Top Attributes You Should Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Facing any kind of criminal charges can be a serious situation. Even if you are convicted of a misdemeanor, that conviction can stay on your record for a long time, making it harder for you to do things like get a job, rent an apartment, or be approved to take care of children. If you are convicted of a felony, you will lose essential rights like being able to vote or own a gun. It’s important that you work with the best criminal defense lawyer you can to try to avoid conviction.
Your case is far too important to trust with just anyone. Do thorough research to make sure you are getting the best representation. Here are some of the top attributes you should be looking for in a criminal defense lawyer:
Of course, one of the most important things your criminal defense lawyer should have is thorough knowledge of the law as it pertains to your case. Check the attorney’s credentials to find out what education he has completed. At a minimum, the attorney should have graduated from an accredited law school. But you should also look for attorneys who have completed additional training or education to bolster their knowledge and expand it.
There’s a lot that an attorney learns from practicing the law and not just studying it. You should look for an attorney who has a lot of experience both in and out of the courtroom. With that experience, your attorney will better know the types of strategies that will work for cases like yours, what arguments will be most effective, and what case law should be cited to support your claims. Experience will also help your attorney to get you a reduced sentence if you are convicted.
The stakes are high in a criminal case, and you can’t afford to have a meek attorney who’s afraid to take chances or to push back against a judge or a prosecutor. You need a criminal law attorney who isn’t afraid to be aggressive. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you will always know just from meeting the person. The attorney can seem friendly in person but be a bulldog in the courtroom. You’ll need to ask former clients what to expect or to read reviews online to see what others have had to say about their past experiences.
Some attorneys are just punching a clock. They are there to sign off on the papers, to show up in court, and do the minimum. That’s not the kind of attorney you want if you hope to have your charges dismissed or your sentencing reduced. You need an attorney who’s committed to your case and to getting the very best outcome possible for you. This is another attribute you’ll have to confirm by talking to clients and reading reviews.
You need to have a good relationship with your attorney for the best outcome, and you need to feel like you are a full participant in your case. Both of those things rely on good communication. Unfortunately, attorneys aren’t always known for their communication. The clock is always ticking, and they are always racing against it. Many clients end up feeling rushed through the process or dismissed. Make sure you find an attorney who can communicate well, including thoroughly answering your questions and explaining the process to you in detail. Any attorney you hire should answer calls and respond to emails promptly and should make you feel like they are fully present during conversations. If you are having a hard time connecting with an attorney or feeling like you are brushed off, look for counsel elsewhere.
In the TV show ‘Breaking Bad,” one of the characters tells the other, “We don’t need a criminal lawyer. We need a criminal lawyer.” He knew the odds against them were stacked, and he felt that their best chances were to get an attorney who was willing to bend the rules for them. That’s not a gambit you should take in real life. Hiring an ethically questionable attorney could just land you in more trouble. Hire a criminal law attorney who has integrity and who will act within the law at all times.
Take your time finding the right attorney. Having the right legal advocate on your side will make a big impact on your future and whether you have a criminal conviction or not. Never underestimate the power of your gut. If someone doesn’t feel like the right fit, they aren’t.
My AZ Lawyers in Arizona can help if you are facing criminal charges. Our criminal defense lawyers are experienced, knowledgeable, and committed, and they will fight to help you defend the charges against you. We represent clients facing a range of criminal charges. Call us today to talk with a criminal defense lawyer and start exploring your legal options.
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