It can be difficult when you’re trying to hire a criminal defense law firm, so here are some tips to keep in mind.
One of the most important considerations to keep in mind while you’re looking to hire a criminal defense law firm is remaining level headed. There’s no doubt about it that your legal matters are pressing, but you should always take the proper steps when going through this incredibly crucial hiring process.
Summit Defense is a law firm located in Sacramento that has teamed up with us to provide 10 important tips to help you with your criminal defense hiring decision, so take it from the specialists in that these essentials are what you need to keep in mind when you’re facing criminal charges and the stakes are high!
Be Sure To Seek Out Referrals
Getting criminal defense attorney referrals is sometimes a lot easier said than done, and this is mainly because most people are rather private about their criminal past.
But the truth is that referrals are always one of your best places to start when undergoing this hiring process, and you should know that you won’t necessarily need to divulge your current legal situation when getting this type of information.
A referral to a law firm doesn’t necessarily have to be from a past client, and many times you’ll get in touch with friends and relatives of experienced criminal defense experts. The main thing you’ll want to learn from a referral is the general attitude and experience associated with the law firm, because this basic info will be a good starting point as you start delving deeper into a firm’s more professional qualities.
Do Your Research Into Criminal Defense Law
The good news is that finding information about defense attorneys is easier than ever when you go online, because there are countless online databases and websites that provide tangible grades and reviews of lawyers.
Reviews are definitely going to be one of the main things that you should be on the lookout for while conducting your online research about a law firm, and if you can directly contact review writers that’s even better.
Check Up On A Defense Law Firm’s Work History
You may know about all of the many legal fields and niches that law firms specialize within, but you may not know that criminal defense also has many niches as well. It’s possible that some defense firms will only practice within a few areas, so you’ll need to ensure that you’re looking at law firms that specialize in your specific charges.
You’re always going to want to work with a legal team that has worked on similar cases to yours and has a thorough understanding of the subtle nuances associated with defending a case like yours.
Sometimes checking up on a defense law firm’s work history will entail going through their online resume and testimonials page, or simply reaching out to them and getting direct information.
Verify The Training Of The Firm’s Lawyers
Training directly coincides with a law firm’s work history, but in general you should always simply verify that your defense attorney has a thorough training background in criminal defense. The next thing you should verify is their certification within the specific defense niche of your case.
Specialization certifications are allowed within some states, and this type of accolade will indicate their overall commitment to your case’s unique scenario.
Going Local Is Probably Your Best Bet
Hiring a local criminal defense law firm is important because they’ll know the intricacies pertaining to the legal system within your area. Local defense attorneys will have a working relationship with prosecutors, judges, police officers and the entire court system.
So if you’re looking to develop a formidable defense that’s taken seriously by the most crucial involved parties, then your best bet is to go local. Local defense attorneys will also have their own reputation to protect within a specific area, which means they’ll be more likely to perform their duties more effectively due to their name being on the line.
You’ll of course be sharing pretty intimate information with your criminal defense legal team, and it’s also possible that you may be spending a decent amount of time together as well.
This means that you’ll need to work with a law firm that you synergize with, because developing a comprehensive defense will require you opening up and getting along with your attorney.
You also don’t want to work with a law firm that treats your case as just another file, because working with legal teams that genuinely care about their clients as people will always go a long way towards building the necessary amount of trust that you’ll need to feel good about your potential charges.
Asking The Right Questions During Your Initial Consultation
Most defense firms will provide people with free consultations, which are good opportunities to see if you’ve found the right match or not. Some questions to keep in mind during your initial consultations include the following:
- Have you supported similar cases in the past? What was the outcome of these cases?
- How much experience do you have within the court that my case has been assigned to?
- What percentage of your work history has been with helping people facing similar charges to mine? Do you have certifications within this specific niche of criminal law?
- Do you know the prosecutor/judge that has been assigned to my case? If so, how do they work?
These, as well as other questions, will help you gain a better understanding as to whether or not you’ve found the right defense team during an initial consultation.
Be Upfront About Fee Questions
It’s possible that a defense firm will attempt to rush you into a commitment prior to discussing the intricate details of their fees, which is why you should be the one that takes the initiative and actively obtains this absolutely critical information.
This includes getting detailed information about what exactly is billable work/hours, and you should also ask how they’d prefer to be paid. You should also keep in mind that contingency fees are not a part of criminal law, so payment information is always a major concern to keep in mind during the hiring process.
Confirm Who At The Firm You’ll Be Directly Working With
A lot of criminal defense lawyers will be solo, but there are also some that work within small teams. This subsequently means that you may talk to a certain individual at a firm on the phone, but then another person shows up in court by your side.
You should always be transparent and ask about this type of specific personnel detail, because you’ll want to know exactly who is going to be there for you when you need legal assistance the most.
Conduct A Thorough Interview Prior To Pulling The Trigger
It’s understandable how you’ll feel in a rush to hire a criminal defense lawyer, but you should still conduct interviews with a number of defense attorneys to really get a grasp as to who is your best option. These interviews don’t necessarily need to be in-person, as Zoom and phone calls will suffice.
Reach Out To Legal Specialists To Learn More About Hiring A Criminal Defense Law Firm
Hiring a criminal defense law firm is something that you should never take lightly, because the team you hire will end up either making or breaking the outcome of your case.
The consequences are many times too high in these legal scenarios to be complacent during the hiring process, so be sure to speak with a number of law firms until you think you’ve properly weighed your best options and know who will get the job done!