In basketball, they say that a good defense is the best offense. The same goes when you have to go to trial because your life is on the line and the only way to prevent yourself from going to jail is by selecting a criminal defense lawyer who will be able to represent you when the evidence is presented.
Criminal defense lawyers are a special breed of individuals because they specialize in criminal law. Some of these people represent those who are guilty and will do everything in their power to make sure their client does not go to jail.
But how do you select a criminal defense lawyer? For that, you have to find someone who specializes in this field. If you don’t know any, ask your friends or family for help.
When you see them for the first time, this is not a social call but business. You should ask them straight out how long has he or she practiced criminal law, the number of cases that went to trial and how many times have they won.
Do a background check on the criminal defense lawyer. Find out if they belong to any legal organizations like the County or State Bar Associations. If this person is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, then chances are you are already in good hands.
But since this is not enough, find out if they will have the time to work on your case because you could lose it if they are not able to provide a good defense.
You should also find out how much they charge for their legal fees and if they will be the one who will personally handle your case. If they are asking you for a large sum of money up front, leave the office and find someone else right away.
If you find the rate reasonable and feel comfortable talking to this person, then by all means hire this individual to be your criminal defense attorney.
Now discuss your case and then follow whatever instructions are given. This person should be able to explain to you how things will go and what they will do.
The ideal criminal defense lawyer is the public defender because this is what they do day in and day out. Although they usually get a bad rap, they are very experienced when it comes to going to court which is why they are often used as consultants by private attorneys. Some have even left and established their own firms specializing in criminal law.
Will this guarantee that you will win your day in court? Of course not. Nobody can guarantee that even if you can afford hiring a very rich attorney.
This all boils down to how well this person will be able to cast doubt on the evidence used by the prosecution because you will only get a guilty verdict if they can prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are indeed responsible for the crime.
Selecting a criminal defense lawyer is crucial because not be able to get a good defense will likely get you a guilty verdict. You can prevent that form happening since you are given time to look for one before you are arraigned and asked how do you plead in front of the judge.