Do you have an impending criminal charge?
If so, it's officially time to hire a criminal attorney. Of course, your first question might be how to find a criminal attorney near me. But, it's also important to find an attorney that isn't just local but also one that has extensive experience.
To help, we've put together a simple guide on questions to ask your attorney. These questions are simple and practical for getting to know different attornies before hiring.
At the end of the day, you want to feel the utmost confidence in the attorney that you choose to represent your case.
1. What Is Your Availability?
First things first, you're going to want to begin by asking each attorney their current availability.
While they may have extensive experience, it's critical to ensure that they have the ability to take on your case. If they have a variety of other cases present, they might not have enough time to give your case what it needs and deserves.
You're also going to want to ensure that this attorney is willing to work evenings and weekends for you. Depending on the seriousness of your case, you'll want an attorney that is willing to work around the clock.
2. What Is Your Experience?
Of course, you're going to want to work with an attorney that has experience.
Remember, your freedom might be on the line here. In order to give yourself a fighting chance, you're going to want to work alongside a seasoned professional that has experienced this situation before.
It's also important to ensure that this experience is relevant to your case. While they may have extensive experience in one area, they might not have that same level of experience in another.
3. What is Your Area of Focus?
Similarly, you'll want to inquire what this attorney's area of focus is.
Many attorneys specialize in certain areas. This could be anything from sexual harassment charges and impaired driving to monetary fraud and drug trafficking.
So, let's consider the case of a defendant that has an impaired driving charge. This is a serious charge that deserves an attorney who specializes in this area. Without this type of specialization, your attorney may not be well-versed in how to best handle this case.
4. What Are Your Rates?
Short and simple, it's imperative to know the rates of your attorney.
It's also important to know how and when you're going to be billed. For example, will you be paying for this attorney's services on a routine basis or will you receive a large invoice once the case is completed?
Let's be honest, this type of representation is not cheap. At the end of the day, it pays to have a general sense of what the impending costs will be.
5. Do You Have Any Hidden Costs?
Next, it's time to clear up if this attorney has any hidden or unclarified costs.
For example, what is the cost of routine communication with your attorney? Are they going to send you an invoice for all of the emails that have been exchanged in total? Or, is this type of communication considered to be free?
Before hiring an attorney, you're going to want to understand the ins and the outs of all of their potential charges.
6. Who Will Be Working on My Case?
Before making the decision to hire an attorney, ensure that you know exactly who is going to be working on your case.
For example, the attorney that you initially met with might work as a team. So, although you met with this person initially, it's possible that a member of their team will be handling the case.
While this isn't necessarily a negative, it's best to know who will be working on your case from the start.
7. Do You Foresee This Going to Court?
Did you know that your case might be solved before ever having to go to trial?
The truth is, it's common for cases to be solved before going to trial. In fact, only 2 percent of federal criminal defendants go to trial. Sometimes cases are dismissed and other times plea bargains are arranged.
Don't hesitate to ask your attorney where they see this case going. Your attorney should have a basic idea as to whether or not your case is likely to go to court.
8. What Is Your Strategy for Winning My Case?
Every attorney has a different approach and a different strategy for winning.
Don't hesitate to be upfront in asking your attorney how they plan to win your case. What are the strategies and plans that they will be implementing in order to increase your chance of winning?
You also want to ensure that your moral code lines up with that of your attorney's moral code. Being in sync when it comes to morality is absolutely crucial when it comes to choosing your representation.
9. Do You Have Support?
Does this attorney work on a team? If not, you're going to want to inquire as to what kind of support they have.
This is especially the case for more complex scenarios that may require more than one attorney's brainpower. If your case is complicated, you want the peace of mind that it's being handled by not just one person.
Some criminal lawyers work in teams that help to provide an extra layer of support. Knowing that your attorney has support and guidance behind them will help to provide you with further confidence.
10. Will a Jury Be Involved?
If this matter does go to trial, does the judge foresee a jury being involved?
A jury is often comprised of 6-12 civilians that help decide the outcome of the case. If a jury is involved, you're going to want to know ahead of time how your attorney will handle this.
For example, do they have certain strategies for how to deal with juries? Or, is it likely that your case will even reach a jury?
11. When Can We Get Started?
Last but not least, when can this attorney start?
If you have a pending charge, it's likely that you're anxious to get started right away. In fact, allowing more time to pass after your charge is likely going to be even detrimental to your case. This is something that you want to start dealing with right away.
Don't hesitate to inquire as to how soon you can begin the process of working together. When it comes to the legal world, time is always of the essence.
How to Find a Criminal Attorney Near Me
If you find yourself wondering how to find a criminal attorney near me, you've come to the right place.
Once you find a local network of attornies, this guide will help you to craft a series of questions for your first meeting. Upon answering these questions, you'll have a better indication of which attorney is best going to represent your case.
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