Best Cambridge Criminal Lawyers
Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Cambridge, MA
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Cambridge, Massachusetts, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference. With their knowledge of criminal law and courtroom experience, the right attorney can help protect your rights, build the strongest possible defense, and achieve the best possible outcome for your case. But with so many options to choose from, how do you find the very best criminal lawyer in Cambridge?
In this article, we’ll go over some tips for selecting the top criminal defense attorneys in the Cambridge area. We’ll talk about important factors to consider, like experience level, case results, client reviews, and more. We’ll also highlight a few of the most highly-rated and successful criminal lawyers practicing in Cambridge today.
Do Your Research to Find Well-Respected Cambridge Criminal Attorneys
Your first step is to do some research online to start developing a list of potential lawyers. Look for criminal defense attorneys who are well-established in the Cambridge legal community and have a strong reputation for getting excellent results for their clients.
When researching options, pay attention to factors like:
- Years of experience specifically handling criminal cases in Cambridge – Look for 10+ years of experience at a minimum.
- Case results – Do they have a track record of getting charges reduced or dismissed, avoiding jail time, and achieving not guilty verdicts at trial?
- Awards and honors – Have they been recognized as a Super Lawyer, given an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell, or named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer?
- Client reviews – Look for consistent positive feedback on sites like Google, Avvo, and Yelp praising their legal skills and commitment to clients.
- Focus on criminal defense – Avoid lawyers who only dabble in criminal law and don’t specialize.
- Trial experience – For lawyers who take cases to trial, do they have a history of success in the courtroom?
This background research will help you identify some of the most respected, accomplished criminal defense attorneys in the Cambridge area to consider further.
Schedule Consultations to Evaluate Criminal Lawyers in Person
Once you have a shortlist of top candidates, the next step is to set up consultations so you can meet with them in person and further assess their qualifications.
An initial consultation gives you a chance to get a feel for the lawyer’s communication style, personality, and approach to handling criminal cases similar to yours. It also allows you to ask them detailed questions about their background, track record, and strategy for defending you.
Here are some key things to discuss and look for during an initial consultation with a prospective criminal defense lawyer:
- Experience with your specific charges – How many cases have they handled that are similar to yours? How recently? What were the results? Their experience level with your particular situation is critical.
- Communication style – Do they listen attentively to you, clearly explain things, and make you feel comfortable opening up? Good communication between you and your lawyer is key.
- Defense strategy – Do they seem knowledgeable about potential defenses that could apply in your case? Do they have a proactive game plan for building your defense?
- Fees – Get a clear understanding of what their retainer fee covers, what the total estimated cost could be, payment options, etc. Make sure the fee is reasonable for your budget.
- Rapport – Ultimately, you want a criminal lawyer you feel you can trust completely and work collaboratively with. Pay attention to your gut feeling after meeting them.
Sitting down face-to-face gives you a much better sense of which Cambridge criminal attorney is the best fit to represent you and protect your rights through the legal process.
Check References to Confirm a Lawyer’s Reputation
Speaking with past clients can provide invaluable insight into a lawyer’s skills and track record. After an initial consultation, ask the attorney if you can check their references by contacting a few former clients.
When checking an attorney’s references, ask former clients questions like:
- How would you evaluate the lawyer’s legal expertise and courtroom skills?
- How well did they explain legal issues and keep you informed about your case status?
- Were you satisfied with the outcome they achieved for you?
- Did you feel they genuinely cared about you and were committed to your best interests?
- Knowing what you know now, would you hire them again if needed?
Hearing directly from those they have represented will help verify if a lawyer truly measures up to their reputation and will be diligent in defending you.
Consider Lawyers with Relevant Experience for Your Case Type
Certain lawyers bring more specific experience to the table that could be an asset for particular types of criminal cases.
For example, if you’ve been charged with a white collar financial crime like embezzlement or fraud, look for someone with extensive experience defending complex financial cases. For federal charges, you’ll want a lawyer well-versed in federal law and procedure. For sex crime charges, consider those with specialized knowledge of relevant defense strategies.
Seeking out a lawyer who concentrates their practice in your specific criminal area and regularly handles those cases can give you an advantage. Their specialized experience translates to sharper skills and instincts handling similar cases.
Be Wary of Bad Reviews Pointing to Problems
One red flag to watch out for as you evaluate criminal lawyers are any troubling complaints or negative reviews. A few bad reviews among mostly positive feedback is normal. But patterns of serious complaints about things like lack of communication, weak defense, unprofessional behavior, overcharging, or poor results should raise caution flags.
While no lawyer is perfect, you want to aim for someone with predominantly stellar reviews rather than a trail of client dissatisfaction. Don’t ignore warning signs that a lawyer may not be vigilant about protecting your rights or getting you the best outcome.
Consider Hiring an Aggressive Trial Lawyer If Heading to Trial
If your case is likely to go to trial, make sure the lawyer you choose has robust courtroom experience and a reputation for aggressive trial advocacy. Not all criminal lawyers have extensive trial experience.
