Questions To Ask A Criminal Defense Attorney Before Hiring
Finding a high-quality criminal defense attorney requires a lot of good questions!
Criminal charges are extremely scary and stressful, so if you or your loved one is facing criminal charges then you’re inevitably going to need some professional assistance. Finding a high-quality lawyer in your local area can be a lot easier said than done, and deciphering your best option amongst countless law firms is always tedious.
We’re fortunate to have teamed up with a Redwood City Criminal Defense Lawyer to support us in developing this list of important questions to keep in mind while you’re going through these hiring processes. So keep the following questions in mind as you’re narrowing down your best options!
Can You Please Explain Your Experience And Legal Background?
Experience is absolutely critical when it comes to your criminal defense attorney hiring decision, so being up front about this type of question is always important during your initial consultations and research phases. This includes asking how long a law firm has been in existence, or how long an individual lawyer has been practicing law.
You should also ask about their relationships within your local court system, including their relationships with police officers, judges and prosecutors. Here are some follow-up questions to keep in mind while you’re deciphering a lawyer’s overall experience and background:
- What year is your law degree from?
- What types of criminal cases have you successfully dealt with in your past?
- Which courts have your previously appeared within?
Is Your Primary Focus Within Criminal Law, Or Do You Also Focus Within Other Practice Areas?
Lawyers can technically handle any case within a state they’re legally allowed to practice within, but these attorneys are typically referred to as general practitioners. They’ll know a lot about the law as a whole, but won’t know the intricate details of criminal law that your case will undoubtedly require. One of the best ways to see if an attorney is a “jack of all trades” type of legal specialist is to look through their website and see if they handle other practice areas like personal injury, divorce, etc.
When it comes down to it, your future is in jeopardy when you’re facing criminal charges. You should only put your trust in a law firm that specifically has criminal law expertise, because these specialists will know the types of arguments that work during plea deals and in court, and they’ll ultimately provide you with a more comprehensive strategy towards a favorable outcome.
What Are The Details For Your Legal Fees?
Anyone facing criminal charges will want to hire an attorney to support them by resolving their case, and not necessarily put them in a financial pitfall. You should look for a law firm that provides reasonable fees, but at the same time has enough experience to provide your case with a high-quality strategy.
It’s important to understand that defense attorneys will many times calculate their legal fees in different ways, so some will work on an hourly rate and others will utilize a fixed rate.
But this type of financial agreement should be transparent and up front during the hiring/interview process. If you don’t get a straight answer about legal fees, then it’s probably best to move on and work with someone else. A common red flag to be on the lookout for is when a lawyer says they’ll look into the details of your case and then later let you know about their fees!
What Are Your Thoughts About My Case?
This is always a crucial question to keep in mind during your initial consultation, because this will provide an opportunity for your prospective attorney to give you a glimpse into what they’ll do for you and what your expectations should be. They’ll likely let you know what your defenses are when answering this question, and you’ll be able to gauge their overall knowledge.
Gathering up as much information about your unique case will go a very long way towards helping you understand what to expect and how an attorney will go about handling your case.
Always Go The Extra Mile When Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney
It’s very serious when you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, and your attorney will many times make or break your opportunity at a better future.
Asking the above questions will be a good starting point when it comes to knowing who will work best for you and your unique scenario, and finding the right legal representation will many times require a lot of research and going the extra mile during consultations and comparisons!