Facing a criminal charge is one of the most stressful and potentially devastating events in life. The first thing a defendant has to do involves hiring the best criminal defense attorney. The problem is many defendants do not understand what makes a highly effective criminal defense lawyer.
It starts by considering attorneys that specialize in criminal defense cases. A personal injury lawyer who takes on a few criminal cases every month just does cut it for a defendant about to go on trial. If you do not notice any information on an attorney’s website that discusses criminal defense topics, then you should look elsewhere for legal help.
Considering attorneys that specialize in criminal defense cases is a good start to answer the question. “What should you look for in a criminal defense attorney.”
Does Experience Matter?
You can expect to come across several criminal defense lawyers that promote their experience. Phrases like “More than two decades of experience” and “25 years defending clients in criminal cases” looks good on paper, but there is one problem.
You want to work with a criminal defense lawyer who has successfully defended a large number of clients against a wide variety of criminal charges. Experience matters, but it is the results of the experience that matters more. An experienced criminal defense lawyer also has established professional relationships with judges and prosecutors, which is a huge asset when litigating criminal cases.
How Responsive is a Criminal Defense Attorney?
With the clock ticking on your criminal case, you cannot afford to work with a lawyer who takes long to respond to emails, phone calls, and text messages. Yes, most criminal defense attorneys have a full plate when it comes to defending clients. However, you have to work with a responsive criminal defense lawyer because it demonstrates the attorney cares about the firm’s clients.
An effective way to determine the responsiveness of a criminal defense lawyer is the amount of time it takes between the first time you communicate with the lawyer and the initial free consultation. A responsive criminal defense lawyer should want to get to work on your criminal case within no more than 48 hours after the first time you contact the attorney.
Does the Lawyer Receive Positive Client Feedback?
The Internet provides a vast number of resources to research criminal defense lawyers. Check with the California State Bar Association website, which includes a database for every attorney licensed to practice law in the State of California. Some client review websites such as Facebook and Google+ do not allow lawyers to remove bad reviews, which makes them accurate sources for measuring the effectiveness of the criminal defense attorneys on your short list. If you are in the early stages of finding a criminal defense attorney, access the Avvo attorney database for helpful information.
Does the Lawyer Take Direction?
Defending you against criminal charges is ultimately your responsibility. Although an experienced and successful criminal defense attorney can help you clear your good name, the lawyer has to take direction from you for the professional relationship to thrive. You should have a say on the witnesses to call, as well as the motions to file. Any criminal defense lawyer under consideration has to understand your goals and take the goals into account when making legal decisions.
Finding the perfect fit in a criminal defense attorney can be a frustrating process. You can eliminate much of the guesswork by asking friends and family members for a referral or two. Word of mouth gives you an idea about how well an attorney takes direction and the local experience that lawyer has litigating criminal cases.
Our law firm receives numerous referrals from former clients. Contact the Chambers Law Firm today at 714-760-4088 to schedule a free initial consultation.