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Dealing with a criminal offense can be a frustrating experience. It’s a serious legal matter that you should never take lightly as it may affect your life in the long run. Because of this, seeking help from a criminal defense lawyer is of utmost importance. They can represent you in court and make sure that you get the best possible outcome.
However, finding the right criminal defense lawyer is never easy. With many lawyers to choose from, you must look for someone who understands your situation and with whom you’ll feel comfortable.
So, if you need a legal professional to handle your criminal case, here are a few critical questions you should ask a criminal defense lawyer.
Do You Have A Specialization In Any Area Of Law?
While there are many criminal defense lawyers in the industry today, they have different areas of expertise. Therefore, if you want someone specializing in the type of criminal case that you’re facing, always ask if they have specialized in that area of law.
Typically, criminal law covers a variety of offenses. These include drugs, driving under the influence, and other white-collar crimes. Find out the number of cases your prospective lawyer has handled and won in the past. This will tell you how much experience they have with a specific type of criminal offense. If most of these cases are like yours, you can be sure that they can provide a strong criminal defense that’ll work best for your situation.
Are You Certified By The State Bar Or The Supreme Court?
Aside from their specialization and experience, it’s also essential to ask a criminal defense lawyer if they’re certified by the state bar or the Supreme Court. If they have a certification as a defense lawyer, it means that they’re qualified to practice the legal profession, they’re recognized as a legal specialist, or they’re certified to become a trial lawyer, especially for criminal cases.
In most cases, the certification from the state bar or the Supreme Court is issued after the lawyer has completed their training and examination, achieved the required years of experience, and met the other relevant requirements. Thus, if you’re looking for a dependable criminal defense lawyer, always factor in the certifications that they may have.
How Much Is Your Legal Fee?
Another critical question you should ask a defense lawyer is the amount of legal fee they charge. Although you want someone who can help you get out of your legal trouble, you should find someone whose attorney’s fees and costs of representation are within your budget.
Legal professionals handling criminal cases can be paid in different ways. Some charge on an hourly basis, while others offer a fixed rate. You must choose the fee arrangement based on the type of your case. Whatever you pick, make sure you discuss the fee arrangements before hiring someone. That way, there will be no confusion about the legal fees you’ll pay after the case is resolved.
How Often Do You Communicate?
When you’re facing a criminal offense, there’s a high possibility you’ll be convicted and be subjected to severe legal consequences. With so much at stake, you should look for a lawyer who makes themselves available when you have concerns. This means that despite their busy schedule, they should have the time to discuss with you the updates or problems that may arise along the way.
So, ask your lawyer how often they’ll communicate to know how committed they’ll be in handling your situation. Also, ask them what communication tool they’re going to use and additional charges (if any). That way, you can get in touch with your lawyer at any time without inflating the bill significantly.
Who Will Handle My Case?
If you’re working with a large law firm, it’s best to ask them who will specifically handle your case from start to finish. Sometimes, big firms let young lawyers handle cases. While there’s nothing wrong with these young legal professionals, you can’t entrust your fate to someone who has just finished the law school.
Since your freedom is at stake, you need a seasoned and experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend your rights in court. If you have an expert lawyer, you have a higher chance of winning your case.
Being charged with a serious crime can profoundly change your life. And while you need strong legal representation right away, it’s crucial to thoroughly assess your potential lawyer before working with them.
By asking your prospective lawyer these critical questions, you can get relevant responses that can help you make the right hiring decision.