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03 Oct 23

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

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Last Updated on: 24th October 2023, 06:23 pm

 

Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney

Not Doing Thorough Research on Potential Attorneys

When looking for a criminal defense lawyer, you need to carefully research each candidate. Simply choosing the first attorney you find or going with a family friend may lead you to someone who lacks the right skills and experience.

Spend time looking into the background, credentials, and track record of any lawyer you’re considering. Look for reviews from their past clients to get insight into the quality of service they provide. Avoid attorneys with a pattern of negative feedback.

Hiring the First Attorney You Meet With

Don’t hire the very first lawyer you consult with unless you’ve done your research and they clearly are the best fit. Meet with several attorneys so you can make comparisons. Look for someone you feel comfortable with and who shows genuine concern for your case.

Ask questions to assess their knowledge and level of experience. Also consider whether their communication style meshes well with your needs. Taking time to find the right attorney is worth the effort.

Selecting Someone Without Relevant Courtroom Experience

Any criminal case could potentially go to trial, so your attorney needs to have strong courtroom skills. Avoid lawyers who spend most of their time on paperwork. Look for someone with firsthand experience arguing cases in front of judges and juries. This expertise can make a big difference.

Ask specifically about their courtroom experience. Have they taken many criminal trials to verdict? Do they have experience with the prosecutors and judges in your jurisdiction? The right answers help give confidence they can effectively argue your case.

Not Checking References and Reviews

Online reviews, testimonials, and references from past clients offer valuable insights into a lawyer’s skills and track record. Take time to research this information for any attorney you’re considering.

Look for consistent positive feedback on factors like communication, legal knowledge, case preparation, and fighting for their clients. Beware of attorneys with a pattern of bad reviews. This feedback can help you avoid a poor choice.

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Hiring Someone Without Relevant Experience

A real estate or corporate lawyer simply won’t have the right skills to tackle a criminal case. It’s a unique and complex area of law. Look for attorneys who specialize specifically in criminal defense cases. They’ll understand how to navigate the system and protect your rights.

Ask about their specific experience handling cases like yours. Have they taken similar cases to trial before? Do they keep up with the latest criminal defense strategies and techniques? Their expertise and passion for criminal law matters.

Falling for Promises of Specific Outcomes

Avoid attorneys who make outright promises or guarantees about the outcome of your case. No lawyer can predict the future or promise you won’t go to jail or that charges will be dismissed. These types of promises are unethical.

A reliable attorney will give you an honest assessment of your options while explaining how they’ll fight for the most favorable outcomes. But beware if it sounds too good to be true. Stick to attorneys who make reasonable, realistic recommendations.

Not Getting a Written Agreement

Always get a written agreement detailing what the attorney will provide and what their fees will be. Understand exactly what is covered and any additional costs you may face.

Verbal promises often fall short, so look for a thorough contract describing their services. Having clear expectations upfront helps avoid misunderstandings and confusion. Don’t leave room for surprises.

Failing to Ask About Their Defense Strategy

A reliable criminal defense attorney should explain their planned strategies based on the details of your charges and circumstances. Their approach should be tailored specifically to mount the strongest case for you.

Ask how they plan to fight the charges and highlight your innocence. Make sure their strategy sounds reasonable and aggressive. Avoid attorneys who don’t articulate a clear path forward.

Not Asking About Their Availability

You need an attorney who will be available to answer your questions and address your concerns promptly. Before hiring someone, ask about their communication policies.

How quickly do they return calls and emails? Will they provide you with their cell phone number? Do they make themselves available outside regular business hours if needed? Their responsiveness matters.