Retaining a good criminal defense attorney is as essential as finding the right surgeon or contractor. Asking the right questions of a criminal defense attorney will help you find the most appropriate lawyer for you.
You can find a reputable criminal defense attorney by asking friends and family members or other attorneys. Once you have narrowed your list, be prepared to ask certain questions of a criminal defense attorney so you can feel confident this attorney will do the best job for you.
Review your case with the attorney and then ask him what experience he has had with similar cases. You will want to know how many years he has handled serious criminal cases, and how many cases he has taken to trial, including ones like yours.
Observe whether the attorney asks relevant questions about you and your case and seems genuinely interested. If he seems distracted, consider someone else.
Many states certify attorneys in a particular specialty. If yours does, ask if they have these credentials, or check the attorney out ahead of time in Martindale-Hubbell, a reference book found at any law library.
If the attorney has associates, she may pass your case to one of them, especially if your case is minor offense. Many associates are fine attorneys, so ask about their credentials and ask to meet them. If the attorney is just out of law school, however, consider another firm.
Ask the attorney to explain all your legal options. If he is experienced, he can give you a good idea of the penalties if you are convicted based upon your offense, circumstances and past criminal record.
A good lawyer is expensive, so ask about fees and the manner of payment. If the attorney's fee seems cheaper than most, it may be that this attorney tries to settle all his cases before trial. Also, ask if experts will be brought in and what their fees may be.
Asking these questions of a criminal defense lawyer is a good way to find the right attorney for your particular case.