Choosing to talk to a criminal defense attorney will only benefit you, regardless of if the charges are minor or severe. You may be in dilemma as to if you actually need a lawyer but taking advantage of the free consultations that many firms offer will give you a deeper insight of the options with regards to the defense, the severity of the charges and the possible conviction strategies. When you realize the severity of the charges, you would then understand the need for a defense attorney. This choice that you make is crucial because the severity of the sentence depends on the capability of the hired attorney and his ability to defend.
There is the defense attorney who you pay to help defend your case and there is the public attorney who is assigned to you in situations where you are unable to afford an attorney by yourself. However, the difference is that a public defender is over burdened with such cases and therefore might not be able to do complete justice to your case. Though there are laws that limit the number of cases that can be taken up by public attorneys the reality is that these attorneys go ahead and take up a lot of these cases and ultimately the results and not positive most of the times. It is surely advisable to hire your own criminal defense attorney if your financial position permits it. These lawyers are specialists and so know everything there is about the law. This gives them the upper edge giving you a better chance of moving on with a clean chit.
It is crucial to be able to identify and hire the best defender who is perfect for you. Depending on the charge you have been slapped with, you would have to decide if you need a federal or state attorney. If a state law has been broken you would need a lawyer practicing state law and if your charge involves federal cases then you would need an advanced attorney.
Federal defense attorneys are considered more experienced because the cases they handle are usually complicated and time-consuming. The prosecution of federal cases is tougher because these attorneys have lot more time and are equipped with resources that are better.
The next important consideration is to check to see if the lawyer has specializations that you might want. Most attorneys are specialized in other areas in addition to general criminal defense. Though these specializations require approval and certification, most of these agencies boast about their specialization that comes with their experience. It might turn out to be extremely expensive if you hire an attorney specializing on your charge alone and so it is better to hire someone with a similar experience. Choose a lawyer who is serious about the case so that he would actually try helping you out.