Look for trial lawyers who are known for thoroughly preparing cases, conducting persuasive cross-examinations, delivering powerful opening and closing arguments, and who aren’t afraid to take cases to trial rather than pushing clients to take plea deals.
Having a fierce trial lawyer in your corner can make a pivotal difference if your case goes before a jury.
Be Wary of Lawyers Making Outlandish Guarantees
As you speak to criminal lawyers, be very wary of anyone who makes unrealistic guarantees about being able to get your charges dismissed or avoiding all jail time. Ethical lawyers will not make promises they can’t necessarily keep.
While you want an attorney who is confident in their abilities, absolute guarantees are red flags you shouldn’t ignore. No one can predict with certainty how a judge or jury will rule. Focus your search on lawyers who present realistic assessments without overpromising.
Prioritize an Attorney Dedicated to Criminal Defense
For the best outcome, hire a lawyer who focuses exclusively on criminal defense work, not someone who dabbles in it occasionally. Attorneys who devote their entire practice to criminal law tend to have deeper knowledge of criminal statutes, keep up with the latest case law, and have superior courtroom skills.
Choose a lawyer with passion for criminal defense work and many years of experience solely dedicated to this field. Their expertise and instincts will be sharper than someone who splits their time handling other legal matters.
Be Wary of Falling for Slick Marketing or Sales Tactics
Some less qualified lawyers rely heavily on slick marketing and sales tactics to hook clients rather than letting their results speak for themselves. Don’t get taken in by factors like a flashy website, a prime office location, or a smooth sales pitch.
Focus your search on tangible factors like case results, subject matter expertise, trial experience, and client reviews. Don’t pick a lawyer based just on persuasive marketing or a likeable personality. Dig deeper to find someone who is highly capable at providing an aggressive criminal defense.
Check Credentials with the State Bar Association
Before committing to a lawyer, it’s smart to check their standing with the bar association. You can verify whether a lawyer is licensed to practice in your state, is in good standing, and doesn’t have a history of disciplinary issues.
It only takes a few minutes to research a lawyer’s credentials and disciplinary history. This quick check helps avoid those who have been suspended from practicing law or formally reprimanded, indicating potential problems.
Meet with Multiple Lawyers Before Deciding
Don’t just meet with one lawyer and make a quick decision. Take the time to thoroughly research options, schedule consultations with several top contenders, check references, and compare factors like experience, case results, and rapport.
Meeting with multiple skilled candidates helps you make the most informed decision. You don’t want to regret your lawyer choice or second guess yourself later. Evaluating multiple options reduces the chance you’ll overlook the best attorney for your situation.
Trust Your Instincts When Choosing a Lawyer
As you go through the lawyer selection process, listen to your gut instincts. While you want to make a rational choice based on research, ultimately you need a criminal lawyer you have a good rapport with and who you trust completely.
Pay attention to how comfortable you feel after meeting prospective lawyers, especially when sharing private case details. Consider who you most sense is dedicated to fighting aggressively on your behalf. Go with the lawyer you have the strongest positive instincts about.
By taking the time to be thorough in your search process, weighing all the key factors, and trusting your judgement, you’ll find the very best criminal defense lawyer in Cambridge to tackle your case. With an experienced attorney who believes in you in your corner, you’ll face the charges with much greater confidence.
Top Criminal Defense Lawyers Currently Practicing in Cambridge
To give you a head start in your search process, here are a few of the most highly-rated criminal defense lawyers in Cambridge to consider:
Benjamin Urbelis – Founding partner at Urbelis Law, Benjamin Urbelis is a seasoned trial lawyer with over 25 years of criminal law experience. He’s known for his fearless courtroom advocacy and success getting charges reduced or dismissed. Urbelis holds an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
David Duncan – A former prosecutor, David Duncan has extensive trial experience and a proven ability to build persuasive criminal defenses. He holds a perfect 10.0 rating on Avvo and has been recognized as a National Trial Lawyer Top 100.
Susan Church – Named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers, Susan Church is a former public defender who now runs her own firm specializing in criminal defense. She regularly wins not guilty verdicts in serious felony cases.
Robert Griffin – Founding partner at Griffin & Wolk, Robert Griffin is a frequent legal analyst for national media. He’s secured many high-profile acquittals and has over 20 years dedicated to criminal defense work.
Regina Zupan – Past president of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Regina Zupan is a Harvard-educated attorney with an impressive track record of trial victories. She handles both state and federal criminal cases.
This covers some of the top-tier criminal defense lawyers currently practicing in the Cambridge area based on experience, reputation, results, and client reviews. Connect with several of these attorneys for consultations to see who may be the best fit to represent you.
Finding the right criminal lawyer can feel overwhelming, but taking the time to thoroughly research options and identify the most qualified attorney for your needs will give you invaluable peace of mind. With an experienced Cambridge criminal defense lawyer who believes in your innocence by your side, you’ll be able to navigate the legal process with confidence.