If you've been accused of a criminal offense, no matter how minor or severe it is in nature, you'll want legal help on your side. Who you choose to represent you at this time is critical, as the wrong attorney could jeopardize your chances of successfully fighting the allegations that have been made against you.
Knowing what questions to ask and what to look for during your search can help you find the right attorney for your case. Before you start your hunt, review the questions below. Implementing these strategies into your search could help lead you to the lawyer best suited to represent your case.
Questions You Need to Ask Before Hiring Your Lawyer
How much experience do you have?
When your future and freedoms are on the line, you don't want an inexperienced lawyer handling your case. Now is not the time to take a chance on a newly licensed attorney, nor is it the time to test your luck with a court-appointed public defender. An experienced, seasoned defense attorney will be better able to challenge your charges, as they've had time to develop proven strategies with successful results.
Who will be handling my case?
It may seem like a silly question, however, it's not uncommon for a large law firm to pass off your case to another attorney or paralegal at the firm. You cannot safely assume the lawyer you first speak with will be the same lawyer who ultimately handles your case. Asking who will represent you throughout the duration of your case is not out of line, and the answer you receive might surprise you.
How much of your practice is devoted to criminal defense?
It's not uncommon for a lawyer to practice more than one type of law. It's not bad, either. What you need to be paying attention to, however, is how much of the attorney's practice is dedicated to this area of law. For example, someone who primarily handles estate litigation and only takes on criminal cases every now and then may not be your best choice for representation. Look for an attorney who has dedicated a large percentage of his or her practice to criminal defense, as these are the legal professionals who will be most familiar with the current laws and regulations regarding your case.
How familiar are you with the local court system?
Often overlooked, this is one of the most important questions you'll ask any attorney you potentially hire. Why? Local lawyers who regularly practice in a particular jurisdiction are more likely to be familiar with the prosecutors and judges who frequent these courts. Knowing how a certain judge approaches DUI cases, for example, can be helpful when preparing a defense for this type of case.
You Can't Afford to Wait. Contact Our Columbia Criminal Defense Lawyer for Help.
In the wake of an arrest, there's no time to waste. Aligning yourself with a proven criminal defense lawyer is crucial, and the faster you do so, the better. For immediate legal help, contact us at Masella Law Firm, P.A.