Criminal defense attorneys get a bad rap; that is, until you need one. If you ever find yourself on the other side of the law, you will want the savviest defense attorney around, because his or her expertise may be all that keeps you out of prison. With so much on the line, it is imperative to research your attorney and to ask questions pertinent to your case.
Richmond Criminal lawyer offer a free consultation; use this to your advantage. When you meet with him or her, make sure you understand how the expertise of the attorney could benefit you in court, and your meeting could also help you to understand the charges against you. During your consultation, your attorney should be able to explain the possible defenses that would be applicable in your case, as well as prospective plea bargain deals and what to expect if you are convicted of the crime. If you are facing a felony charge, it is in your best interest to be represented by counsel. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or an infraction, obtaining legal advice may suffice.
A good defense attorney isn’t cheap; you are paying for his or her expertise. While you may have never been accused of a crime before, a respected attorney has seen a case like yours hundreds of times. Other than representing yourself at trial, you could enlist the services of a public defender. A public defender is the attorney assigned to your case by the court and while he or she may have your best interests at heart, the public defender’s workload may impact the effective representation you receive. Unlike a fort bend criminal defense attorney, a public defender will not have the time to discuss the in-depth details of your case; he or she just won’t have that kind of time. That is why it is important to at least consult with a defense attorney first, to fully explore your options. Remember, too, that even though you may start your case with a public defender, you can switch to your own private defense attorney at any time during the case if you feel you need different representation.
Besides a fort bend criminal attorney expertise and experience, another good reason to hire one is that his or her caseload will be lighter than a public defender’s and your case will get more personal attention. You will also benefit from your attorney’s knowledge of trial experience. Most people select their attorney based on the lawyer’s reputation, advertising, price and the feeling they get when they meet with the attorney. Keep in mind that you need to feel comfortable with your attorney and you must be comfortable with their approach to your case. There are different ways of dealing in a courtroom; one attorney might be soft-spoken and one attorney might be aggressive. Both could work in your favor; it all depends upon the judge and jury. Also, different attorneys may have different defense options; once again, this is based upon experience and the particular facts surrounding your case. An eloquent attorney will be of best service, both in and out of the courtroom. If you are able to convey your feelings to your attorney and he or she is able to counsel you as well as defend you articulately in the courtroom, then you have a good match. You shouldn’t hold back with information from your attorney due to embarrassment; they have heard it all before. Plus, the more communication you have with your lawyer, the better equipped he or she will be in the courtroom. Recognize that even though you might be guilty of the crime and you tell your attorney, he or she is still obligated to providing you with the best defense possible, and that any information you discuss is fully confidential.
When discussing your case with potential counsel, discuss the multiple outcomes to your case so you are fully prepared. The attorney may tell you things you don’t want to hear, but at least you will know what to expect. It is important to know if the attorney has had experience defending others who have been charged with the same offense you have, and what outcome their services rendered. Listen to how articulately the attorney speaks to you, to gauge how he or she would represent you in a courtroom. Ask about his or her experience with plea bargains, motion practice and trials. You will also want to know how often you can expect to hear from your attorney because you will want to be adequately informed on any news and to occasionally just check in. Be aware that fees vary; an attorney cannot quote you an across the board price. Many attorneys will charge more if you are accused of a felony than if you are accused of a misdemeanor. Make sure you understand how the fee agreement works. Know, too, that if you are unsatisfied with your representation, you can always terminate the relationship. You will be responsible for any fees to that point.
Finding the best attorney for your case requires interviewing. You will want to know if your attorney will do the majority of the work or if it will be handled by a paralegal or someone else. You will want to know the number of cases like yours that he or she has handled previously, and their outcomes, if available. Jury trial experience is key, as well, if your case goes that far. Ask how often the lawyer has plea bargained cases, and how many cases have been dismissed. See if the attorney can provide you with references from other clients with cases like yours. All of these answers can help determine if this is the right representation for you.
The one question you will want to ask your potential counsel is if you believe you have a strong case and the case can be won at trial. There are too many factors involved for an attorney to make any predictions; as a matter of fact, they are ethically barred from doing so. If your attorney promises you a positive outcome, keep looking for another attorney. It is of the utmost importance, especially in cases that involve jail time or even the death penalty, that you invest in the most experienced, capable criminal law attorney you can. Don’t hesitate to ask the hard questions; your fate depends upon it.