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Qualities to look for when hiring a criminal defense attorney

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Are you looking for an attorney, but they all say the same things and provide the same general information? When a potential client calls an attorney, the attorney cannot give specific guidance without reviewing the case file and the factual basis for the allegations. The best the attorney can do is make educated guesses based upon the charges, the information the client provides, and the publicly available information on PACER or Etrack.

How should a client decide which lawyer is right for them?

A lawyer is right for a client when the client feels that the lawyer takes the time to listen to the client’s goals and issues. The lawyer must consider all aspects of a case and if they are completely unwilling to consider the client’s recollection, opinions, or background in developing a strategy, then they are not going to be a good fit for that client. The Lawyer must also explain the law and the application of the law in a way that allows the client to understand why certain things are happening in the case and what is the best strategy for resolution.

What kind of experience should the Lawyer have for the case?

Even an experienced lawyer cannot say they have handled the exact same case as the case of a potential new client. Each case is different and requires a unique approach. A technique that worked in one case may not work in the client’s case. Each lawyer should demonstrate a working knowledge of the charges, the law, and the ability to conduct research into novel issues as needed. No number of past cases will make up for doing the real work on the case of this new client and treating it with the utmost care.

What kind of fees should I expect?

All private attorneys must charge you a fee for their services. The client needs to be honest about what they can afford and what kind of payment arrangement they can follow. I personally structure each case so that the clients can have representation at a reasonable installment structure. I never charge a client for a scope that has not started, and I always work with the client’s unique circumstances. Be honest with your attorney about your ability to pay, if they simply cannot take the case due to the inability to pay the attorney will tell the client.