If you find yourself accused of a criminal offense, you are facing the fight of your life to protect your finances, reputation, and freedom. Unfortunately, in a fight of your life it is not good to be surprised by the unknowns. During this time, having someone familiar with the legal process, will help you. One of the most important decisions you will make about your case is selecting the attorney who will represent you. Let’s take a look at the qualities you would want in a criminal defense lawyer.
Qualities to Look For in a Good Criminal Defense Attorney
There are several qualities you will want to assure your lawyer has in order to manage your case.
- Extensive legal experience -The legal system is complicated and confusing. Each case has a large number of steps and processes. In addition, there are contributing factors which need to be realized at the right time to affect the outcome positively. Needless to say, the more experienced your lawyer is, the more likely he will be able to quickly identify these factors and handle them to improve your outcome.
- A proven track record – Past success is a contributing indicator of future success. If you lawyer has been successful in handling criminal defense cases in the past, he or she will be able to use that knowledge when handling your case. Take the time to research attorneys. Also look under the covers of recommendations and social media ratings, find the true story as you make your choice.
- Solid credentials – An attorney’s credentials can give you a good idea of his or her network. But be wary, credentials can be purchased and not earned. When examining credentials, look for specialized training, active participation in professional organizations, a higher level of education, and special awards or acknowledgements.
- An interest in being your legal advocate – The key behavior to check out is how quickly the lawyer responded to your initial inquiry. Did the partner of the firm personally speak with you or was it a legal associate or paralegal staff?
- Prior experience handling cases like yours – The statutes literally fills a library. Each legal offense has its own defense approaches, mitigating factors, and annoying surprises. A lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours in the past is more likely to know of the surprise before they arise, understand how to bring up the mitigating factors at the appropriate time, and is not walking the process the first time. Having a Criminal Defense Attorney who is informed about each factor will positively influence your outcome.
- Good referrals – take the opportunity to see if you know any prior clients of the attorney, ask them how he handled their case. This discussion can help you understand the legal approaches he uses. When interviewing an attorney, ask him to share referrals and reach out to those individuals.
- Someone who is a go-getter – Also when interviewing the lawyer, listen to his passion and conviction. As you are in a precarious situation, it is the time to find someone who is a go-getter and passionate about what he does every day.
Hopefully, looking for these qualities will help you narrow down your options and make a confident selection. This can greatly increase your chances of achieving a favorable outcome to your case.