10 Tips to Help You Find the Best Criminal Defense Attorney
If you already understand the importance of having an excellent attorney when you’re facing a criminal charge, the next step is finding the best criminal defense attorney to represent you. Not all lawyers are created the same, and finding the right attorney can make all the difference when it comes to putting up the best defense possible.
Taking the time to seek out the best defense attorney can ensure you are represented in the best light possible when you go to court. Although the process of searching for a lawyer can seem daunting, especially when dealing with the repercussions of a criminal charge, this is arguably one of the most important steps of the entire case. Here are ten tips to help you find the best criminal defense attorney.
1. An Attorney Should Be Responsive
When you’re facing a criminal charge, time is of the essence. Time lost is a case lost. You need a criminal defense attorney that’s going to get to work on the case right away.
When you contact a lawyer, they should respond quickly. Their legal team should be able to arrange a meeting with you within one day. If they’re quick to answer to your phone call or email, they’re probably going to be equally on the ball when it comes to defending you.
2. The Right Attorney Specializes in Criminal Law
Although they don’t have to practice criminal law exclusively, the right attorney at least specializes in criminal law. If you don’t see anything on the attorney’s website about criminal law, it’s likely that they’re not the right lawyer for your needs.
The practice of law is just that — practice. Your attorney needs regular involvement in criminal law to stay up to date on the nuances of this type of law and the best possible defenses.
3. Choose Someone Experienced in the Local Courts
In addition to finding a lawyer that’s qualified in criminal law, you should look for an attorney that’s experienced in the local courts. This aspect of deciding on the right attorney is one that is often overlooked, but local connections and relationships can go a long way when fighting a criminal charge.
Not only does each court do things their own way, but each judge does things their own way too. Knowing the ins and outs of the court you’re up against can help you create a winning strategy for your case.
4. Check Reputable Sources
You can learn a lot about an attorney on the internet. Some of these sources are reputable, and some are not. You can check the State Bar of Nevada to see if a lawyer has any formal discipline on their record. This is a good place to start, but your research shouldn’t stop there.
Some websites like Google+ and Facebook don’t let attorneys remove bad reviews, so these websites can be a good place to look at what other clients have to say. Other sites help attorneys paint a rosy picture. While you don’t want to count an attorney out because of one bad review, reading reviews can give you a general idea of what other clients have to say about them and their services.
5. Ask for Referrals
One of the best ways to find the right attorney for you is to ask your friends and family if they know any good lawyers. Those with first-hand knowledge of how an attorney operates can help offer you insight into how they will handle your case.
Also, if you use a lawyer for business or estate planning matters, you can ask them who they recommend for a criminal case. Word of mouth can be a great way to get an honest opinion especially when the person you’re asking wants what’s best for you.
6. The Right Attorney Knows the Basics Off the Top of Their Head
An attorney doesn’t have to know everything without having to look things up, but they should know the basics of the most common crimes. They should be able to explain to you the possible and likely penalties for the charges against you.
They should know the questions to ask you to determine if nuances apply to the case. The best criminal defense attorney has a certain level of familiarity and comfort with the laws and the criminal justice system.