Criminal charges, whether a DUI or felony, can have a life-long impact hence the need to defend them successfully if accused. Therefore, you need the help of a criminal attorney to represent you in a criminal trial regardless of its magnitude.
These professionals can support you for police interviews, present your bail application, and present evidence correctly. Unfortunately, some people mess up the hiring process and lose such cases. Here are the critical mistakes you must avoid when hiring a criminal lawyer.
- Hiring Outside Your Location
- Disregarding Background Check
- Entrusting the Case to an Inexperienced Criminal Lawyer
- Not Looking into the Lawyer’s Qualities and Values
- Ignoring Track Record
- Choosing a Generalist
- Overlooking Availability
- Skipping Discussion About the Cost
- Not Considering the Experience of Past Clients
Hiring Outside Your Location
First, you should avoid hiring a lawyer outside your location, no matter how cheap or experienced they are. Doing so is essential for convenience and familiarity with the local courts. And to top it all off, criminal laws differ among the states and the federal government. A particular crime in one state wouldn’t be the same in another.
That’s why you need a local attorney like a San Antonio criminal lawyer. Such lawyers are knowledgeable regarding the local laws and can represent you successfully in a criminal trial. Additionally, a local criminal lawyer knows some judges and will know the right words to use as they represent you.
Disregarding Background Check
Attorneys, being professionals, might assume that they are clean and will serve you most appropriately. However, this can be far from reality. Some have past misconduct that may manifest when you engage them and jeopardize your case. Therefore, you should run a background check to determine past misconduct when choosing a criminal lawyer.
To do so, you will research their name on the ABA National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank. While at it, it’d be best to check if the lawyer is licensed by searching about them on Attorney Directories by State Bar Associations.
Entrusting the Case to an Inexperienced Criminal Lawyer
You may want to hire a criminal lawyer, especially a family friend or an acquaintance, despite their lack of experience. Entrusting such a lawyer is a costly mistake that you should never make. Ensure that you hire a qualified and experienced criminal lawyer.
You must do a background check to ascertain qualifications and experience, whether searching for a lawyer online or getting them through a referral. Ensure that the criminal lawyer has actively practiced for quite some time and can represent you in a trial.
Not Looking into the Lawyer’s Qualities and Values
In a rush to find an attorney, you may fail to look into the lawyer’s qualities and values. Overlooking the qualities and values is a critical mistake that will leave you with an attorney who doesn’t understand your situation and is likely to fumble with your case.
Therefore, ensure that you ask the lawyer relevant questions to shed more light on their values. Empathy, honesty, understanding, and care are some of the essential values to check for a cordial relationship which contributes to winning the case.
Ignoring Track Record
Like experience, a criminal lawyer must have a proven track record of winning several criminal cases to be suitable. Ignoring this factor is a critical mistake that will leave you wasting many resources and still losing the case. It’d be best to review the history of the criminal attorney when hiring to ascertain their success rate.
You must hire a highly successful criminal attorney to stand a chance of winning your criminal case. The lawyer’s official website is the most accessible place to learn about the track record since many reputable criminal attorneys publish clients’ testimonials.
Choosing a Generalist
Some generalists don’t focus on any particular type of law. It’d be best to avoid hiring such lawyers for your criminal case despite knowing a wide range of areas in the legal industry. You need a lawyer focused on criminal law since they have the knowledge and experience of criminal trials enabling them to represent you successfully.
In addition, a specialized attorney will be resourceful in gathering information, have negotiation skills, and can work under pressure, all of which come in handy in criminal trials.
Overlooking the lawyer’s availability can cost you if you are indicted. You must consider and inquire about availability because you need in-depth discussions with your attorney and frequent meet-ups to get facts about your case. For that reason, you need an available legal representative like San Antonio criminal lawyer.
The attorney is available in person and on the phone, making it possible to reach them as you prepare for the case. If the attorney is occupied, they should have an assistant who can help you when you need assistance.
Skipping Discussion About the Cost
Cost is an essential element that you should discuss before engaging a criminal lawyer further. Unfortunately, the stressful situation of being charged may lead to skipping it. It’d be best to discuss with the attorney about their rates to determine if you can afford their services.
This step is essential because lawyers charge different fees to represent defendants. Some of the fees include discovery fees, court fees, mailing costs, investigation fees, and expert witness fees. And as a caution, you should seek clarification on any hidden fees which may arise as the case proceeds to avoid surprises.
Not Considering the Experience of Past Clients
Criminal lawyers have reviews about their services which you should check to determine past clients’ experiences. There are high chances of you going through the same experience. Not considering this can leave you frustrated if the lawyer lacks communication or doesn’t dedicate time to your case.
You can find reviews on various relevant platforms. To determine suitability, you will review the positive and some of the negative reviews. Note that some dishonest lawyers buy positive reviews to dupe potential clients. Therefore, digging deeper to ascertain the credibility of the reviews would be best.
Criminal charges can change your life, hence the need for quality representation when charged with an offense. However, with many lawyers available, you can easily make mistakes like the ones in this article when hiring a legal representative.
Doing so can hurt your case hence the need to use the information you have learned here and avoid making those critical mistakes.