If you are facing a criminal charge, hiring a criminal lawyer will increase the chances of having your charges dismissed or reduced. Finding a criminal lawyer can be challenging; however, if you know which questions to ask, you can gather all the information you need to make an informed decision. To simplify this process, here are seven questions you should ask before you hire a criminal lawyer.
1. Will You Personally Handle My Case?
Many criminal law firms have a few different interns, paralegals, and lawyers working on your case — you do not want this. When several different people are handling your case, the margin of human error increases exponentially.
The Spodek Law Group advises you to ensure that the lawyer you build a rapport with will handle your case, provide legal advice, and represent you in court.
2. What Areas of Criminal Law Are You Experienced With?
Do not assume that all criminal lawyers handle all types of criminal cases. This is because certain criminal lawyers specialize in theft-related offenses, only handle violent crimes, and some deal mainly with drug-related crimes.
Instead, the Spodek Law Group advises you to ensure that your potential attorney has experience handling the crime you are charged with.
3. How Many Years of Experience Do You Have Under Your Belt?
While there is nothing wrong with hiring a newly graduated lawyer, it is better to hire a criminal lawyer with years of experience. A criminal lawyer with years of experience knows how to present your side of the story, knows what to expect from prosecutors, and has litigated in different local courthouses.
4. The Spodek Law Group Advises You To Ask About the Type of Fee Your Potential Lawyer Charges
There are many different fee arrangements. Some lawyers want a flat fee, others work on a contingency basis, and others require you to pay a retainer fee upfront. The Spodek Law Group advises you to ask about the type of fee you are required to pay before you hire a criminal lawyer.
5. What Can You Do For Me That I Cannot Do For Myself?
Even though this question seems confrontational, you should ask it. If the lawyer cannot tell you what it is they can do for you and how they can help you, they are not the right fit.
6. How Often Will You Communicate With Me?
Many people hire capable and competent lawyers but rarely hear from them regularly. The Spodek Law Group advises you to find out how often your potential lawyer will communicate with you and provide updates about the progress of your case.
7. What Are My Obligations?
Ask your potential lawyer about your obligations, which may include providing documentation that will help build your case or disclosing information such as outstanding warrants or prior criminal convictions.
Ask the Right Questions
Do not rush to hire a criminal lawyer. Instead, ask these questions, which will help you find the best lawyer for your specific case and get your charges dropped or reduced.