Lawyers come in all varieties. You can hire a medical malpractice attorney if you’ve been prescribed the wrong medication, or you can hire a personal injury attorney if you have been badly injured in a traffic accident. But if you’re facing a criminal charge, you need to hire one of the top-notch criminal lawyers near you.
According to a new law article, the best time to hire a criminal defense lawyer is when you or one of your family members is facing a criminal charge. A reputable criminal lawyer’s job is to defend you in court, and they can navigate the “intricacies of criminal law.”
A decent criminal lawyer can save you from serving a jail sentence for a crime you did not commit. They will also strive to get you a fair trial where you may walk away a free man or woman.
You don’t want to seek the cheapest criminal defense attorney. Instead, don’t think about money. Concentrate instead on hiring someone who is the best at what they do. Your very freedom will depend on it. Finding someone you trust can be difficult, but the experts say the process is fairly straightforward so long as specific considerations are taken into account.
That said, here are just a few things you need to look for in a criminal lawyer.
A Criminal Lawyer Should Be Responsive
Most prosecutors will seek to put you in jail as soon as possible. This means you need a responsive lawyer willing to take on your case immediately, and they should be willing to meet you in a matter of hours, not days, once you contact them.
The legal team needs to be responsive to all phone calls and emails. You don’t want a lawyer who is non-responsive to your needs and/or too busy with a more high-profile case.
A Criminal Lawyer’s Specialty Should be Crime
Many general lawyers advertise that they practice criminal law. But lawyers specializing in criminal cases will be more adept at defending you in court. A specialist in criminal law has a better grasp of the court. He or she knows precisely what to ask, say, and do to not only prove your innocence but, possibly, have your case dropped entirely.
It’s best to seek out an attorney with at least three to five years of criminal law under their belt. It also helps if they have personal relationships with the judges and some of the more major politicians in your area.
Criminal Lawyers Need to have Experience with Local Courts
A lawyer specializing in criminal law isn’t enough; he needs to be experienced and familiar with the local court system. If your lawyer knows the courts like the back of his hand and the judge and jury, it can work to your advantage.
The criminal lawyer of your choosing should have built an excellent reputation and made the right connections and relationships to make your case easier to defend. The lawyer should know how the local courts work and the right strategies for winning a case with the judge and jury.
Always Seek Out a Reputable Criminal Lawyer
A criminal lawyer needs to be reputable and tough, not someone “the opposing counsel, can manipulate” to their advantage. Make a detailed check on the criminal lawyer’s reputation and get a sense of what other people say about him before contacting and hiring his firm.
In the 2020s, you can get much of this information by going online. Your State Bar Association makes it easy for anyone to make a detailed check on a criminal lawyer’s status. Look to see if they’ve experienced any formal disciplinary action. If they have, you might want to look at another lawyer.
Don’t skip on their social media presence. Take a good look at their Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages. Also, run a Google search on them. You should find enough information plus reviews and testimonials left by previous clients. Remember that many platforms don’t allow negative reviews to be removed.
A few negative reviews are perfectly okay since not every case will be a winner. But too many bad reviews should not only be cause for concern but a major red flag. In that case, continue your criminal lawyer search. Said again, your very freedom might depend on choosing the right one.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.