Facing a criminal charge can be scary and daunting as it can lead to you serving time in jail. Apart from that, it can also affect your personal and professional life negatively by staining your reputation, character, and future.
The criminal justice system is very complex, and the outcome of your trial can affect your freedom and future. This is why it is important that you find a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.
Finding the right attorney can be a daunting task, but here are some factors you should keep in mind when choosing your criminal defense attorney.
1. The attorney should be available
A criminal charge case is a time-sensitive case. Time is of the essence, and there is not a minute to lose which is why you need a criminal defense attorney who will get to work right away.
When you contact the attorney, they should respond immediately and set up a meeting within a day. If they are active and quick to respond when you contact them the first time, they are likely to be active and quick in defending you.
2. The attorney should specialize in criminal law
The best Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney is the one who specializes in criminal law. If you search on the attorney and find nothing related to criminal law, then they are not the right lawyer for you.
The more an attorney practices, the greater their experience is, and more chances of you winning the case.
3. Choose a local attorney
Choosing a local attorney is highly recommended. Local attorneys have connections and relationships with the judges that can go a long way.
If the judge knows the attorney and his reputation, then it may affect the outcome of the case and may even lessen your sentence. A local attorney will be aware of the courts and prosecutors, which can help them create an effective strategy for winning your case.
4. Do a background check on the internet
It is important that you research the attorney you plan to work on. You should do his background check and collect as much information as you can about them. The internet is a great source.
Make sure the attorney is verified and licensed to practice in your state. You can do so by visiting the state bar website. You can also visit the LinkedIn profile of the attorney. In order to know how well the attorney has performed in the past, you can check the client testimonials.
5. Ask for referrals
The best way to find the right attorney is to ask your friends and colleagues. They will have first-hand experience and can provide you with a lot of information about the attorney. They can share their experience and tell how it was like working with the attorney. They can tell you all the pros and cons of working with that attorney.
If you have previously used an attorney for another matter, you can also ask them to recommend you a criminal case attorney. The lawyer will look into his circle, contacts, and network to recommend you a good criminal case attorney.
6. The attorney should be knowledgeable
The attorney should know the basics of handling a criminal case without having to search it up. They should be well aware of all the related laws and should be able to explain to you the possible penalties that will be charged against you. They should be very familiar with the criminal justice system and know it inside and out.
7. Ask about the fee in advance
It is always a good idea to decide the fee structure beforehand and sign a written contract. The written contract should have all the details of the fee structure, what it includes and what it doesn’t.
All of this should be clearly written. There may be additional costs during the period of the trial, but a good attorney will be able to tell you a good estimate of what you should expect.
An expensive lawyer does not mean a good lawyer. The cost is the second most important thing to consider when it comes to choosing your criminal defense attorney. The first is their success rate, background check, and how comfortable you are with them.
8. Go for enthusiastic lawyers
Without a doubt, some lawyers work harder than others. And it is always a good idea to work with attorneys that are enthusiastic from the very first meeting.
The attorney should make decisions that are in your interest, like when to go to trial and when to accept a plea offer. They must be eager to work and represent you. They should be available at all times, and you should be able to contact them whenever you like.
9. Courtroom confidence
Criminal trials occur very quickly. The attorney usually has a few seconds to come up with an objection that could steer the session towards your interests. The attorney should have enough courtroom experience that he is confident and knows the court rules.
You can tell how confident an attorney is by how he responds to your questions during the consultation session. If the attorney is unable to respond to your questions properly, then he probably won’t be able to perform well in court either. The way they present themselves also tells a great deal about them. The attorney should be presentable in court and confident.
10. They involve you in the process
At the end of the day, the criminal charge is yours, and you are the one who has to suffer the consequences and sentences, which is why your say and opinion matter a lot. A good attorney will keep you on board and will allow you to make the big decisions yourself. Should you go to trial or plead guilty? That is for you to decide, and a good attorney will allow you to do so and respect your decisions.
Criminal charges are no joke, and there is a lot on the line. This is why it is very important that you find the right criminal defense attorney for yourself. For which you will have to do your homework, research online, and meet them in person before finalizing anything. You should work quickly as time is of the essence when it comes to criminal cases.
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