Criminal Defense Lawyer Hiring Tips

Hiring a criminal defense attorney can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you have never had any dealings with the criminal justice system. Lawyers are taught to be convincing and unfortunately, some lawyers are corrupt. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer is especially frustrating because not only is it expensive, but your freedom is at stake.

Criminal Defense Attorney Hiring Tips

Here are criminal defense lawyer hiring tips that might help you.

Experience: Make sure that the lawyer you are hiring has extensive criminal law experience, including trial experience. Years of experience working on criminal cases is not the same as courtroom experience defending people with charges similar to yours. It’s always important to hire an attorney that specializes in your charges. An attorney without experience has very little chances of winning a case.

Trust your feelings: It’s always important to hire an attorney that you feel comfortable with and have confidence in. You need to hire someone that will act as your advisor, explaining your options and allowing you to choose. If your attorney makes you uncomfortable or forces you into making a decision, find someone else. Ask the prospective attorney questions that will help you the kind of person that they are. Questions such as what made them decide to be a criminal defense lawyer?

Check references: A good attorney will have a reputation to match. Ask your friends and loved ones which lawyers they recommend. Even the most reputable attorneys have a few unhappy clients, but you want a lawyer with more good recommendations than bad. The best lawyer is always preceded by his/her reputation.

Look for an ethical criminal defense lawyer: If you meet with a lawyer and they start telling you things like “the prosecutor and I are best friends” or “I play tennis with the judge” be wary. Statements like these usually have some hidden meanings. They usually mean that they have the power to make the prosecutor or judge do something that they are not supposed to do. If you meet such a lawyer, you should consider if his/her loyalties will be to you or to maintaining the relationship that he/she claims to have with the prosecutor or judge.

Get a written contract: It’s always wise to insist on having a written contract. Make sure that your agreement addresses the money you will have to pay down and the total amount that your case is going to cost you. Many times clients will pay lawyers all the money they have and after the preliminary hearing, the lawyer will tell them if they do not receive more money they are getting off the case. Make sure that your agreement addresses this issue properly. It’s also important to get a receipt or pay with a check.

Finding the best criminal defense attorney may be the most important decision you will make during the course of your criminal case. Make sure that you hire a lawyer with experience, courtroom expertise and has a good record of winning cases that are similar to yours. Do not trust your case to anyone; hire a criminal lawyer that possesses the right qualities to represent you.


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    • James Bergman on August 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm
    • Reply

    I definitely think that checking references of a potential attorney is necessary. It is the best way to check and see what kind of cases they have handled in the past. Not to mention that it is a really good way to narrow down your options so that you are not trying to talk to every lawyer in town.

    • Lauren Woodley on August 31, 2016 at 2:04 pm
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    I definitely agree that you need to get a written contract! As you say, this will address money requirements as well as any other agreement made, which you and the lawyer will be bound to keep. This keeps you protected against any negligence or confusion and ensures that you get the help you need! Thanks for sharing.

    • Kody Loveless on August 31, 2016 at 3:11 pm
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    Thanks for sharing my cousin is in some trouble with a DUI and can really use a good lawyer. I will tell him to interview lawyers to find the one that fits his needs the best.

    • emily bennette on September 17, 2016 at 12:34 am
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    Experience does seem like a huge thing to look for in a criminal defense lawyer. After all, the consequences of losing a criminal case can have lasting effects. I would feel better if I found a lawyer with lots of experience and a lot of wins as well.

    • Sarah Smith on October 4, 2016 at 4:34 pm
    • Reply

    My brother needs a lawyer. Thanks for the advice about how you should get a lawyer that is experienced in the court. It would also be smart to get a lawyer that you like and get along with.

    • Kenneth Gladman on October 12, 2016 at 9:51 pm
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    I like that you mentioned finding someone ethical in your search for a lawyer. It can be difficult in this day and age but I feel it is important. You want to do everything you can to be moral and get the help you need.

    • Luke Smith on October 26, 2016 at 10:17 pm
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    It makes sense that a good attorney would have a reputation to match, and asking people you know personally sounds like a really good way to make sure you find someone you trust to do a good job. Even online reviews of a firm or lawyer would probably be helpful though. I’ll keep these tips in mind as I continue searching for an attorney near me.

  1. I would be so scared if I was going to be involved in a criminal trial. I would want to have a really good lawyer to watch my back. So, I liked your suggestion about looking at their references. Personally, I would love to talk to someone who has previously hired that lawyer.

  2. I really loved the graphic you had on this page with the caption “every case is defensible”. I imagine that many people may feel that their case is hopeless, and may not even reach out. It would make sense to me for everyone to consult with an attorney before giving up.

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