How To Find The Right Criminal Defense Attorney

By  //  June 24, 2022

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If you are unfortunate enough to find yourself at the wrong end of a criminal prosecution, you will need to get yourself a good criminal defense attorney to secure your rights and interests. In a country with over 240,000 criminal defense attorneys, finding the right one for you can be overwhelming. If you can afford to get your own private criminal defense attorney, here’s what you need to do.

Figure Out What Kind of Lawyer You Need

A criminal defense attorney, whether private or court-appointed, will research the facts of your case, negotiate a deal with the prosecutor if possible and necessary, to reduce the charges or sentences. They also examine any witnesses, develop the plea, assess the likelihood of sentencing, review police procedures, and other tasks.

Essentially, their job is to poke enough holes in the prosecutor’s case that you either win in court or the prosecutor is forced to do a deal or even abandon the case. That suggests that a case may not even get to trial, either because charges are dropped, or because a judge dismisses the case, or as I said, because a deal is done.

When you’re looking for legal advice, you need to assess the severity of your case to see if you need a specialist in a particular area of criminal law, or, whether you can make do with a generalist. As a rule of thumb, if you are facing prison time or significant financial and professional penalties, you need a specialist in the areas you are charged in. Otherwise, a generalist will do.

Determine the Costs of Representation

Although your very life may be on the line, we all operate with some kind of budget constraint. If you can’t afford your own criminal defense attorney, you should ask the court to appoint one for you. There’s a stigma around court-appointed criminal defense attorneys, but data suggests that court-appointed criminal defense attorneys are as likely as private ones to get favourable case outcomes.

The average hourly rate for a lawyer in the United States is $275, but this varies widely from state to state. Your total costs will generally reflect the charges. For instance, if you live in Florida, a second-degree misdemeanour will likely cost you between $1,500 and $3,500. It also matters if you are going to trial or not. The costs of a trial are very high.

Find a Reputable Lawyer With Local Court Experience

It’s important that whatever lawyer you get has experience with the local court. This will help them figure out the most favourable legal strategies, how to work any potential judges, and how to relate to the court system there.

You want a lawyer who has a good track record, That means two things: firstly, they should not have a negative disciplinary record. You can find out any lawyer’s track record with the Clerk of the Court, or with the state bar association and their law school association. You also want to check Google and Facebook reviews to see how clients perceive any prospective lawyer. Secondly, you want a winner.

The higher a lawyer’s success rate for your specific case type, the better. But remember, a 100% win rate doesn’t mean you won’t be the first loss in their record. What you’re looking for is not a guarantee of success, but for a good chance of success.