Hopefully, you will be able to go through your entire life without requiring the services of a criminal defense attorney. However, if the day should come when you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense, the knowledge and experience of your attorney could be the only thing standing between you and a lengthy jail term. This is why the selection process for a criminal defense lawyer is so important. You shouldn’t just hire the first lawyer you come across in the phone book. You must take your time and do some research about what each of the criminal defense lawyers in your area bring to the table. Only then will you be able to make an educated decision. Here is how to choose a good defense attorney.
1. Track record
The first thing you will need to do in your search for a criminal defense lawyer is to investigate the track records of the attorneys you are considering hiring. How have their past cases gone? How many cases have they won and lost? This information will give you a good idea about what you can expect from a performance standpoint. If you are satisfied with the results for this part of the investigation, you can proceed on to the next step.
2. Schedule an appointment
If you think a lawyer might be good enough to defend you, the next step is to meet him or her in person. This will not cost you any money because the vast majority of lawyers offer a free initial consultation. During this meeting, you will discuss your case with the lawyer. He or she will talk about your odds of getting acquitted, as well as a possible defense strategy. You should be using this time to get a feel for the attorney in order to determine if he or she is right for you.
3. Shop around
As with many other things in life, you should schedule consultations with many different lawyers just to keep your options open. Since all of these meetings are totally free, you have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain.
4. You will get what you pay for
Criminal legal defense is not something that you should be cheap about, especially if the charges against you are severe. If you choose a lawyer just because he or she does not charge a lot, you are playing Russian roulette with your future.