After an arrest, you will have many thoughts racing through your brain, but the primary concern must be finding legal representation. A criminal defense attorney can mean the difference between probation and years in prison. You can’t scroll through search results and pick an attorney at random, though. Weigh your decision based on the following five criteria.
What charges are you facing? Drugs, assault, theft, DUI, or something else? You must identify your charges to find a lawyer with the correct specialization. While every defense attorney is familiar with criminal law, it is a broad subject. Drug law and traffic law are very different topics. You want to hire an attorney who will provide you with the best defense possible for your charges.
- Fee Structure
Once you locate a lawyer with the appropriate knowledge for your case, you need to identify the fee structure. Are they hourly, or do they charge a flat rate? Will they require a retainer, or are you billed after the trial? Understanding the costs associated with your defense will ensure less confusion and aggravation during the trial.
There is nothing wrong with hiring a rookie attorney when there are limited risks involved. However, when you are facing felony charges and the potential for years in prison, you want an experienced lawyer in your corner. Find an attorney with several years of trial experience and make sure to ask about their success rate — a good lawyer will be more than happy to share.
- Firm Attorney
If you decide to work with a law firm, which is often an excellent idea, identify your lawyer. You want a firm that will dedicate a single attorney to your case. You also want to have discussions and meetings with the primary. It is not uncommon for a secondary lawyer to be assigned to you, but you want to have contact with the lead.
- Local Knowledge
Big city firms may not have experience with local courthouses. If you were arrested in a small town, you should find a lawyer with local knowledge and connections. Local attorneys build rapport with prosecutors and familiarity with judges, making it easier to broker plea agreements.
Finding the right criminal lawyer, like a criminal lawyer in Bloomington, IL, is crucial to arguing a successful defense. While you do not need the most expensive attorney, finding one with the correct specialty and local experience is beneficial. Contact a local legal defense firm and discuss your case.
Thanks to Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols Attorneys at Law for their insight into choosing the right criminal defense attorney for your case.