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What Should I Expect from a Good Criminal Defense Lawyer?

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Facing criminal charges is a stressful and scary experience. You may not know what to expect or how you can counter these charges, and the criminal justice system can be confusing and complex. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side to guide you through these processes – but with so many attorneys on the market, how do you know if you are hiring an attorney who will work for you?

There are certain services and qualities you should expect from a good criminal defense lawyer. If your potential attorney does not meet these base criteria, consider expanding your search.

#1: Confidential, Consistent Communication

When you hire a criminal defense attorney to represent your case, you want to ensure that he or she communicates well. You do not want to wonder what is happening with your case – your attorney should inform you of all important updates in your case and what you need to prepare for in the future.

In addition, your attorney should keep all matters regarding your case confidential between the two of you. If you notice any lapses in communication when speaking to an attorney and you are unsure whether he or she will keep your case private, consider hiring another attorney.

#2: Experience in Your Practice Area

Not all criminal defense attorneys have the same level of experience or the same specialties. If you are looking for an attorney to represent your case, make sure that he or she has experience in the practice area you need defense in. You would not want to hire an attorney specializing in theft for a case involving drug possession, for example.

The more experience your attorney has, the more skills he or she is likely to have to help defend your case. Your attorney will know important defense strategies and how to prepare you for different stages of the criminal justice system. If your attorney does not have enough experience or the right experience in your practice area, find another firm.

#3: Skills to Evaluate Your Options

You want an attorney who can honestly prepare you for what to expect next. Your attorney should have the ability to evaluate your case and discuss your options with you. In addition, he or she should have skills in negotiation and risk assessment. You want an attorney who can advocate for your best options and help you adequately prepare for the future. If your attorney seems unsure of your future or unskilled in negotiation and evaluation, hire another lawyer.

#4: Creativity and Effectiveness

You should expect that your attorney is able to come up with creative and effective defenses for your case, depending on the circumstances of your arrest. With a creative mind, he or she can help you reach an effective and proper resolution for your case through strong defenses. An attorney who seems disinterested or unable to come up with effective defenses for your case may not be the best option for you.

#5: Good References and Reviews

If you are unsure where to begin searching for a criminal defense attorney, consider asking your friends and family and reading online reviews. If a defense attorney performs at an effective level, he or she will have a reputation that matches his or her effectiveness. Speaking to previous clients can help you determine whether or not an attorney would be a good match for you.

Online reviews can also be a good resource, but take these references with a grain of salt. While they can help you gather a general picture of the attorney, the people writing these reviews may have different circumstances from your case. Schedule a free consultation with the lawyer to determine whether he or she is a right fit.

It is important to ensure your criminal defense attorney will work for you before you hire him or her. You do not want to take chances on hiring this lawyer – after all, your future is in his or her hands. Before you hire an attorney, vet him or her against this list of criteria. Once you find the right match, take the steps to hire – you will definitely need an attorney on your side for your trial.

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