What To Look For When You Need A Criminal Defense Attorney
When you have been arrested for a crime, you need legal advice and representation. While it is possible to represent yourself, unless you have vast legal experience, it is not a good idea. Not only do you not understand exactly how the legal system works and how judges make decisions, but you are also too close to the case. You may be too emotional to maintain your composure to provide the details that will exonerate you. You could go with a public defender as your legal representative, but while these attorneys are very experienced, the one assigned to you may not be the best one for you. That leaves private criminal defense lawyers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to hire the person who can work to keep you from going to jail.
Of course, you want someone with legal experience. However, criminal defense can encompass many different crimes. You want to work with a lawyer who has handled your specific crime with success in the past. While it may seem best to go with a lawyer who has the most acquittals for your crime, do not overlook the ones who do not have the highest win statistics. Sometimes, valuable lessons and strategies can be learned even if the case did not end up with an acquittal or light sentence. Remember, many light sentences were the result of a plea bargain. You want a lawyer who has experience in an actual court before a judge and jury.
While you do not have to become best friends with your attorney, it is best if you can get along with them. You need to trust them completely and feel confident that they will steer you in the right direction when it comes to what to say or not to say, how to present yourself, and how to approach any plea bargains. If you do decide to plea, you want it to be because it is truly the best option. Your lawyer should also be willing to accept your refusal of a plea and prepare to go to court for you.
While it is possible to dismiss a lawyer and hire a new one in the middle of a criminal trial, it is best if this is not necessary. Take your time and talk with a few different attorneys before deciding who to work with. After all, it is your freedom that is involved.