A defense attorney is needed by someone who is facing serious criminal charges. Getting arrested for a crime could be extremely damaging to your life since it could mean facing jail time and paying fines, not to mention the irreparable damages it could bring to your name. This is one serious matter that equally needs intense and serious attention.
It is highly imperative that you get legal representation right after an arrest. This move will ensure that you are fully aware of the allegations you are facing. Plus it will prepare you for the defenses of your rights and case. Here is a guide on how to hire a defense attorney:
- List. It is crucial that you pick the best legal representation. If you have not hired an attorney lawyer in the past, this first step might be difficult for you. It is vital that you choose the best-suited appellate attorney as practices may differ from state to state and from federal district to federal district. You can start by coming up with your list of possible lawyers by asking around from your own personal circle of family and friends, to referrals of friends of friends. This way, you can get more personal views on the referrals. You can also browse the yellow pages of your local directory or look through online directories for attorneys. Having options is always good.
- Research. With your shortlist for possible lawyers that could potentially represent you, the next step is to research more specific information about each of them. For your lawyer search, try to learn about each of their practices, legal philosophy and track records. Above any other qualification, look for somebody who practices criminal law. Specifically, find someone who has handled charges that are alike to what you are facing. Educate yourself as well about the different laws governing the federal criminal system versus the state criminal system as these are two entirely different things. Given such case, if you are facing a federal crime then you should opt to hire a federal lawyer that has experience and extensive understanding of the federal criminal system than a lawyer who only focuses on Medicare fraud.
- Learn. After your shortlist and lawyer research, you could further check and confirm his field expertise by looking through several things. Check the lawyer’s website if it is dedicated to criminal cases. You can see through the site if criminal cases are a specific practice of the lawyer or not. Determine also the professional associations he belongs to. One great indicator would be if the defense attorney is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers or of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section. The attorney’s standing in the legal community could also be reflected criminal defense lecture and publications.
- Watch Out. One thing you should be cautious about is for attorneys that promise positive results at the start. First of all, a lawyer cannot assure a winning case because the decision lies with the court. Instead, base his credentials on his solid record of securing acquittals.
- Assess. Finally, trusting your lawyer is one of the most important aspects that you should be able to establish. Ensure that you can work well with your attorney with the kind of personality and demeanor he has.
Hiring a defense attorney is unquestionably serious business that should be taken on carefully. And of course, you'll want to be well-informed yourself; a few online criminal justice classes can't hurt!