Important Reminders When Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney
The criminal defense lawyer you hire can often make the difference in the outcome of your case, even if the charges against you seem minimal or it's your first offence. This is why you want to invest in the best criminal defense lawyer you can find so that you can avoid jail time if possible and reduce financial penalties while also protecting your permanent record. Note a few important reminders when hiring a criminal defense lawyer.
1. Understand their specialty
When accused of any type of crime, you want a defense lawyer who is skilled at analyzing evidence that will vary according to different types of charges. As an example, a murder charge will mean needing a lawyer who understands forensic evidence, whereas being charged with bigamy will require a lawyer who understands legal paperwork that may be the prime evidence against you. For a drunk driving charge, you may simply need a lawyer who is good at negotiating with a prosecutor to get the charges reduced, as the only evidence in the case may be a breathalyzer test. Never settle for a criminal defense lawyer that handles all forms of criminal trials but always choose someone with a precise specialty.
2. Be sure your contract goes "through resolution"
Don't assume that your criminal lawyer will continue to represent you if your case should go to trial. Get a written contract that notes their services and charges go 'through resolution', meaning the actual closing of your case. If you don't have such a contract, they may very well drop you as a client or start charging you a much higher rate than expected if they cannot negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. A contract with a criminal defense lawyer might only stipulate pretrial hearings and motions, which means you'll be facing more costs and will need additional services if your case goes to trial, so be sure you note their services and fees 'through resolution'.
3. Look for a trial lawyer
You may think that your case will never go to trial, but there is no guarantee of how a judge will respond to pretrial motions or how prosecutors will respond to any deal your attorney may negotiate. You may not even be offered a plea bargain of any sort and may be headed to trial without any other options. If this happens, you want a lawyer who is experienced in trial law and who has argued in front of juries before. Always hire such a lawyer from the beginning so you don't find out about their lack of skills in arguing a case once you're in front of a jury.
Keep these in mind as you contact law firms, such as Russo Lawyers.