It obvious that being charged with a crime is not going to be one of the better experiences of your life! Do you find that you might be looking at imprisonment or some serious penalties and hefty fines?
Also, a criminal case has other repercussions that can be overwhelming like:
- being kicked out of school
- losing your job
- or, just having the blemish on your permanent record.
It is even worse if it is your first time to face the criminal justice system. The charge may be a misdemeanor or a felony. If it is you, a loved one or a family member who is facing criminal charges, having the best criminal attorney will be very helpful and may offer some comfort. A criminal lawyer will work hard to secure a release, bargain for reduced fines, lesser jail terms or fewer charges depending on the crime. The exercise of hiring a competent criminal attorney can be a daunting task. The following tips will make the process of getting one easier for you.
You need to know the type of a criminal attorney you need. This depends on the criminal charge you are facing. If it is the state law that you have broken, then a state attorney will do but if it is a federal case, a federal attorney is the best. Keep in mind that federal laws are more complex than state laws. Apart from state and federal lawyers, get a lawyer who concentrates their service in the area of defense where your case falls. This might be driving under influence, rape case, violent crime etc. Many states bar associations offer specialization in law therefore you can check whether the lawyer you select specializes in the area.
Before going for the criminal attorney determine what qualities you are looking for. Some of the qualities to look for include excellent communication and negotiation skills (needed to argue out your case), a good and proven track record and experience in the specific criminal case you are facing among others. You can find this from the attorney themselves, associates, bar associations and from the internet. Do not far for advertising gimmicks but conduct the background check yourself or a trusted person.
Consider the cost of employing the services of a competent criminal attorney before hiring one. The cost will depend on the complexity of the case. There are different ways which attorneys can use to charge you. That is either a flat fees, hourly fees or fees for specific parts of the case. Flat fees are predictable but can turn out not to be the best in complex cases while hourly fees are friendly but unpredictable.
You will need to use your common sense and clear instincts together with the research you did to select a lawyer amongst those remaining in your list. Chose someone you are comfortable with and do not eliminate a lawyer because they did not make to meet you within the short notice you gave. Good lawyers are always busy and may delegate some duties to their staff.
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