shortlist thoroughly. As a buyer, you should beware of what you are getting yourself into regardless of whether someone recommends an attorney as “good” or not.
Find out how many open cases a lawyer is handling and how many times of the week he or she is scheduled to appear in court. A lawyer with a heavy case load may not have enough time to attend to your case properly. Look for an attorney with less work load, particularly if your case requires plenty of attention. Additionally, find out whether an attorney has enough experience regardless of his or her appearance
2) Use your intuition
You should always trust your gut feeling when selecting an attorney for your case. A lawyer who promises heaven should be compelled to do so in writing. Is the lawyer likable? Can you trust him or her to handle your case? Or is he or she telling you what you want to hear? These are some of the questions you need to answer. Avoid lawyers who engage in scare tactics, rather use prospective questions to find out more about the candidate you want to hire. Above all, use your intuition to make the right decisions.
3) Find an ethical attorney
Avoid an attorney who proclaims that he or she has a relationship with the judge and can influence the outcome of your case. Such a lawyer may not be able to represent you fully, because his loyalties lie with the judge or with the prosecutor.
4) Ask for a written contract
Before engaging the services of a lawyer, ensure that you have a written fee agreement down. The contract should detail all the fees required to see you through the entire case. Having a written contract ensures that a lawyer will not demand for more money during the key stages of the case. The agreement should detail the expenses incurred during the case and payment of all schedules.
5) Cheap is expensive
If you value your freedom, then you should hire a quality lawyer to handle your case even if it means paying more for the services. Hiring a cheap lawyer can be counterproductive; as such a person may fail to help you win your case. Once you’ve answered the question that you need a lawyer, you can then use the services of LegalMatch.com to find the right lawyer in a fast and secure way. Through LegalMatch.com you can present your case online for attorneys’ to look at, and then assess lawyer feedback, credentials and experience at your own convenience.
6) Look for an attorney that suits your needs
A lawyer that suits your needs has to be licensed in your state; luckily LegalMatch.com indicates which state an attorney is licensed. Secondly, the lawyer that meets your needs has to be a specialist in his or her practice area. LegalMatch.com matches clients with specialists or generalists lawyers as per their needs. Thirdly, you need to find an attorney that suits your budget. The good thing about LegalMatch.com is that it asks all lawyers on its database to breakdown their charges, so as to make it easy for clients to compare the best rates. Legal match makes choosing a lawyer quick and easy. Simply present your case forward, attorneys’ interested will comment about your case and argue why they are the best to handle it.
7) Be careful when reading legal advertisements
Most reputable lawyers do not advertise their services on Yellow Pages or newspapers. Do not use the size of ad to gauge whether a lawyer has quality or not. Doing some background research on an attorney is what you need to do. Fortunately, LegalMatch.com has profiles of lawyers with their qualifications and experience to help you choose those that meet your needs.
8) Consider your options
Check the profiles of several lawyers before selecting one. You need to find an honest and hardworking individual that has all your interests at heart. Ensure that you review the feedback of lawyers on your LegalMatch.com homepage first before selecting the right one.
9) Hire a trial lawyer
Hire a trial lawyer with considerable experience to ensure that you get a speedy resolution even if the case does proceeds to the jury. Criminal lawyers with no jury experience may fail to represent you properly should your case referred to the jury. You should therefore consider hiring trial lawyers with enough jury experience.
10) Do your homework
Ask for references to ensure you are hiring the right criminal lawyer. Look at the number and results of cases a lawyer has handled. Use the court records to verify whether what a lawyer is telling is the truth or not. If an attorney fails to provide you with a list of references, then don’t engage him or her any more
11) Hire experienced lawyers for serious criminal charges
Serious criminal charges require highly skilled and experienced criminal lawyers. If you are charged with a serious offense, then you have to look for the best lawyer to represent you. Some of questions to determine if a lawyer is serious and experienced include: how many jury trials has the lawyer been involved with? How many cases has the lawyer won? Does the layer deal with criminal appeal? Has lawyer ever represented a client in the federal court? Is the lawyer analytical and persuasive? Etc.
12) Check independent References
The number one independent rating service for attorneys is martindale.com. Ask a criminal lawyer whether he or she is listed on the rating service.
Here is a brief explanation of the Martindale rating service process:
The rating service evaluates attorneys’ and law firms in the US and Canada by factoring in the opinions of the members of judiciary and members admitted to the Bar. Personal interviews are conducted to collect opinions used in the rating system. Additionally, online surveys or paper review sheets are sent to lawyers to collect more information. Lawyers are judged on their legal ability and ethical standards. Lawyers are rated by the system after five year of being admitted to the bar. Suspended lawyers have their Martindale ratings removed. Lastly, all Martindale ratings are completely confidential and lawyers are asked to provide honest assessments of their contemporaries.