When facing criminal charges, the support of a criminal defense lawyer makes a big difference in the outcome of your case. However, you should hire an attorney only after careful consideration because not every lawyer suits the needs of your case.
Before hiring a lawyer, you must ask the right questions to ensure you partner with an attorney that knows how to fight for your interests. The Bugbee Law Office has compiled a list of the top ten questions you should ask before hiring a criminal defense attorney. These questions will help you make an informed decision about the right lawyer for your case.
1. What Are Your Professional and Educational Credentials?
When facing criminal charges, you want to hire a qualified attorney. Professional and educational credentials can help you establish whether a lawyer is legitimate. Upon request, the right attorney should readily share their educational background, like the law school they graduated from.
2. What’s Your Experience in Criminal Law?
Experience is crucial when hiring a lawyer. An attorney with many years of practicing criminal law will serve you professionally and prioritize your best interests. An experienced lawyer will give you solid advice on what to expect from your case and help you build a strong defense strategy.
While your attorney should have years of practicing criminal law, the experience should be of the right kind that benefits your case. For instance, many lawyers engage in various types of law-related work in addition to representing clients that face criminal charges. You should ensure the lawyer is an expert in criminal law and can give your case the attention it deserves.
3. What Is Your Success Rate in Handling Cases Like Mine?
You want to hire a lawyer with a good record of winning criminal cases like yours. A high success rate in handling clients with similar charges shows that the lawyer perfectly understands your situation. With such an attorney on your side, you quickly get the best possible outcome. In return, you save a lot of time and money in your case.
4. Do You Have Testimonials from Previous Clients?
Many criminal defense attorneys claim that they are reliable. Well, you don’t have to take their word for it. Testimonials from previous clients are the best way to evaluate the service quality of a lawyer. Testimonials give you first-hand details about whether you can rely on the attorney to handle your case correctly.
Most lawyers with satisfied clients will readily show you written testimonials from previous clients. If the attorney doesn’t share the reviews with you, you should ask them why not.
5. How Strong Is My Case?
No attorney can guarantee a specific outcome in your case. Be wary of lawyers who guarantee an exact outcome in your case. However, an experienced attorney can correctly predict your case’s results. The attorney can use the facts in your case and evaluate how things will play out. In other words, the right attorney should be able to assess your case to inform you of its strengths and weakness.
6. What Defense Strategy Would You Recommend in My Case?
While no attorney can guarantee how your case will play out, a reliable criminal defense lawyer will use the available case information to build a powerful defense strategy. A defense strategy is a plan you will use to fight back the criminal charges against you.
The right lawyer should inform you of the possible defense plans. Then, the attorney should highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each defense plan and help you decide what works best for you.
7. Are There Options Besides Going to Trial?
Trials are stressful, expensive, time-consuming, and put the defendant’s fate in the hands of a jury and judge. In some circumstances, you can avoid going to court.
For example, a plea bargain can help you avoid a trial. Instead, you get less serious charges on your record and tolerable penalties. The right attorney should help you determine if a fair plea bargain applies to your case or if there’s any other way to avoid a trial.
8. How Often Will We Communicate?
Facing criminal charges is the most stressful moment of your life. That’s because you might go to jail or pay huge fines. For this reason, you need an attorney that is readily available to answer all your questions and guide you through the entire process.
You also want an attorney who regularly updates you on the case’s progress. That way, you get the strength and hope you need during this challenging moment of your life. The right attorney should be available 24/7 to serve all your needs. The attorney should also be ready to give you their contact information so that you know how to stay in touch.
9. What Role Do I Play in the Case?
When facing criminal charges, defendants can easily incriminate themselves through their statements or actions. The right lawyer for your case should be a reliable advisor. The attorney should tell you what to do and what to avoid during the entire process to increase the chances of positive outcomes.
10. How Long Will My Case Take?
The process of resolving criminal charges varies from case to case. While a lawyer cannot control how fast the legal processes work, the right attorney will provide you with an estimate of how long your case will last.
The time estimate is based on similar charges the lawyer has handled for previous clients and the possible defense strategy for your case. Knowing how long your case will last can ensure you prepare yourself well financially and emotionally.
11. How Much Will My Defense Cost?
Knowing the costs in your case helps you prepare early such that the entire process occurs smoothly. These costs can quickly add up if you don’t pinpoint them and make the right decision at the beginning of your case.
Before hiring an attorney, ask about the charges for their services. Most lawyers charge hourly or a flat fee, and depending on your situation, choose what works for you. Apart from the representation fee, other costs may include investigation and witness costs. Ask your lawyer for an estimate of the service fee and any additional expenses associated with your case.
Hire a Qualified and Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to Handle Your Case
Criminal charges can result in heavy fines, jail time, or both. For this reason, you should only hire a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case. At Bugbee Law, we have what it takes to fight fiercely for you and help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule your free consultation today to see how we can help in your case.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
© 2016 Bugbee Law Offices, P.S.