Your Criminal Lawyer – What to Ask During The First Meeting
It’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty but it seems like everyone wants to play judge and jury now a days. When you’ve been accused of a crime you really need to find someone who knows the laws and can represent you the best. Not all attorneys can handle all types of cases so you don’t want to hire just anyone to help prove that you didn’t do what you are being accused of. When you are hiring a criminal lawyer there are some things you should know about him before you hire him.
One of the first things you should ask your potential criminal lawyer is about his experience. You need to know how long he’s practiced law in the state you’re in. He also needs to tell you if there are other areas of the law that he practices. Some attorney’s practice multiple types so they can have a variety of cases. You might also want to ask how many cases he has defended and what percentage of his cases go to trial. You might also ask how often he settles the trial with a plea bargain. Familiarity with the prosecutors and judges is also a plus so you might ask how familiar he is with the ones that you are likely to see.
Another important question that you should ask is the cost. Just because you’re paying top dollar for a criminal lawyer doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting top service. You need to know how you are being billed. Some lawyers charge a flat fee, while other bill hourly. You need to know how often you’ll be sent a statement, payment terms they may offer and an estimate of what the overall charges will be. While you don’t want to get poor service you do want to have an attorney that you can afford.
When you go to the criminal lawyer for the first time be sure to take all the paperwork concerning your case with you. Allow him to review your case and ask him what he thinks. Specifically you need to know what are the strong and weak points of your defense, the strategy he suggests, possible results, and legal options. You might even ask what will take place at each stage of your defense. While you are discussing your case find out how he handles his case management so that you know how to check in on the progress of your case.
Hiring the right criminal lawyer is key to having the best defense. If you are innocent of the accusations you want someone that will help you prove that you didn’t do it. If you are guilty you want someone to help you get the best sentence you can get so that you aren’t spending too much time away from your family.