Criminal Defense: 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Attorney
It’s an emotional and overwhelming experience to be charged with a crime, whether your charged with a DUI or a homicide. It’s critical to find a legal representative who will give you the highest probability of a positive outcome in your case.
Unfortunately, most people are unsure about how to find a good criminal defense lawyer. When seeking an attorney, you should ask the following questions:
1. Have You Handled This Type of Case?
It’s important to hire a legal specialist to represent you. An attorney with expertise in cases like yours will know how to handle the specific legal issues that are likely to arise. Experience is key to your defense.
2. What Are the Probable Outcomes of My Case?
No attorney can guarantee that you will win your case. Still, your lawyer should be able to describe the most probable outcomes, given the facts of your case. This will help you set reasonable expectations.
3. How Are Fees Handled?
When hiring an attorney, most people are understandably concerned about the cost. It’s crucial to discuss legal fees with any lawyer that you are considering hiring. You should not hire a legal representative without understanding the potential expense.
4. When Is Payment Due?
It’s also critical to know when your legal fees will be due. Many criminal defense attorneys require half of your payment up front.
5. What Strategy Will You Use?
There are many ways that defendants can dispute the criminal charges against them. A knowledgeable attorney will be able to provide a detailed description of the legal strategy they intend to use.
Different charges will require different approaches, depending on:
- The amount of information available to you
- The evidence that the police are submitting
- Your behavior during the arrest process
A skilled lawyer will know the best way to fight the charges against you.
6. Can I Avoid a Trial?
Going to court is expensive. Thankfully, many cases can be solved with a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor designed to avoid a criminal trial. It involves pleading guilty to an offense in exchange for a lighter punishment or sentence.
7. How Long Will My Case Take?
The length of your case will depend on several factors. These include:
- The time it takes to gather information
- The caseload at the courthouse
- The nature of the charges against you
Depending on these considerations, your criminal case could last anywhere from several months to a few years. A seasoned criminal defense attorney should be able to provide you with an estimated timeline for your case.
This can help you make appropriate financial decisions regarding your legal situation.
8. How Often Will I Speak with You?
Attorneys typically have several clients that they are working for simultaneously. Because of this, you may not hear from your lawyer frequently.
Still, your attorney should keep you updated about any developments in your case. Ask your representative how often you should expect to hear from them. This way, you can set reasonable expectations.
9. How Should I Prepare for the Courtroom?
Most people are unaware of proper courtroom etiquette. Speak with your attorney about how to dress, speak, and present yourself in court.
You will also need to bring certain documents to your plea agreement or trial. A good lawyer will help you prepare for the courtroom.
10. What Penalties Are Possible?
Each type of criminal charge carries standard punishments determined by law. However, many variables determine what penalties are likely in a given case. Ask your lawyer about the most likely punishments in your circumstance.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer and Start Building Your Defense
Most criminal defense lawyers offer free case reviews to potential clients. If possible, you should meet with multiple attorneys. Armed with answers to the questions above, you will be able to select an attorney that is best for your situation.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges.