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5 Things to Consider When Seeking a Criminal Defense Lawyer

5 Things to Consider When Seeking a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Did you know there were 7,364,553 arrests for all offenses in the U.S. last year? That’s up considerably from 4,538,284 in 2021. 

If arrested for a criminal offense, you’ll want the best criminal defense lawyer to help you. There’s a reason suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Being arrested and facing charges aren’t the same as being guilty and facing fines or jail time.

Whether or not you’re guilty of the charges, you need the right legal help to know what you’re up against, learn about your options, and get the help you need to achieve a favorable outcome.

Here’s a look at five things to consider when facing criminal charges and requiring a lawyer.

1. Consider Recommendations

Find a criminal law attorney who has a good reputation. You can start by asking people you know and whose opinions you trust to give recommendations about good service providers. Do you have family members, co-workers, neighbors, or friends who’ve had to hire lawyers? Pick their brains to see which criminal law attorneys they retained and if they’d recommend them. Ask questions and solicit feedback for the information you need to make informed decisions.

Another way to find a good lawyer is by seeing what people have to say online. While information from people you know will be more reliable, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out online reviews. It’s a great way to learn more about lawyers in the area.

2. Conduct Research

Conduct research to learn more about criminal defense lawyers practicing in your area. Check out websites to find the details about specific law firms and lawyers. You can focus on their areas of specialization and get more information that’ll help you choose correctly. Another option is to look through the law association directors in your city or state.

While the research stage will take time, it’ll be worth it. When facing criminal charges, a lot is at stake, such as your freedom and potentially everything you’ve worked for. So, you’ll want to choose the right legal professional to advise and build the best defense possible.

3. Look for Specialization

It’s a given that you’ll want a trained lawyer in your corner. But you need to go even further and find a legal professional specializing in criminal law. While a jack of all trades might work if you need a generalist to build a back deck or paint the living room, you need a specialist to defend you in a criminal law case. A criminal law attorney will understand criminal law — specifically the defense side of things — inside out and provide the best advice and representation in court.

4. Look for Trial Experience

You need a criminal law lawyer with trial experience. The legal professional must be able to take your case to court and fearlessly go toe-to-toe with the prosecutor. Remember that a lot is at stake. You need someone in your corner to fight for you and leave no stone unturned in your defense. So, while experience reaching settlements is key, trial experience is essential, too.

5. Consider Accessibility

Yet another consideration is availability. You don’t want a criminal defense lawyer who is hard to reach. That’s one reason it pays to set up in-person consultations before choosing a lawyer. You can ask whether or not the lawyer is accessible. Yes, a good lawyer will be busy representing clients. But it might be best to avoid a lawyer with so many cases on their plate that they barely have enough time to return a phone call or email.

When asking people you know for recommendations or reading online reviews, you can seek information about accessibility, communication, and overall demeanor. 

Consider these five suggestions if the time comes for you to retain legal counsel after criminal charges. No one wants to be on the receiving end of such a scenario. But if you need to clear your name, finding a reputable criminal law lawyer will help you get through a trying ordeal.