Criminal charges can be very stressful. There are several details to criminal cases, and as an accused person, you need someone who would guide you through the process, fight for you, and where necessary, seek for a fairer ruling in case of conviction. They will help protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in your favor.
As you go about getting a defense lawyer, you need to do the following:
Understand Your Situation
If you are charged with a crime, you are being accused of violating a public law. In a civil case, you will be forced to pay some money as a penalty while in a criminal case, you could face imprisonment. It could be a misdemeanor, where you could be confined in the jail for up to one year. You could also be convicted if a felony, which could mean a long-term sentence. Therefore, depending on the kind of a case facing you, you need a competent attorney.
Evaluate the Available Payment Options
Every attorney has his or her expectations as far as payment is concerned. Most of them require some payment upfront as a commitment, and to pay for some operational costs. Others may accept payments in a staggered way, where you pay an amount for representation up to trial, and then would require additional payment if the case proceeds forward. In some cases where you’re financially constrained, some defense attorneys will take property instead of cash. However, you should flee from criminal lawyers who ask for fees dependent on a promise for results. In fact, it is not allowed by law. Again, expensive doesn’t always mean competence. An attorney who spends all their time making defenses in court is more than likely highly competent and might charge less than one with a fancy office and large staff.
Find Out if You Qualify for a Public Defender
The law gives citizens a right to a counsel in a criminal proceeding. You need to find out if your state provides an attorney at their expense, and if you qualify for one. If you are out on bond for example, some states do not allow for a public defender. It is critical to note that there is no expense in having a public defender; however, the services you get from a private attorney is beyond comparison. You will have a better relationship with a private attorney and they will keep in touch with you all throughout the process, where a public defender might not.
Get the Attorneys Reputation
The state bar licenses all practicing attorneys, and they must meet the annual requirements for education and training. Before you settle for a particular attorney, you need to find out the cases they have handled previously, and their outcomes. This information can be retrieved from the online public records terminal. Check for written court opinions and newspaper articles that the attorney has contributed. This will shed light on how qualified and reliable the practitioner is. Click to learn more about criminal defense lawyers and get a reliable one.
A criminal defense lawyer is key when it comes to defending you in a court of law. The competence of the lawyer would determine whether you win or lose a case. Therefore, you must take the time to do good research, and consult a variety of people so you can get someone who will successfully fight for your freedom.