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If you are ever accused of a federal crime, you will definitely need a competent lawyer to defend you. Having the right attorney will make all the difference on the verdict and your future. So, don’t just hire the first lawyer you meet because your life depends on how good your legal representation is. Here are some things that you need to look for in a federal defense attorney.
#1. Good Background and Track Record
The most important things that you need to look for in a federal crime lawyer is good background, experience, and track record. These are indicators of how good the lawyer is.
Since court cases are open to the public, you can check out and read those that your potential lawyer has handled so far. See whether they win more than lose their cases. It’s also a good idea to read up on their background, like which schools they went to or law firms they worked at so far.
#2. Expertise of the Lawyer
The next thing you need to determine is whether your case fits the specialization or experience of the federal crime lawyer. Compare your case with the others they have handled in the past to see if they’re within the same scope.
Each attorney has their own area of expertise, just like doctors would have their own specializations. For federal crimes, you can’t just hire a lawyer who has worked on real estate or corporate law. What you’ll need is someone who is an expert in federal crime, so check whether your potential legal representation is one. That way, you’ll be secure in the fact that they’re knowledgeable in this field.
#3. Reasonable and Affordable Fees
There is a cost to hiring a federal defense lawyer, with certain factors affecting how much they will charge. These include the attorney’s location, reputation, track record and legal experience.
Typically, clients are billed by the hour or a flat fee, depending on what your agreement is. There are also some lawyers who require a retainer fee every month, even if you don’t avail of their service. A retainer fee is a specific amount of money paid every month to assure that you’ll get service from a certain lawyer.
Ideally, it is less expensive to get a lawyer who charges a flat fee compared to one who requires a retainer fee or charges hourly. If, by any chance, it is still too expensive, you can choose to get a state attorney to defend you in your case. Even though a state attorney will not charge you any fees, it doesn’t mean that his skills are also compromised. There are many good state lawyers available for you.
#4. Trustworthy Character
Before you hire a federal defense attorney, it’s best if you can initially meet the lawyers you are considering for a quick meeting. When you meet with them, it’s important that you observe their character and actions.
For instance, when you start talking about your case, see whether the lawyer is listening to you carefully. You’d want a lawyer who will remember each and every detail regarding your case so he can do a good job. Another thing you should look out for is care. Watch the lawyer’s actions and see if he is genuinely interested in your case.
When you also meet with a lawyer, check if he is honest. You don’t want a lawyer who simply tells you whatever you want to hear. Facing a federal crime, being straight with each other goes both ways. Communication will play an integral role when it’s time to go to court. You need to have a loyal and honest lawyer by your side.
#5. Recommendations from Friends and Family
To know if the federal crime lawyer can defend you, it’s also important to ask the opinion of your family and friends. What do they think of this attorney you’re considering? If they don’t know this lawyer, your friends and family might know someone who knows them. Get their recommendations and reviews to get true accounts of how good or bad the lawyer is.
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a good lawyer. If they are good at what they do, many people will refer them and talk positively about them. This is a good proof that the lawyer is good. If his name is going around, then you can be assured that he does his job well.
There is no certainty or formula to get the perfect federal defense attorney. However, you can weigh each consideration above and find the best one for you and your case. Remember that your future after committing a federal crime will depend on one person – your lawyer. Go through all the tips above to find the right legal representation that will win your case.